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‘Paths That Would Eventually Lead to American Involvement to Help Protect Ukraine’

How we could be drawn into the war on behalf of the Ukrainians.
March 6, 2022
‘Paths That Would Eventually Lead to American Involvement to Help Protect Ukraine’
Demonstrators gather to rally in support of Ukraine in Los Angeles, California, on March 5, 2022. (Photo by RINGO CHIU / AFP) (Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images)

[On the March 4 episode of The Bulwark’s “Beg to Differ” podcast, guest Kori Schake of the American Enterprise Institute called it a “mistake for President Biden, even as recently as the State of the Union address, to reassure the Russians they ran no risk of facing American troops in Ukraine.” Her remarks below are transcribed from the podcast.]

Kori Schake: I can at least see several paths that would eventually lead to American involvement to help protect Ukraine. And here are just a couple.

You know, we are already partisans in this fight. Not only having declaimed the bravery of Ukrainians, but we are arming them. We trained and equipped them before the fight, we’re sharing intelligence with them. That does make at least the weapons shipments we are sending legitimate military targets.

And if the Russians—as I ardently hope they will—lose this war, as that loss becomes more apparent to them, it’s easily imaginable they will begin targeting those weapons shipments, targeting the border points where they make their way into Ukraine.

President Zelensky announced there are 16,000 foreign fighters that have flowed into Ukraine already, and the Ukrainian military is putting them in as reserves into regular Ukrainian military units.

And the last most likely way is Russia continuing to escalate. Because, if—as it seems likely—their military is incapable of achieving Putin’s political objectives, barbarity will increase, escalation will increase, and there could come a point where we are targeted, or we are pulled by conscience to want to be involved.

Mona Charen: And does that mean that we go to war with Russia?

Schake: Regrettably, it could mean that at some point.

[Listen to the whole episode of “Beg to Differ” here.]

Kori Schake

Kori Schake worked on the National Security Council staff and in the Department of State in the George W. Bush administration.