Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: Russia Should Worry About Reputation If It Invades Ukraine

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said earlier this week in an interview that if Russia invaded Ukraine, it should be concerned about its reputation.

Asked by Defense One whether the American military had an obligation to engage militarily if Russia invaded Ukraine in order to remain a credible ally or partner, he responded:

I won’t engage in hypotheticals…but when it comes to our reputation and in a case like that, I think if for example, Russia invades Ukraine, I think Russia should be concerned about its reputation because the international community will react very strongly to yet another incursion into Ukraine.

He added, “So I think the aggressor here is the one that we ought to be focused on in terms of reputation.”

His response was highlighted by the Republican National Committee in a tweet.

“Russia doesn’t care about its reputation, just like the Taliban,” the RNC tweeted, referring to the Biden administration’s repeated talking point that the Taliban would not treat Afghan women poorly since it would hurt its reputation in the eyes of the world.

President Joe Biden has said he is not considering sending U.S. troops to Ukraine to engage militarily, but the administration is warning it is prepared to take steps the U.S. did not before, when Russian troops invaded Ukraine in 2014 during the Obama administration and annexed Crimea.


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