As the back-and-forth between the White House and House Republicans over Ukraine funding continues, multiple members of the Biden Administration have raised the possibility of American troops deploying to the conflict zone. This includes White House spokesman John Kirby and President Biden himself.
In October, President Biden delivered a rare Oval Office address in which he called for a massive, $100 billion foreign aid package that would include $60 billion in assistance for Ukraine, in addition to $10 billion for Israel and smaller amounts for Taiwan.
With $75 billion in total aid provided to Ukraine to date, the House has refused to provide additional assistance without a concrete plan from the White House. House Republicans are also demanding funding for the southern border before an aid package for Ukraine can be discussed.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accused Republicans of “jeopardizing” the nation’s national security by refusing to send additional assistance to Ukraine. “Unfortunately, some Republicans are now holding urgently needed Ukraine funding hostage to a set of completely unrelated, bipartisan I should say, border demands,” she said, adding that the administration is taking the situation on the border “very seriously.”
In the fiscal year 2023, which ended in October, a record 2.48 million migrants were encountered along the southern border.
John Kirby took things a step further and argued that U.S. troops could be deployed to Ukraine if the funding is not secured.
“Their chief advisor yesterday said they’re likely to lose this war if they lose US support. And Putin gets all of Ukraine, then what? Then where does he go?” the former admiral told reporters. “Because right then, he’s up against the eastern flank of NATO. And 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.”
He added that President Biden takes NATO’s Article Five “very seriously.”
President Biden delivered a similar statement, telling reporters, “Well, we’ve committed as a NATO member that we defend every inch of NATO territory. Then we’ll have something that we don’t seek and that we don’t have today. American troops fighting Russian troops.”
The ominous statements come as the situation in Ukraine appears to be deteriorating. After the failure of the long-promised counteroffensive, a number of longtime allies of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have signaled their disapproval. This includes Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, who told reporters that Zelensky has become “increasingly autocratic.”