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On Sunday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said that he introduced a resolution to authorize the U.S. military to engage in combat with Russia should the Russian military use chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Kinzinger said while on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that any such attack in Ukraine would be a “clear red line.” He said that if his proposed resolution was passed by Congress, it would give President Joe Biden the authorization to allow the U.S. to provide military assistance to Ukraine.
The New York Post reported that Kinzinger said, “I don’t think we need to be using force in Ukraine right now. I just introduced an AUMF, an authorization for the use of military force, giving the president basically congressional leverage for permission to use it if [weapons of mass destruction] — nuclear, biological, or chemical — are used in Ukraine.”
Kinzinger said the authorization would provide Biden leverage while also serving as a deterrent to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Kinzinger said that his resolution wouldn’t “compel the president to [use military force]. It just says if [WMDs are] used, he has the leverage. It gives him better flexibility, but also it is a deterrent to Vladimir Putin.”
Shortly after his appearance on CBS, Kinzinger released a statement on his official Congressional Twitter account that said, “Words matter, but so do our actions. I’m introducing this AUMF as a clear redline so @POTUS can take appropriate action if Russia uses chemical, biological, and/or nuclear weapons. We must stand up for humanity and we must stand with our allies.”
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress passed an AUMF. In doing so, the national legislature authorized former President George W. Bush to use the U.S. military to launch military campaigns in the pursuit of punishing the terror groups that launched the attacks.
Congress approved a similar AUMF for the 2002 invasion of Iraq.
Kinzinger said that the U.S. must similarly be ready to engage in military conflict on behalf of Ukraine.
Kinzinger said, “Prior to World War II, there were moments nobody ever wanted to get involved and eventually came to realize they had to. I hope we don’t get to that point here, but we should be ready if we do.”