Congressman McCaul’s Concerns: Why Ukraine’s Admission to NATO Should Be Deferred to Safeguard Vital Interests

Rep. Michael McCaul warned on Sunday that the accession of Ukraine into NATO should proceed gradually and follow the negotiation of a peace accord with Russia, adding that the United States might be at war if tensions with Russia aren’t defused.

The Republican from Texas argued that the first step for Ukraine was to win the counter-offensive. Second, call for a ceasefire and begin peace talks. Immediately admitting Ukraine into NATO would violate Article 5 of the United Nations, putting the United States at war with Russia.

On Monday night, President Joe Biden will travel to Vilnius, Lithuania, for a NATO summit where allies will show their support for Ukraine and provide President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine with an idea of what has to be done to become a member of NATO. 

Before leaving for his trip, though, Biden cautioned that if Ukraine joined NATO now, it might spark a war with Russia.

It’s too early to discuss security arrangements with Ukraine regarding NATO. Still, McCaul said he thinks that’s what the meeting will be about.

McCaul has suggested that Ukraine’s journey into NATO must follow numerous steps even after the fighting finishes to deter Russia effectively. Ukraine would need to fulfill specific criteria to join NATO, he continued. They have shown, however, that they are willing to oppose tyranny and injustice in the name of freedom and democracy. He believes they deserve it but needs to be guided in the proper direction.

At the same time, McCaul defended the choice to include cluster munitions in the package of military weapons the United States will send to Ukraine. 

McCaul claimed that these weapons would completely alter the dynamic. They are devastating, especially to the flanks of Ukrainian troops. McCaul said he is relieved that the government has finally agreed to do this since they would be a game-changer in the counter-offensive.

McCaul also addressed the recent travel to China by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, noting that he worried the administration had loosened export restrictions and sanctions to facilitate the meeting. 

China has already implemented export restrictions on rare earth elements. McCaul claims that due to Yellen’s visit, rare earth resource exports to the United States will be reduced, which would constitute a trade action or trade embargo.

On the same day, McCaul criticized Biden’s response to a State Department study on the withdrawal from Afghanistan, calling it devoid of reality.

McCaul remarked that it was surprising for the President of the United States to be so disillusioned about the situation in Afghanistan, insisting that al Qaeda has been removed. Gen. Mark Milley, Secretary of Defence and the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Biden, has reported an uptick in al Qaeda activity in Afghanistan.