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5 Jan, 2024 19:09

Biden can't explain ‘endgame’ for Ukraine support – DeSantis

The Florida governor believes that Biden’s foreign policy moves have encouraged rivals to ‘act out’
Biden can't explain ‘endgame’ for Ukraine support – DeSantis

US President Joe Biden can’t outline his administration’s “endgame” in Ukraine amid Washington’s ongoing support for Kiev, Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has claimed.

Under Biden’s presidency, the US has been the leading provider of military and economic aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s offensive nearly two years ago – committing around $44.2 billion in security assistance to Kiev since February 2022, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued this week.

Ukraine has also received financial and humanitarian assistance aid, bringing the sum total past $75 billion.

But amid signs of flagging support among Republican lawmakers for Washington’s apparent blank-check approach to its Kiev aid packages, DeSantis said at a CNN town hall in Iowa on Thursday that the Biden administration can’t point to a logical conclusion to its financial outlay.

“Biden can’t even tell us what the endgame is,” DeSantis said to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, flanked on the debate stage by GOP rival Nikki Haley. “He will not articulate this,” he said, adding that the “pitfall” of US foreign policy in recent decades has been “getting involved in conflicts where we don’t have a clear conception of what we’re trying to achieve.”

Furthermore, DeSantis said that other elements of Biden’s foreign policy moves, such as the United States’ haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, encouraged Washington’s rivals “to start acting out.”

When pressed by Collins as to what his own ‘endgame’ for the conflict in Ukraine might look like, DeSantis said that he would engineer a situation “where Russia is in a box, and you’re not having wars break out in Europe.” 

He added of the conflict: “I think Europe should supply the weapons [to Ukraine].”

As for what would be a more appropriate use for federal funds, DeSantis said that the US southern border should be first secured before committing to overseas issues – a frequent rallying cry of the American political right.
He also said that Washington must demonstrate “adequate hard power” to ensure that China does not “go after Taiwan.”

According to the polling website FiveThirtyEight on Friday, DeSantis is polling in second place among the Republican presidential hopefuls at 12.1% – substantially behind former President Donald Trump, who has a 61.8% polling average. Haley is in third with 11.2%.

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