Washington, DC – Today, 302 national security professionals sent a letter to House and Senate leadership calling on Congress to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Ukraine, and democracy around the world, by appropriating supplemental aid to Ukraine.
The letter, signed by former secretaries, ambassadors, and senior diplomats and military leaders – who have served both Republican and Democratic administrations – was organized by Foreign Policy for America and specifically calls on House and Senate leadership to “bring to a vote without delay a measure that fully addresses the critical Ukraine-related funding needs identified in the President’s emergency supplemental request.”
Among the letter’s signatories are:
3 former Deputy Secretaries of State
5 former Under Secretaries of State, 5 former Under Secretaries of Defense, and 1 former Under Secretary of Homeland Security
6 former Ambassadors to Russia, 5 former Ambassadors to Ukraine, 1 former Ambassador to NATO
2 former USAID Administrators
1 former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence and Director of the National Security Agency
2 former Secretaries of the Navy, 1 former Secretary of the Army and 1 former Secretary of the Air Force
41 Flag and General Officers, including six (6) 4-star Flag and General Officers
The overwhelming support for this letter demonstrates a clear consensus, across affiliations and constituencies, that aiding Ukraine in its fight against Russia is central to U.S. national security interests. As Israel faces its own moment of crisis, ongoing and bipartisan Congressional support for our friends and partners is critical to demonstrate the United States’ unwavering commitment to our alliances, the rules-based international order, and the conviction that in an increasingly interconnected world, the security and well-being of Americans depend on the security and well-being of those outside our borders.
The text of the letter,* including a full list of signatories, can be found here and below.
*The original letter was sent to House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry on October 24, 2023. Following his election to Speaker, an updated copy of the letter was sent to Speaker Mike Johnson on October 25, 2023.
October 25, 2023
Dear Speaker Johnson, Minority Leader Jeffries, Majority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McConnell:
Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine since February 2022 has been an assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and an egregious affront to the rules-based international order and the values and freedoms we hold dear. As Russia has prolonged this war, military forces under Vladimir Putin’s command have perpetrated atrocities and Putin has weaponized global food and energy supplies and attempted to intimidate Ukraine and the international community by resorting to nuclear threats.
Thanks to timely and bipartisan support from Congress, the United States has been able to deliver crucial funding and military assistance to Kyiv that has allowed the Ukrainian people to effectively defend their freedom and stave off the worst consequences of Russian aggression. We, a nonpartisan group of national security and foreign policy professionals, urge you to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Ukraine and democracy around the world by bringing to a vote without delay a measure that fully addresses the critical Ukraine-related funding needs identified in the President’s emergency supplemental request.
As Ukraine pushes its counteroffensive against Russian forces, ongoing and bipartisan support from Congress for additional security, economic, and humanitarian aid is crucial to ensure Ukraine can continue to defend—and retake—its territory, and ultimately win this war. Strong congressional support also sends an unmistakable message to Russia and other would-be aggressors that the United States will stand united against threats to democracy and sovereignty. This also sends a powerful warning to Xi Jinping that territorial aggression will fail and be met with a forceful international response.
Since the start of the war, security assistance from the United States and our allies, as well as with Ukrainians’ heroic efforts to defend against invading forces, has been instrumental in helping Ukrainian armed forces deny a Russian victory in Ukraine, deter Russia from attacks beyond Ukraine, and degrade Russian aggressive military capabilities. Our support has made the United States, Ukraine, and the world safer and more secure and helped restore confidence and trust in the United States as a reliable, responsible, and effective international actor. It is essential that the United States and its allies and partners ensure that Ukraine has the capabilities and extended support it needs for its counteroffensive.
The international community must not allow Russia to normalize its illegal and blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereign territory and the atrocities it is committing on the ground. Doing so would not only embolden Putin’s territorial ambitions elsewhere but also encourage those who share his aim of building a new international order that serves authoritarian interests. Providing robust support now will prevent higher costs in the future and reduce the prolonged suffering of the Ukrainian people. If Putin prevails, it would dramatically increase the likelihood of a Russian conflict directly with our closest treaty allies, putting American lives at risk, and escalate the potential threat of nuclear conflict.
The Ukrainian people and army under the leadership of Volodymyr Zelenskyy have displayed incredible resilience and fortitude in the face of Russian aggression and war crimes. They are fighting tirelessly for self-determination, freedom, and justice, not just for themselves, but for the world. As President Zelenskyy said to Congress last Christmas, “This struggle will define in what world our children and grandchildren will live, and then their children and grandchildren.”
The President’s emergency supplemental request also includes critical funding to strengthen strategic partnerships and advance U.S. interests in the face of mounting geopolitical competition and compounding global crises. The international response to Russia’s invasion, galvanized by U.S. leadership, demonstrates that the strength of our international relationships truly is our greatest strategic asset. Transatlantic diplomatic, economic, and security cooperation is driving greater alignment and progress on issues ranging from defense and resilient supply chains to energy security and even managing our relationship with the People’s Republic of China. This supplemental request includes important resources to counter malign actors and deepen security and critical supply chain partnerships with developing countries. The requested funding for development and infrastructure finance would leverage tens of billions more in private investment and help position the United States as a strategic and economic partner of choice in an increasingly contested global environment.
Continued U.S. assistance to Ukraine and developing countries hit hard by the spillover effects of Russia’s invasion is vital to securing victory for Ukraine on their terms, including Russian withdrawal from Ukraine’s recognized borders and deterrence from future attacks.
We encourage your strategic and moral leadership at this critical moment to ensure the prompt passage of the President’s supplemental request for security and other assistance to Ukraine.