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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Feb. 27, 2024

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Kent: U.S. position cruel, irresponsible


There are two potential pathways that their advocates say could put an end to the conflict in Ukraine. One is to insist on an immediate armistice and peace negotiations. The other is to grant Ukraine NATO membership which would obligate the U.S. and other NATO countries to push Russia out of Ukraine. While I support the former, I can understand why many Ukrainian advocates support the latter.

However, Democratic Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and the Biden administration support neither of those options and instead have chosen the worst possible alternative: enrich defense contractors and oligarchs with billions of U.S. tax dollars as Ukrainian civilians  fight and die against a superior military, all while opposing the one thing that could help them win — NATO membership.

Russia has threatened to attack NATO member states with nuclear weapons, and were they to follow through with an attack of that caliber, I would support immediate membership for Ukraine and a military response from the U.S. However, unless that happens, I support an armistice because I believe it’s the only practical solution that can stop the killing and is in the best interest of both the United States and Ukraine.

When Russia illegally annexed the Crimea in 2014, President Barack Obama decided not to escalate the conflict, and the official death toll from that invasion was seven.

However, the Perez/Biden policy has not only resulted in Ukraine losing territory to Russia, but with tremendous additional human costs. The United Nations places the estimated death toll of the Ukraine conflict at close to 200,000. The combined number of dead and injured is now over a half-million. Over six million refugees have been created from cities that have been reduced to rubble, and the cascading economic turmoil is creating humanitarian crises across Europe and Africa.

And while the U.N. categorizes most of the Ukrainian dead as “military,” those souls were not professional military before the war. Instead they were college students, tradesmen and cooks who were forcibly conscripted, barely trained and hastily armed only to meet their end in a muddy ditch against a professional army with superior numbers, training and armament.

The current U.S. position is both cruel and irresponsible, and it is being led by many of those who not only have never seen war themselves but are unwilling to commit their own sons and daughters to a conflict they gleefully send Ukrainians to die in. In the words of Sen. Lindsay Graham, it doesn’t matter to him or Perez how many young Ukrainian men and women die, as long as “Russians are dying.”

I spent 20 years fighting our nation’s battles on foreign soil, and I personally know the cost of war, having seen too many friends and my wife buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The Perez-backed U.S. policy should give all Americans pause because using the civilian population of Ukraine as cannon fodder isn’t just strategically foolish, it’s immoral.