Declaring that U.S. leadership “holds the world together,” President Joe Biden told Americans on Thursday night the country must deepen its support of Ukraine and Israel in the middle of two vastly different, unpredictable and bloody wars.
Acknowledging that “these conflicts can seem far away,” Biden insisted in a rare Oval Office address that they remain “vital for America’s national security” as he prepared to ask Congress for billions of dollars in military assistance for both countries.
“History has taught us when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction,” Biden said. “They keep going. And the cost and the threat to America and the world keep rising.”
Biden’s speech reflected an expansive view of U.S. obligations overseas at a time when he faces political resistance at home to additional funding. He’s expected to ask for $105 billion on Friday, including $60 billion for Ukraine, much of which would replenish U.S. weapons stockpiles provided earlier.
There’s also $14 billion for Israel, $10 billion for unspecified humanitarian efforts, $14 billion for managing the U.S.-Mexico border and fighting fentanyl trafficking and $7 billion for the Indo-Pacific region, which includes Taiwan. The proposal was described by three people familiar with the details who insisted on anonymity before the official announcement.