Vance: U.S. Shouldn’t Subsidize European Security, We Should Be Focused on China

Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) said on this week’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday” that the United States needs to focus on the threat of China not aid to Ukraine.

Partial transcript as follows:

SHANNON BREAM: The Senate Armed Services Committee has this memo out saying it’s not just about the U.S. There are 20-plus other countries that are contributing, and so the math doesn’t add up.

VANCE: Yeah. So it’s interesting that Senate Armed Services Committee memo actually makes my argument for me because they say that if the Europeans step up production by the end of 2024, and if the Russians don’t radically increase production from where they are right now, then Russia will still have a 3-to-1 advantage over the Ukrainians. And again, that’s not now, that’s by the end of the year. That’s almost a full year from now. I find that when these guys try to rebut the argument, they often end up making it for me, Shannon.

The argument that I’m making is quite simple. It’s not that we don’t admire the courageousness of the Ukrainians, we certainly do. It’s that America is stretched too thin. We do not have the industrial capacity to support a war in Ukraine, a war in Israel, potentially a war in East Asia if the Chinese invade Taiwan. So America has to pick and choose.

And, by the way, Shannon, some of the very people who shipped America’s manufacturing base overseas to China in the first place, who weakened our ability to manufacture our own weapons are now the same people who’s saying we can get involved in three wars at once. The math doesn’t make sense. We’re stretched too thin. We’ve got to focus.

And the last point I’ll make on this is if we focus on East Asia, if we focus on containing the Chinese, the Europeans can step up in Europe. Germany still after Donald Trump demanded it still doesn’t spend 2 percent of GDP on defense. A lot of the NATO countries have allowed their own industrial might to atrophy.

So why are Americans subsidizing European security? We should be focused on our own problems and that’s mostly China.

BREAM: Okay, a couple of things there. That memo also cites the commander of the Indo-Pacific region and says we can manage the munitions in a way you’re talking about having multiple fronts going. We can do that. The more dangerous situation is to let Putin feel like he gets a win in Ukraine and that embolden Xi, in that particular region.

VANCE: Well, Shannon, I’m a child of, excuse me, 2003, and I remember when generals stepped up and said that our war policy in 2003 was a joke and all of them had their careers ruined. So I think we have to look at this honestly as policymakers and ask ourselves the tough questions. Unfortunately, you have to ask yourself is China going to be more dissuaded by us thumping our chest and acting tough in Europe or are they going to be more dissuaded by us having the weapons necessary to prevent them from invading Taiwan.

My argument is the Chinese are focused on real power. They’re not focused on how tough people talk on TV or how strong our alleged resolve is. They’re focused on how strong we actually are. And to be strong enough to push back against the Chinese, we’ve got to focus there and right now, we’re stretched too thin.

BREAM: What about the argument as well that Putin will go beyond Ukraine? And if he does and touches on NATO territory, we are then obligated and pulled in. So the argument is invest now, help Ukraine now, don’t let our troops get pulled into an Article 5 situation.

VANCE: Sure. So I understand this argument, Shannon, but unfortunately, I don’t think it really passes muster. So people who want us to put limitless resources into Ukraine, they want us to believe two things at once.

On the one hand, they want us to believe the Ukrainians are on the verge of victory in the far eastern part of Ukraine. On the other hand, they want us to believe that Vladimir Putin is about to march all the way to Paris. You can’t believe both of those things at the same time and the reality is the Ukrainians have showed that Putin is a lot weaker than people feared, and importantly, they’ve shown that if the Europeans are willing to step up and take more responsibility for their own defense, they can handle Putin. Let us focus on China.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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