Reed on National Security & Support for Allies
REED: Mr. President, reserving my right to object, I believe we must move forward with emergency funding for our allies--all of our allies, not just the State of Israel but also Ukraine. We are in a situation where both of these countries are under tremendous stress. But it is very clear that the proposal before us, this unanimous consent request to pass the bill including only funding for Israel, is just ironically an attempt to deny funding for Ukraine. It is not really about helping Israel; it is about making sure we don't continue our support and commitment to Ukraine. That commitment is just as vitally important to us as our solemn commitment to Israel.
If we fail to support Ukraine, we will send a very unfortunate message to our adversaries: You can succeed in overrunning America's allies if you simply wait us out.
My colleagues on the other side of the debate have been spinning a false narrative that says: By providing support for Ukraine, we will deny support for Israel. The truth is that the only obstacle to providing help to both nations is them. The truth is also that the United States is already supporting the State of Israel. The United States has provided Israel with over $12.4 billion in military assistance and missile defense funding over the last 3 years. In response to the attacks of October 7, President Biden has moved two aircraft carrier strike groups into the region. He ordered marines into the region. U.S. forces have already engaged and shot down missiles from adversaries in the region. We have also suffered more than 56 injuries of American military personnel because of actions against the U.S. position in the Middle East.
We need to support Israel. We are supporting Israel. We will continue to support Israel. But we cannot abandon Ukraine. They have lost hundreds of thousands of civilians and military personnel.
The horrors of October 7 were grotesque. I was in Israel last month. I saw the images--some that have not yet been released--of the slaughter. It was traumatic for the entire State of Israel--in fact, the Jewish community worldwide. But go to Ukraine. Go to Bucha. Dig up the graves of people shot in the back of the head while their hands were tied. You want to talk about atrocities? Those were atrocities perpetrated by the Russians.
So we are fighting forces that are dark and evil in two fronts, and we have to support all of those democratic nations--Israel and Ukraine. They are struggling against the darkness.
This is not my opinion alone.
Two weeks ago, Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State for Donald Trump and a former Congressman from Senator Marshall's home State of Kansas, wrote this about Ukraine:
"Make no mistake: The outcome of this war will have a direct impact on U.S. national security. Should Putin prevail-- whether on the battlefield or through a war of attrition that leads to ill-conceived diplomacy--"
And I would suggest that denying this aid is ill-conceived diplomacy:
"the war would be felt well beyond Ukraine's borders."
Indeed, I would add that if we fail to support Ukraine with funding and equipment, then it is more likely that young American servicemembers will be called upon to fight and perhaps die and suffer in Eastern Europe because, as so many of my colleagues have suggested and as Secretary Pompeo suggested, Putin will not be satisfied with simply taking Ukraine, and we could see ourselves engaged in defending one of our NATO allies.
I have a very simple sort of notion about American military policy, having had the privilege to serve in our military. I would rather send resources to a country fighting than send American soldiers to do the fighting. And if we don't support Ukraine, that will happen.
Let me conclude by simply saying that it is time to get serious. We have 3 days before our government runs out of funding. Israel needs our support. Ukraine needs our support. American families and communities are counting on us to deliver critical disaster assistance. They need support for affordable, high-quality childcare. There are many needs we must address. We have to move now but not by isolating our Ukrainian allies. We are in the fight with them, and we will finish the fight with them.