Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) said during a Tuesday hearing that if the U.S. did not give Ukraine more money, American boots on the ground in Europe could become an inevitability — and woke Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin agrees.
“In one sense, this comes down to a choice between lending them [the Ukrainians] the tools to do the job, or seeing young Americans facing combat [in Europe],” Reed said.
“I agree, Senator,” Austin replied.
Austin later clarified his position on the matter, saying that unless Ukraine was given the tools to definitively expel the Russian invaders, the likelihood of other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries getting drawn into the conflict would continue to increase.
“Austin tells Senate cmte that if the US doesn’t help Ukraine defeat Russia, US troops will eventually get sucked in. Austin on Putin: ‘Sooner or later, he will challenge NATO and we will find ourselves in a shooting war,’” Fox News Congressional correspondent Chad Pergram reported.
Earlier in the hearing, Austin explained that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was attempting to “wait out” the United States — to draw out the war until the American people grew tired of supporting Ukraine and stopped agreeing to send funding and weapons.
“Austin to Senate cmte: Putin has felt that he could wait us out,” Pergram reported. “And that’s part of his strategy. It’s the main part of his strategy. He feels that the West will get tired of supporting Ukraine and he’ll soon have his way.”
“Austin: If that’s the case, if we don’t support Ukraine and Putin wins. But Putin will not stop in Ukraine. We know that. We all know that,” Pergram continued. “And so I think it’s important to do what’s necessary to support Ukraine and Israel and to help them defend their sovereign territory.”