UPDATED 7:19 AM PT – Monday, February 7, 2022
Washington officials have continued to sound the alarm that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent. On Sunday, Texas Representative and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul detailed the key points of a classified meeting between the national security establishment and a select group of lawmakers.
McCaul alleged the unnamed intelligence reports conclude Russia is more likely to invade than not. He stressed Joe Biden’s foreign policy failures have made America look weak on the international stage, adding the botched Afghanistan withdrawal was the most devastating to America’s image.
McCaul also claimed Biden’s lifting of sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin. He then warned a Russian invasion could cause a domino affect where America’s allies are acting on their ambitions without the threat of consequences.
“Our adversaries are watching,” stated the Republican lawmaker. “If Putin could go into Ukraine with no resistance, certainly Xi (Jinping) will take Taiwan, He’s always wanted this and the South China Sea, you know, very tactical.”
Additionally, Trump-era White House National Security H. R. McMaster echoed calls for an effective deterrence strategy. McMaster said he’s optimistic NATO will rally behind America’s position and set up an effective resistance to Putin’s alleged aggression.
“You’re starting to see, I think, deterrence by denial,” he explained. “Convincing Putin that he can no longer accomplish his objectives with the use of force. And so, if his objective is to divide NATO what he needs to see is a NATO that comes together with a stronger and high degree of unity. If he wants to weaken Ukraine and keep it under his thumb, he’s going to see, obviously, a rise nationalist sentiment in Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, current National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration believes Russia could invade “at any time.” Sullivan added, Russia has developed its military forces to carry out a significant military operation in Ukraine. He also asserted the Biden administration and its allies are prepared for every type of aggression Russia can take.
“We believe we have strong alignment with our allies, that we are on the same page when it comes to severe economic consequences and the other forms of pressure that we would impose in response to any kind of Russian action that amounts to aggression and escalation against Ukraine,” Sullivan stated.
In the meantime, McCaul said he’s working with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on a bill to correct Biden’s mistakes and build up an effective deterrence strategy. The bill would provide lethal aid to Ukraine and impose sanctions on Russia. McCaul hopes to that law will be introduced to Congress this week.