Retired U.S. generals to McCarthy: Don't give up on Ukraine aid

Retired U.S. generals to McCarthy: Don’t give up on Ukraine aid

Two former U.S. generals who led forces in Europe urged House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday to sustain American support for Ukraine’s military, saying Kyiv’s effort to repel Russian invaders is at a critical juncture.

Retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the NATO commander from 2013-16, and former Army Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe from 2014-17, urged Mr. McCarthy not to bow to demands from his right flank, which is leery of throwing more dollars at the fight in Eastern Europe.

“Now is not the time to allow partisan politics to get in the way of supporting an ally that is fighting for freedom, as well as their own existence. Ukrainians need our help. They need both military and nonlethal aid, and they needed it yesterday,” the generals wrote in a letter to Mr. McCarthy, California Republican. “Ukraine’s victory in the war is a strategic American interest. Our economic prosperity at home is linked to Europe, and European prosperity depends on stability and security on the continent.”

President Biden has requested an additional $21 billion for Ukraine as part of a broader emergency supplemental spending package.

Mr. McCarthy is considering a plan that would separate the Ukraine funding from $16 billion in disaster relief, sparking pushback from the White House and Senate GOP leadership.

In their letter, the generals pointed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s recent claim that it is “certainly not the time to go wobbly” on aid to Ukraine.

“With Ukraine bravely defending its sovereignty and eroding Russia’s capacity to threaten NATO, it is not the time to ease up,” the generals wrote. “Helping Ukraine retake its territory means weakening one of America’s biggest strategic adversaries without firing a shot.”