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American News Feb 2, 2022 2:52 PM EST

Josh Hawley urges Biden to drop Ukraine for NATO entry—Psaki says he's 'parroting Russian talking points'

"Our interest is not so strong, however, as to justify committing the United States to go to war with Russia over Ukraine's fate," Hawley wrote.

Josh Hawley urges Biden to drop Ukraine for NATO entry—Psaki says he's 'parroting Russian talking points'
Mia Cathell The Post Millennial

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has urged President Joe Biden to drop US support for Ukraine's eventual membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

According to an Axios exclusive, Hawley declared that a binding commitment to defend Ukraine would undermine US efforts to counter Chinese aggression.

Ahead of Thursday's pair of all-member Ukraine briefings for the House and Senate, the Republican senator asked for "clarity" from the Biden administration's Secretary of State Antony Blinken as to how Ukraine's future NATO membership would serve US interests, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Hawley's letter addressed looked for Blinken to give "clarity about the Biden administration's support for Ukraine's prospective membership in NATO."

He said "it is not clear that Ukraine's accession would serve U.S. interests. Indeed, deteriorating conditions in the global security environment caution otherwise."

Hawley said he backs the US sending assistance that Ukraine would need to defend itself, but asserts that it's not in America's best interest to wage war against Russia.

While the US holds interest in maintaining Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, it's "not so strong, however, as to justify committing the United States to go to war with Russia over Ukraine's fate," Hawley said.

Biden plans to deploy forces to eastern Europe to bolster NATO's defenses.

"Such a deployment can only detract from the U.S. military's ability to ready and modernize forces to deter China in the Indo-Pacific," Hawley wrote in the memo.

Hawley warned of an "increasingly powerful China" that "seeks hegemony in the Indo-Pacific." If the world power were to succeed, "it could harness that region's resources to further propel its rise, while restricting U.S. access to many of the world's most important markets," Hawley advised the Biden administration.

"This means the United States can no longer carry the heavy burden it once did in other regions of the world – including Europe," the GOP senator stated in the letter. "To the contrary, we must do less in those secondary theaters in order to prioritize denying China's hegemonic ambitions in the Indo-Pacific."

Hawley argued that US "security and prosperity rest upon our ability" to curb Beijing's regional dominance in the East. "But those opportunity costs pale in comparison to what would be expected — indeed, required — of the United States, were NATO actually to admit Ukraine as a member," the Missouri leader penned.

Hawley said that concerns about NATO admitting new members might be lessened if European allies of the US were "shouldering their fair share of the burden of our collective defense" without "jeopardizing" America's focus on the Indo-Pacific.

He, however, said that NATO's two percent spending goal was "adopted in and for a world that no longer exists," finding the percentage "no longer a sufficient minimum for allied defense spending" and the Wales Pledge "now obsolete."

"The legacy of a bygone era, the Biden administration's support for Ukraine's prospective membership in NATO demands particular scrutiny," he concluded.

Now is the time to confront "hard truths," Hawley said as the US contends with intensifying political affairs abroad, calling on the crisis-hit Biden administration to rethink "basic assumptions" in US foreign policy due to China's ascension

"This is an exceptionally good sign for those of us who would seek to realign the American Right. Senator Hawley continues to be the bleeding edge of what is possible," commented American Moment president Saurabh Sharma.

Biden press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that Hawley is "digesting Russian misinformation," "parroting Russian talking points" from "Russian propagandist leaders," and "not aligned with longstanding, bipartisan American values."

At the White House press conference, Psaki said Wednesday that such US values include "to stand up for the sovereignty of countries like Ukraine, their right to choose their own alliances, and also to stand against, very clearly, the efforts, or attempts, or potential attempts by any country to invade and take territory as another country. That applies to Sen. Hawley. But it also applies to others."

Back in 2008, former President George W. Bush and all NATO leaders agreed at the Bucharest Summit that Ukraine and Georgia "will become" members of the alliance, although no specific timetable was produced at the time.

Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty provides for the alliance's expansion. It stipulates that additions can be made by unanimous agreement and that only a "European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area" may receive invitation.

The United States has also signaled support for further enlargement, including to Ukraine. As the US and its allies declared at the 2008 summit: "NATO welcomes Ukraine's and Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO."

Blinken testified in a similar manner before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 8, 2021: "We support Ukraine membership in NATO."

Tensions are escalating in the region with Russia as President Vladimir Putin threatens military action with a massive military buildup at the border.

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