Ukraine fights on
It was a special session called to address an international crisis. On Feb. 25, 2022, The American Legion National Security Commission met to address Russia’s unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine. Days later, The American Legion National Executive Committee unanimously passed Resolution 1: Statement on Ukraine.
While the resolution opposes the deployment of U.S. troops for in-theater combat operations unless several stringent conditions are met, the statement also urges the administration to “continue the supply of lethal and non-lethal aid to Ukrainian forces.”
This pragmatic approach recognizes that while the United States has many valuable allies, our country has historically sacrificed more than our share of casualties in recent wars. If Ukraine wants freedom, Ukraine must fight for it. And fighting they are.
The bravery and valor shown by the people of Ukraine has been truly inspirational. Many armchair generals expected Ukraine’s sovereignty to collapse within 12 days, never mind 12 months. Yet against the mighty Russian military machine, Ukraine still stands. It is flying its own flag over Kiev.
Through this deplorable attack and other aggressive actions, Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly demonstrated that he is no friend of freedom and no friend of the United States.
The American Legion applauds the Biden administration and the U.S. Congress for approving arms to Ukraine and providing the desperately needed resources needed for that nation to fight for its freedom. We support diplomatic and economic efforts to convince Russia to reverse course.
The American Legion was founded after World War I wreaked havoc on much of Europe. A generation later, another horrific war struck that continent. Those wars and the threat posed by the old Soviet Union led to the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, of which the United States is a leading member. Enshrined in NATO’s ethos is Article 5, “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all…”
Ukraine is not a member of NATO but its next-door neighbor Poland is. As Congress contemplates spending cuts, The American Legion strongly cautions against cutting our military. Providing for our common defense is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and a founding pillar of The American Legion.
The American Legion hopes that our country never has to engage in future wars. Putin and other adversaries have proven, however, that the enemy does have a say in this.
Vincent J. “Jim” Troiola