On Wednesday, White House National Security Council (NSC) Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby spoke before the White House press corp, where he explained that if the United States did not further fund the war in Ukraine, then the situation in Eastern Europe could develop to a point where "American blood" would have to be shed. Kirby's comments come as Congress is currently considering a massive $100 billion package that includes aid for Ukraine and funding for border security.
"If you are up on Capitol Hill and you believe in national security, there should be genuine concern about what happens if you just let Putin go," Kirby said while at the podium. "If you just let him have Ukraine because, make no mistake, he hasn't given up his strategic goal of subjugating the entire country. He doesn't believe that it ought to exist as a sovereign state, and so if we can't support Ukraine - their chief advisor yesterday said they are likely to lose this war if they lose U.S. support - and Putin gets all of Ukraine, then what? Then where does he go? Because right then, he's up against the eastern flank of NATO."
"If you think the cost of supporting Ukraine is high now, just imagine how much higher it's going to be not just in national treasure but in American blood if he starts going after one of our NATO allies. As the president also said, we take our Article 5 commitments very seriously, and what we had over the past two years is a Ukrainian military clawing back territory and pushing back Russian aggression without any form of boots on the ground, including any American boots," the NSC spokesman said in regards to America's NATO treaty obligation to defend other members if they came under attack. "American boots would very much have to be involved if Mr. Putin is allowed to have this strategic victory in Ukraine and then perhaps goes after one of our NATO allies."
While the war in Ukraine has been in a stalemate for over a year with limited exchanges of territory despite hundreds of thousands of casualties, President Biden is continuing to push for additional funding on top of the over $100 billion sent so far to the war zone. In response to the funding request, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) issued an ultimatum on Tuesday that demanded funding for securing the southern border in exchange for additional Ukraine aid.
In a letter to President Biden, Johnson explained that Ukraine aid is "dependent upon enactment of transformative change to our nation's border security laws." Johnson's letter comes after the Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young wrote to Congress to explain that U.S. funding for the Ukrainian war effort would run out by the end of the year, per Fox News. "There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money—and nearly out of time. Cutting off the flow of U.S. weapons and equipment will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories," the OMB director wrote. "Already, our packages of security assistance have become smaller, and the deliveries of aid have become more limited. If our assistance stops, it will cause significant issues for Ukraine."
As Congress contemplates sending even more American tax dollars to fund the Ukrainian war effort, Kirby's comments could motivate some Republicans to abandon the plan to push for border security. However, the American people have made it clear that America's border should be prioritized before Ukraine's.
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