President Biden has asserted the capability of the US military to provide support on the battleground in both Israel’s conflict with Hamas and the continued unrest in Ukraine.
In a forthcoming CBS “60 Minutes” interview, Biden underscored the significance of the Israeli conflict, referring to the US as “the most potent nation in history.” He stated, “We’re the United States of America, for God’s sake. We are historically the most powerful nation. We possess the capability and the duty. We are pivotal, and if we don’t step up, then who will?”
The president, who is now 80 years old, also committed to locate the 15 missing Americans, some of whom are believed to be held by Hamas. “We are fully committed to finding them,” he vowed.
Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes” questioned President Biden about the simultaneous US involvement in both the Israeli and Ukrainian conflicts. The interview was recorded last week.
Tensions flared up after an unexpected terrorist assault on Israel by Hamas on October 7. This attack has led some GOP members to advise the Biden administration to focus on Israel rather than Ukraine. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) recently expressed that any financial assistance for Ukraine should immediately be redirected to Israel.
Several House Republicans also seem reluctant to continue aid to Ukraine. Amidst these political debates, public sentiment appears divided. An August CNN poll indicated that 55 percent of US adults did not favor additional assistance to Ukraine, while a recent Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey showed that 63 percent supported further military aid.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, approximately $113 billion in aid, comprising both military and humanitarian assistance, has been approved by Congress for Ukraine. However, not all of this aid has been dispatched. The Biden administration is now urging Congress to sanction more security aid funds for Ukraine, especially as authorized military aid is running low.
In the meantime, Congress faces challenges, including the absence of a permanent speaker in the House of Representatives, which seems to impede major legislative decisions.
There appears to be broad bipartisan agreement on restocking Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. Moreover, the Biden administration has deployed two aircraft carriers, the USS Gerald R Ford, and USS Eisenhower and their respective strike groups to the eastern Mediterranean.
US officials aim to dissuade entities like the terrorist group Hezbollah and potentially Iran, through its proxies, from intervening in the conflict.
As per local reports, the conflict has resulted in the deaths of over 1,300 Israelis and 2,400 Palestinians. The US State Department has confirmed the death of at least 29 Americans in the conflict.