Speaking before Congress on December 5th, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin did not mince words for his audience; fund Ukraine or else troops would be sent to the front lines. Given the fact that the US has stayed out of a boots-on-the-ground role in this conflict, this is an idea Americans have wanted to avoid.
As relayed by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) to The Messenger, his message did not fall on deaf ears. “If [Vladimir] Putin takes over Ukraine, he’ll get Moldova, Georgia, then maybe the Baltics. And then the idea that we’ll have to put troops on the ground in Secretary Austin’s word was very likely. That’s what we’re trying to avoid.”
Mind you, this message did not seem to sway McCaul or any other Republican who was there. Most are demanding more accountability for the funds being provided, and transparency for the situation on the ground. Given their reluctance to supply Ukraine with more funding, it would take a lot to start sending troops over there.
For his time, Rep. John Duarte (R-CA) considered the whole thing to be little more than a dog and pony show. Done in a staged and very calculated matter, he didn’t see the usefulness in Austin’s presentation, or place much value on his words at this point.
Neither Representative walked away feeling inspired, or that Austin had changed the way they would vote on such an issue. Simply, very few see the point in providing further funding for a war that protects a financial playground for President Biden and multiple oligarchs around the world. Especially if it ends up costing American lives.