[guest post by Dana]
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is introducing a resolution in the House on Thursday that calls on the Biden administration to end U.S. military and financial aid to Ukraine — while also urging all involved to secure a peace agreement after nearly a year of war in the region.
“America is in a state of managed decline, and it will exacerbate if we continue to hemorrhage taxpayer dollars toward a foreign war,” he said. We must suspend all foreign aid for the War in Ukraine and demand that all combatants in this conflict reach a peace agreement immediately.”
Also as expected, the co-sponsors of the resolution include Reps. Andy Biggs, Lauren Boebert, Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Anna Paulina Luna, Thomas Massie, Mary Miller, Barry Moore, Ralph Norman, and Matt Rosendale.
I don’t think there’s any reason to reiterate why I think this is a very bad idea and what I think of Gaetz and the co-sponsors, but while we can be fairly sure that the resolution won’t go anywhere, can anyone who supports this proposal explain how you make an enforceable peace agreement with someone like Putin in a place like Russia??
Meanwhile, a group of key Republicans have introduced a plan to pressure President Biden to quickly provide Ukraine with more advanced weapons in order to end the war sooner rather than later:
[T]he conservatives’ push comes with the expectation of more and faster progress by Ukraine, as polls indicate declining support for the effort to arm Ukraine, particularly among Republicans.
The first part of the dual campaign is to conduct closed-door classified information gatherings in Congress, like the recent classified Senate Armed Services Committee briefing that included Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and William LaPlante, the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, according to two people with direct knowledge of current discussions within Republican leadership.
The second part is a public-facing campaign to call on President Joe Biden to provide things like Grey Eagle drones, and the long-range Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, which would help Ukraine strike at the Russian artillery batteries continuously lobbing missiles at Ukrainian forces. Kyiv has been requesting ATACMS since the start of the war, but the requests have grown louder as the United States approved other pieces of equipment it previously resisted, such as M-1 Abrams tanks.
The public portion of the Republicans’ campaign could take a variety of forms. Virtually every Armed Services Committee hearing in the House and Senate provides opportunity for comment, the two individuals said. Lawmakers could also speak on the issue during floor speeches and media engagements.
As Sen. Roger Wicker, who is frustrated with the administration’s slow-walking policy on Ukraine, put it:
“We should deliver these assets [ATACMS and Grey Eagle and Reaper drones] quickly to make an immediate difference on the battlefield. In concert with our allies, this approach of ‘more, better, faster would give the Ukrainians a real shot at victory,”
The report also points out an interesting parallel between a small group of far-right House members and larger group of far-left House members who question the continued support of Ukraine in almost every circumstance. As you may recall, 30 Democratic members of the House signed onto a letter last summer pushing for the President to “engage in direct talks with Russia to end the war.” They later retracted the letter, but the report says that was only because they had their letter pulled, not because they changed their hearts or minds.
Back in September, the Republican Policy Committee spelled out why it is so important for the U.S. to provide aid to Ukraine. I still believe in the points made, and think they continue to be not only viable, but wholly necessary:
Military aid for Ukraine is a strategic investment in the security of the United States. The U.S. has a willing and effective partner to help Ukraine stand up to Putin’s agenda while keeping his aggression farther from NATO borders. If Ukraine defeats Russia, this will save the U.S. from making larger-scale investments in Europe to deter Russia in the future. A weakened Russian military will be a good thing for the U.S., NATO, European, and international stability. As we and our allies buy new weapons to replace what is being sent to Ukraine, we will help modernize our military industrial base and fill the U.S. arsenal with newer weapons.
United States support to Ukraine also sends a clear message to America’s adversaries that we will not back down and that this kind of reckless rejection of the rule of law will have consequences. This is particularly notable as China’s desire to invade Taiwan grows more obvious. It makes clear that there are significant costs to pay for any authoritarian state that expects a quick military victory when invading its neighbors. We must leave absolutely no doubt in the minds of Russia’s, China’s, or any other nation’s leaders about U.S. resolve to support sovereignty and self-determination around the globe. Decisive military aid to Ukraine will accomplish this task.