Ukraine must win the war, Putin is leading, and Biden has to go up

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Since the start of Vladimir Putin’s lawless war against Ukraine, the world has witnessed the horrific atrocities he commits against innocent men, women and children.

His unprovoked war causes innumerable misery and risks food and energy access for tens of thousands of people across the globe. But it also tests our president, our Western alliances, and the entire world order in a way we have not seen in a generation.

Putin made his move; the question now is, how will we respond? The answer to that question will have far-reaching consequences that will go far beyond Ukraine’s borders or even Europe’s; it will shape the future of America’s role in the world, our national security and the entire global order.

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It is crucial that Ukraine wins this war and we have to do everything we can to help them do that. A Ukrainian victory that displaces Russia from its borders should be our clear goal, to prevent the advance of the great powers’ enemies of the free world and violent extremists. To do so, the Biden administration must undergo a radical price correction in this battle.

To begin with, the administration’s risk assessments of providing lethal assistance to the Ukrainians are preliminary. Despite Russia’s enduring strategic advantage over Ukrainian skies, President Biden will still not facilitate the transfer of MiG 29s to the Ukrainians.

The president must act now; Ukrainian victory and the economic well-being of American consumers may well depend on the abolition of global neutrality in this war.

The need to combat the combat space with air defense systems and fighter jets will level the playing field, but this administration made a doctrinal and political choice a month ago to refuse the transfer.

Politicians at the top of this administration argue that it could take years to train Ukrainians in US-built capabilities like the anti-aircraft guns for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. But U.S. soldiers on the ground, who were training Ukrainians, told me and the two-part group of senators I recently led to Poland and Germany that the Ukrainian military could be ready to use these weapons within a few days, if not with it same.

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The United States can support Ukraine and our allies in Europe, and we can do so without sacrificing our readiness and capacity to protect our homeland.

In addition to lethal assistance, the fortification of European nations that are at risk of falling under Putin’s sphere of influence in the coming weeks should be top of mind.

Moldova and Kosovo are US partners at risk of Russian military action or security threats from its regional agents. These two nation states exist outside NATO’s defensive framework and need security support to proactively avert threats.

Kosovo is Iowa’s partner in the state’s partnership program; our National Guard has been providing security support and training for over ten years. Kosovo wants to deepen and expand this cooperation, and the United States should step up and increase its training and security support.

Strengthening the sovereignty of our partners and deterring further violations of sovereignty must be a priority. If not, we can expect the enemies of the United States to become more and more courageous.

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The United States must also engage the 141 nation states that remain neutral in the face of Russia’s war and force them to stand with Ukraine.

As long as Russia remains integrated with the majority of the global economy, Putin’s war machine will continue to levy energy taxes.

His leading diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, works overtime, travels to India, China and the Persian Gulf and has sent envoys to South America and Africa in recent weeks to keep nations around the world on the sidelines.

Unfortunately, President Biden has done the opposite. The Gulf Nations failed to return his phone calls after the invasion, and he has not yet had contact with the leader of the Western Hemisphere’s second largest economy in Brazil since he was elected in January 2021.

The president must act now; Ukrainian victory and the economic well-being of American consumers may well depend on the abolition of global neutrality in this war.

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My life experiences – both in military uniform and outside – shape how I see the world today, and there is no doubt that the world is a more dangerous place now than it was 15 months ago. Although President Biden wants them, global threats are not inactive.

Every day our world becomes more dangerous. A doctrine of reconciliation and a retreat attitude are not solutions that proactively protect the homeland. Instead, strength, prudent risk management, and determined leadership are what the world – and what our Ukrainian friends – need from America right now.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM LATE. JONI ERNST

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