Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) signaled that he wants the US to send troops into Ukraine to fight Russia in an interview on Sunday. When pressed about the issue, Coons said Russian President Vladimir Putin “will only stop when we stop him.”
Coons was asked on CBS News’s Face the Nation about comments he made last week in an address to the University of Michigan. In the speech, Coons said the Biden administration and Congress should “come to a common position about when we are willing to go the next step and to send not just arms but troops to the aid in defense of Ukraine … If the answer is never, then we are inviting another level of escalation in brutality by Putin.”
When asked in the CBS interview if President Biden was wrong to say he’ll never send troops into Ukraine, Coons said, “The American people cannot turn away from this tragedy in Ukraine. I think the history of the 21st century turns on how fiercely we defend freedom in Ukraine, and that Putin will only stop when we stop him.”
President Biden has repeatedly said that he won’t send troops to fight a direct conflict with Russia and has rejected Ukraine’s calls for a no-fly zone, which would entail shooting down Russian warplanes and bombing missile systems inside Russia’s borders. But despite the risk of a direct war between the US and Russia spiraling into a nuclear exchange, the idea of sending troops into the warzone is becoming increasingly popular.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an ultra-hawk who has been one of the biggest proponents for a no-fly zone, signaled he favored sending troops in a tweet on Sunday. “It’s time to understand that Ukraine must win… and negotiation is not in the cards at the moment,” Kinzinger wrote. “Our generations are getting a lesson that our grandparents understood: the only way to defeat evil is to destroy it.”
Over the weekend, The Times reported that the British Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers have deployed to Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces on anti-tank weapons provided by London, the first known NATO troop presence in the country since Russia invaded on February 24. While meant as a training mission. the presence of British troops in Ukraine risks provoking a response from Moscow.