Defense Secretary Issues Warning
On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned members of Congress during a private briefing that if they do not pass more aid to Ukraine, it could lead to U.S. troops having to fight a war in Europe.
During the briefing, Austin stated that if Russian President Vladimir Putin takes over Ukraine, it is likely that he would then go after other neighboring countries, including Moldova, Georgia, and the Baltics. This could eventually result in the need for U.S. troops to be deployed in Europe to defend these nations.
The warning given by Austin did not seem to have a significant impact on Republican lawmakers, who are skeptical about providing more aid to Ukraine without transparency and accountability measures in place. According to House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul, the idea of putting troops on the ground in Europe was described as "very likely" by Austin.
McCaul commented after the briefing, stating that the main goal is to avoid a situation where U.S. troops would have to be sent into battle in Europe. He added that the current aid package must be carefully examined and evaluated to ensure it will truly help Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
Seriously, this report is complete nonsense! The plan all along was to send your sons and daughters to war, regardless of whether they decide to send money to Ukraine or not.
Report: Defense Secretary Warned Congress U.S. Troops Could Be Deployed If Ukraine Aid Is Not Sent… pic.twitter.com/YmdNUjdcdx
— Jewels Jones (@JewelsJonesLive) December 6, 2023
House Speaker Mike Johnson also expressed dissatisfaction with the briefing, stating that he did not feel they received the clarity they have been requesting from the Biden administration. He further stated that it remains to be seen if members are satisfied with the answers provided during the briefing.
The Biden administration has requested a $106 billion aid package from Congress, with a majority of the funds, $61 billion, intended for Ukraine. This would be in addition to the $113 billion that has already been allocated to support Ukraine since February 2022.
Representative John Duarte from California stated that the briefing was "prescriptive and staged," and he did not feel that any minds were changed during the briefing. He also urged President Biden to start negotiating and take concrete actions to support Ukraine instead of just providing "vacuous briefings."
Similarly, Representative Byron Donalds from Florida called the briefing "boring" and felt that it was information that was already reported on the news. He emphasized that President Biden needs to prioritize securing the U.S. border and take real action to support Ukraine.
In conclusion, the classified Ukraine briefing provided little reassurance to Republican lawmakers who are concerned about the lack of transparency and accountability in the proposed aid package. While Austin's warning about potential conflict in Europe was alarming, it did not seem to sway their stance. It is now up to President Biden to address these concerns and negotiate a suitable aid package for Ukraine.