Common Defense Urges President Biden to Keep Military Forces Out of Ukraine

January 24th, 2022

WASHINGTON — Over the weekend, tensions in Ukraine continued to build as the State Department ordered the family members of embassy staff to leave Ukraine. As Russia continues their military build up near the border and diplomatic efforts continue, President Biden is considering deploying thousands of troops to the surrounding area, a decision which would escalate a dangerous and delicate situation, risking a devastating war that would have unthinkable consequences for American military members, their families, and the nation as a whole. 

Common Defense’s Political Director Naveed Shah released the following statement:

“As tension builds in Eastern Europe, our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine who find themselves once again being treated like pawns caught amidst a burgeoning geopolitical conflict. Despite the efforts of some in the Pentagon and national security establishment to pressure President Joe Biden into taking immediate and aggressive military action, the veterans of Common Defense vehemently oppose commitment of the U.S. military to action in Ukraine.

“As veterans, we are all too familiar with the consequences of rushing to commit American troops to an armed conflict. We are still dealing with the human and material cost of the war in Afghanistan to this day, twenty years after US military involvement began. 

“Let me be clear, the actions of Russia’s government are wrong, and we strongly oppose imperial conquest of smaller countries. However I believe that a U.S. military confrontation with Russia – a nuclear power – would cause far more devastation and suffering than anything else. We strongly favor the pursuit of diplomatic and non-military solutions to this emerging conflict, in collaboration with a coalition of our allies. At the very least, a debate and vote must occur in Congress before any military force can be used, as our Constitution requires. The American people’s voice must be heard before we commit thousands of young people’s lives to a new conflict. 

“As tensions rise, veterans across the country begin to fear that another generation of American soldiers will once again be called to fight in a conflict with unclear objectives and no end in sight, against an enemy armed with powerful weapons far more devastating than anything we have ever faced. Our troops are ready to do their duty, but our leaders owe it to us to calmly and rationally assess whether a new war is in the best interest of the American people.

“We call on President Biden to ensure that this does not happen, and we urge Congress to take necessary steps to rein in presidential war powers through legislation, such as the National Security and Reforms and Accountability Act. At Common Defense, we have worked for years to ensure that the American people get to decide where and when the military is deployed for our defense. As such, we are aligned with the American public, including countless veterans and their families, in our opposition to a war with Russia. 

“We know that conflicts like this force our elected representatives to make difficult decisions, however we must oppose any action that could needlessly escalate the conflict, or put more lives at risk. The veterans and supporters of Common Defense are committed to our work to End the Forever Wars, let’s not start any new ones either.”

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