The Biden administration is working to reach a deal with Ukraine for long-term military support to keep backing the war with Russia that would be difficult for a future president to exit, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
The effort is part of a commitment made by G7 nations at the recent NATO summit in Vilnius to negotiate their own bilateral security deals with Ukraine. Besides the G7 nations, 18 other countries have agreed to provide long-term military support for Kyiv.
The idea of the long-term commitment is to show Russia that it can’t wait out the Biden administration. The Journal report reads: “Western officials are looking for ways to lock in pledges of support and limit future governments’ abilities to backtrack, amid fears in European capitals that Donald Trump, if he recaptures the White House, would seek to scale back aid.”
Trump, who escalated US involvement in Ukraine during his term by taking the step to provide Javelin missiles, has said he would end the Ukraine war within “24 hours” if elected in 2024. The former president is the current frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
The Journal report acknowledged that the Biden administration could not legally bind a future president from exiting a deal with Ukraine, but Republican hawks in Congress could make it difficult. During his time as president, Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, but the majority of Republicans in Congress supported exiting the agreement.
A US official told the Journal that one proposal being considered for Ukraine would be a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which would not require congressional approval. President Biden has previously floated the idea of an “Israel model” for Ukraine. The US provides Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid each year under a 10-year MOU but does not provide mutual defense guarantees. The Journal report said that French officials have suggested military aid commitments for Ukraine should be over a four-year period.