With war raging in Eastern Europe as Russia attacks Ukraine, the issue of potential U.S. military involvement in the conflict looms large.
In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Joe Biden said that U.S. forces “are not engaged and will not engage in the conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine.” Roughly 14,000 U.S. troops, along with military aircraft and heavy weapons, have been mobilized and sent to Eastern Europe in recent weeks; Biden maintains that they are there to “defend every inch of territory that is NATO territory with the full force of our collective power.” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian leaders have called for Biden and the U.S. to help establish a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine to deter Russian air attacks.
Most voices across the spectrum oppose the U.S. sending troops or additional weapons to Ukraine, and are also against helping to establish a no-fly zone, which many think would lead to war between the U.S. and Russia. Some on the left highlighted how the U.S. could help by giving priority to Ukrainian refugees and establishing other humanitarian programs. Some on the right suggested Congress funding covert military operations in Ukraine and other alternatives to directly sending U.S. troops. Former U.S. assistant Secretary of Defense Franklin Kramer argued that some U.S. military intervention, such as more weapons, air support and intelligence assistance, is necessary to ensure that Ukraine remains a democratic nation.