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Peace through strength is the right decision in Ukraine

By: By US Senator James Lankford

Reagan fought for eight years to ensure the breakup of the Soviet Union. Now, Putin is working to rebuild it. We should not sit idly by and think we will not suffer consequences if Russia takes over Ukraine and the Black Sea. Standing with Ukraine as they fight Putin’s domination of Europe is in the best interest of the United States. The world—especially China and Iran—are watching what we do now. “Peace through strength” still matters.

If America gets distracted from the war in Ukraine after three months, it will send a clear message to China and Iran that the United States is weak and will walk away from her allies after a few weeks. Biden has already sent one clear message of weakness with his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Why would we want to send a second signal of weakness to the world? In the future we should not give excuses for what we wish we’d done, as we watch the fall of Ukraine and try to manage the millions of refugees fleeing for safety. 

History teaches us that dictators will keep rolling across Europe until they are stopped. The best-case scenario for Ukraine is to stop Putin now before he dominates Europe, which will only lead to more volatile world markets for goods and energy. Oklahomans are currently paying the price every day for Biden’s bad policies and slow decision making with our painful grocery and gas prices, historically high inflation, and shortages of basic supplies like baby formula. If this war doesn’t end soon, we will face even more economic consequences and supply-chain challenges.

Ukraine has asked the world for weapons systems, food, and diplomatic support. They have been clear that they will do the fighting for their own country, but since Russia has destroyed their ports and manufacturing infrastructure, they cannot make enough weapons or get enough commodities in or out to survive. American forces have moved into the countries around Ukraine, to train and equip their forces in case Russia breaks through the line to invade other nations in the region, as Putin has threatened to do. The support we’re sending to Ukraine is not endless, and there are two Inspectors General offices assigned to oversee the spending. But abandoning the people of Ukraine, as they have the Russian military on the run, seems like a good way to extend the war, rather than end it. 

It is good to see the Europeans finally defending their own backyard. They are currently sending billions of dollars of humanitarian aid to the refugees and billions of dollars in military supplies to the Ukrainian military. Europe is also providing critical support to the Ukrainian government. The Europeans can help Ukraine fight, but for the Ukrainians to win, they will need America’s help.

We have chosen to stand with the people of Ukraine, but we are thankfully not standing alone.  

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