Poteau Daily News

Peace through strength is the right decision in Ukraine

- James Lankford United States Senator

Former President Ronald Reagan fought for eight years to ensure the break-up of the Soviet Union. Now, Vladimir Putin is working to rebuild it. We should not sit idly by and think we will not suffer consequenc­es if Russia takes over Ukraine and the Black Sea. Standing with Ukraine as it fights Putin’s domination of Europe is in the best interest of the United States. The world — especially China and Iran — are watching what we do now. “Peace through strength” still matters. If America gets distracted from the war in Ukraine after three months, it will send a clear message to China and Iran that the U.S. is weak and will walk away from her allies after a few weeks. President Joe Biden has already sent one clear message of weakness with his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanista­n. Why would we want to send a second signal of weakness to the world? In the future, we should not give excuses for what we wish we’d done, as we watch the fall of Ukraine and try to manage the millions of refugees fleeing for safety. History teaches us that dictators will keep rolling across Europe until they are stopped. The best-case scenario for Ukraine is to stop Putin now before he dominates Europe, which will only lead to more volatile world markets for goods and energy. Oklahomans are currently paying the price every day for Biden’s bad policies and slow-decision making with our painful grocery and gas prices, historical­ly high inflation and shortages of basic supplies like baby formula. If this war doesn’t end soon, we will face even more economic consequenc­es and supply-chain challenges. Ukraine has asked the world for weapons systems, food and diplomatic support. Ukraine has been clear that it will do the fighting for its own country, but since Russia has destroyed Ukraine’s ports and manufactur­ing infrastruc­ture, it cannot make enough weapons or get enough commoditie­s in or out to survive. American forces have moved into the countries around Ukraine to train and equip its forces in case Russia breaks through the line to invade other nations in the region, as Putin has threatened to do. The support we’re sending to Ukraine is not endless, and there are two inspectors general offices assigned to oversee the spending, but abandoning the people of Ukraine, as its has the Russian military on the run, seems like a good way to extend the war, rather than end it. It is good to see the Europeans finally defending their own backyard. They are currently sending billions of dollars of humanitari­an aid to the refugees and billions of dollars in military supplies to the Ukrainian military. Europe is also providing critical support to the Ukrainian government. The Europeans can help Ukraine fight. However, for the Ukrainians to win, they will need America’s help. We have chosen to stand with the people of Ukraine, but we are thankfully not standing alone.

Lankford is one of two senators representi­ng the state of Oklahoma. He can be reached by e-mailing to LankfordPr­ess_Office@lankford.senate.gov.

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