Another viewpoint: Republicans balking on Ukraine fighting losing battle


The Wall Street Journal

The House passed the annual defense policy bill on July 21, and what a shock it must have been for the press corps.

The Beltway media spent the week informing readers that conservative social policies doomed the bill and that GOP isolationists might block support for Ukraine.

They need better sources. Neither happened, and Republican amendments to abandon Ukraine in particular were routed on the floor.

The GOP’s abandon-Ukraine caucus is loud and damaging to the party, but most Americans appreciate the stakes for the U.S. in backing Kyiv.

The House bill authorizes $300 million in security assistance for Ukraine, which Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, aimed to strip in an amendment. Her measure failed 341-89. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, tried to block all further military aid for Kyiv, which lost 358-70. A majority of Republicans joined Democrats in opposing both.

The measures would have damaged U.S. interests and been a disaster for the public’s view of Republicans as the party of a strong national defense. Since when are Republicans against helping people who want to fight for their freedom against Russia or China?

Not one to miss an opportunity to adopt a losing cause, Donald Trump belly-flopped in with a statement that when he wins the Presidency he’ll end the war in “24 hours,” details never to follow. “This conflict must end. Not one American mother or father wants to send their child to die in Eastern Europe. We must have PEACE.”

Not a single American solider has died in Ukraine, which is part of the point in supporting that country with weapons. Check Russia there so that U.S. troops don’t have to fight Vladimir Putin’s tanks in Vilnius or Warsaw.

Mr. Trump lamented dwindling U.S. weapons stocks, a real problem that he could have done more to prevent while president. But the U.S. is replacing donated equipment with better kit, and new contracts are a start on reviving the defense industrial base.

The Trump-Gaetz view commands even less support in the Senate. That’s all the more encouraging given President Joe Biden has barely made the case for supporting Ukraine to the public. But Congressional patience isn’t infinite, and Biden ought to use Congress’s show of political support to accelerate the delivery of weapons, especially the long-range missiles the president has been hesitating over.

The GOP isolationists rail against “forever wars,” but the real recipe for extended war is giving Ukraine only enough weapons to fight to a draw rather than to drive Russia out. That’s been Biden’s strategy.

Former Vice President Mike Pence had it right recently: The fastest route to peace is a Ukrainian victory.

No posts to display