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U.S. Lawmakers Call for Cluster Munitions, Long-Range Missiles for Ukraine
While some lawmakers are questioning whether the U.S. is getting a little too involved in Ukraine, others are arguing that Washington's foreign policy still isn't aggressive enough.
As the Biden Admin warms up to F-16's, some politicians are insisting Kiev needs long-range missiles, as well as cluster munitions, despite the threat they pose to civilians.
At a time when some lawmakers are starting to question whether the U.S. is getting a little too involved in the conflict in Ukraine—especially as American tanks and supplies are used in terrorist attacks carried out on Russian soil—there are others who continue to argue that Washington still isn’t doing enough for Kiev. Yes, really.
Those voices include Democratic Congressman Jason Crow, who told Defense One he believes the U.S. needs to be expedite the delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine, ahead of plans to send 31 tanks this fall. He also said he would support sending so-called non-combatant observers to Ukraine, who would work directly with Ukrainian forces.
If you’re getting flashbacks to the Obama-era Syria Train and Equip program and its “moderate rebels,” you’re not alone. Because there’s no guarantee that those observers wouldn’t be the CIA.
Then again, the CIA is already heavily involved in Ukraine… Yahoo News reported back in January 2022 that the CIA has been training Ukrainian forces since at least 2015. But of course, that article was quickly forgotten a few weeks later.
It’s not just one member of Congress who thinks the U.S. should have a more aggressive foreign policy. Democratic Senators like Jack Reed and Richard Blumenthal have spoken in favor of sending Ukraine long-range missiles, while Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was quoted as saying he supported giving both long-range weapons AND cluster munitions to Ukraine, during his recent trip to Kiev.
Yes, that would be the same cluster munitions that more than 100 countries signed a treaty to ban the use of back in 2008, due to the severe risks they pose to civilians.
But as Democratic Congressman Adam Smith described earlier this month, the focus right now, is on what is going to help speed up the conclusion of this conflict… not how many civilian lives are at stake.
“If our cluster munitions could bring the war to a conclusion sooner, it’s something I’m open to. I haven’t officially made the decision yet, but I think arguing that cluster munitions are bad therefore we shouldn’t send them misses the point of what Russia is already doing in Ukraine and the threat that that’s placing to them. And if those weapons are decisive—“decisive” is too strong a word—if those weapons are helpful, then it’s something I think we need to consider,” Rep. Smith said.
It’s that focus on time that is all the more evident right now, as some Republicans in Congress criticize the Biden Administration’s blank check for Ukraine.
And with the 2024 presidential election right around the corner, top contenders like Donald Trump are promising a resolution to the conflict.
That, of course, stands in contrast to Biden’s repeated pledges to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes.”
But if there’s anything we’ve learned from the so-called War on Terror in the Middle East, it’s that the two major political parties may bicker back and forth, but U.S. foreign policy continues on, and while there are chances that Washington may lower the amount of aid sent, or show restraint on things like cluster munitions, they still continue to prop up and control the Government and the military in Ukraine, with no plans to stop anytime soon—and that’s something everyone should be talking about.