WH: "Difficult To Define What Winning Is" In Ukraine, But "Providing Them With Arms And Food Is The Right Thing To Do"

RCP White Home correspondent Phil Wegmann requested at Friday’s press briefing how lengthy the president expects the general public to assist the battle in Ukraine as he lobbies Congress for a further $33 billion in army help to the nation.

Wegmann requested: “How long does President Biden, the same president who got us out of Afghanistan because he said it was a costly and unwinnable quagmire, expect the American people to back this war when they don’t know how long it will last, how much it will cost, or what the ultimate definition of what victory actually is?”

“We of course want the war to end as quickly as possible,” press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned. “And President Putin could do that tomorrow. But right now what we’re… advocating for is trying to support and have the backs of an incredibly brave country and their people, who are kicked out of their homes, fighting an aggressive dictator and his military, lacking food, lacking economic assistance, and preventing Putin from rampaging through Europe, which by the way would be much more expensive than what we’re talking about here.”

“This is an ongoing war,” Psaki additionally mentioned.”We know that. We know that diplomacy and having a discussion and negotiation is the way to get an end to it. Our effort and our focus is on strengthening them at the negotiating table. That’s the role we feel we can play.”


PHIL WEGMANN, REALCLEARPOLITICS: The administration has not mentioned how lengthy they count on the battle in Ukraine to final, and that’s comprehensible as a result of nobody is aware of what the longer term will maintain. But the administration, and also in this room yesterday, the administration has declined to say how a lot the US is ready to spend long-term or to offer an actual definition of what victory within the battle in Ukraine will appear like.

My query is how lengthy does President Biden, the identical president who received us out of Afghanistan as a result of he mentioned it was a pricey and unwinnable quagmire, how lengthy does he count on the American folks to again this battle when they do not know how lengthy it can final, how a lot it can price, or what the last word definition of what victory truly is?

JEN PSAKI, BIDEN ADMINISTRATION: Properly, I imply, let me simply reiterate one thing the president has mentioned.

[The president has said] that combating Russian aggression has prices. Leaving it unchecked can be much more pricey. Permitting Russia to run rampant round Europe past Ukraine, which is what President Putin outlined in his speech proper earlier than he invaded, can be extremely pricey to the world and to the US. We calculate that as effectively.

Right now, the significance of this bundle to the president is as a result of day-after-day Ukrainians pay the worth of freedom of their lives. And he feels that offering them with arms and meals is the appropriate factor to do. And making an attempt to plan for, and I famous that some elements of this bundle will not be restricted, it isn’t that the spending will finish at 5 months.

It’s simply permitting the flexibility for us, the Ukrainians, and the Europeans to plan over the long run. In reality, a lot of the safety help shall be for much longer than that.

The motive it’s troublesome to outline what profitable is, is as a result of clearly, our view continues to be that the top will come by means of a diplomatic course of and a diplomatic dialog. The Ukrainians are those to find out what that may appear like, not for us to find out on their behalf.

PHIL WEGMANN: So ought to we count on a line-item appropriation for army help to Ukraine for the subsequent 5, ten, fifteen years? Is this open-ended?

JEN PSAKI: We after all need the battle to finish as rapidly as potential. And President Putin might do this tomorrow.

But proper now what we’re making a call about, what we’re advocating for is making an attempt to assist and have the backs of an extremely courageous nation and their people who find themselves kicked out of their properties, preventing an aggressive dictator and his army, missing meals, missing financial help, and stopping Putin from rampaging by means of Europe, which by the best way can be way more costly than what we’re speaking about right here.

PHIL WEGMANN: So, the US’ definition of what success or victory appears like within the area is contingent on how lengthy Ukrainians are prepared to fight the Russians and whether or not or not they need to combat them and power them to the negotiating desk, or push them out of their borders? That is as much as them?

JEN PSAKI: That is not precisely what I mentioned. What I’ll say is what President Putin outlined as his personal model of victory or profitable from the start was taking on Ukraine, their sovereignty, and territorial integrity. Clearly, he is already failed at that. Right?

So in that sense, they’re already defeating Putin’s effort to envelop them into Russia. But that is an ongoing battle. We all know that. We all know that diplomacy and having a dialogue and negotiation is the best way to get an finish to it. Our effort and our focus is on strengthening them on the negotiating desk. That is the position we really feel we will play.

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