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Mike Garcia Statement on Russia, Ukraine Conflict Escalation

Representative Mike Garcia (CA-25) released the following statement in response to the escalation of Russia's threat to invade Ukraine:

"The goal of sustaining stability in contentious regions requires one of two things: 1) Meaningful and strong strategic partnerships (like the US has with Israel in the Middle East), or 2) A unilateral qualitative advantage held by a single nation with the good will and backbone needed to ensure a meaningful deterrence.

"What is happening in the Ukraine is the product of Democratic nations failing to establish and maintain adequate strategic partnerships for three decades in the wake of the Cold War AND the current administration in our White House now failing to demonstrate the fortitude to act as a meaningful deterrent to Putin as he seeks to invade Ukraine.  
"We as a superpower should not allow power vacuums to exist and persist in strategic and critical regions such as Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the South China Sea.

"Unfortunately, as a result of our recent abandonment, Afghanistan will also ultimately suffer the same fate that Ukraine will experience imminently. This is what Crimea also experienced in 2014 when Putin annexed that nation. The conquering of nations by leaders like Putin is the end state of neglect and weakness by leaders of democracies. We won the Cold War on the back of committing to and maintaining strategic partnerships before the wars started, or before troops amassed on the borders. 
"The scenario of Russia imminently annexing Ukraine is the high and slow snowball that is thrown up to distract us from the line drive coming at our forehead, called China. While all eyes are on Eastern Europe this month, China has been escalating its incursions against Taiwan and its airspace. China continues to grow in strength, capacity and resolve. Chairman Xi and Putin have most certainly been coordinating their efforts to test our resolve.  
"We must now, more than ever, double down on our commitments to Taiwan and our allies in Asia to ensure we do not find ourselves in another catastrophic reactive posture on the world stage. Failure to proactively achieve peace and deterrence through strength against China will lead to the demise of not only our partners, but also our own nation.

"This is also a reminder that we must commit to a strong alliance with Israel to ensure we are not facing a similar fate in the Middle East.

"No American lives should be put in jeopardy in Eastern Europe as a result of recent developments. Any resources we provide cannot dilute our ability to offset and deter China.   
"We must stay focused on China and invest in a premier military capable of deterring and winning wars in all domains against the real existential threat that China poses. When we do that successfully, we will see less brazen behavior from all of our potential adversaries, including Putin.  
"We need the current administration to work to re-establish our role as a super power on the world stage: To build partnerships and invest in our military. Otherwise, the damage and lack of leadership from the last 12 months may in fact lead to our own nation’s demise."

Click here to read Garcia's previous statement on the Russia, Ukraine conflict.