Tim Scott urges destruction of Russian military 'to the extent possible'

 November 11, 2023

In Wednesday's Republican presidential debate, issues of foreign policy consumed a fair amount of airtime, and in the estimation of GOP hopeful Sen Tim Scott (R-SC), the United States should put a priority on destroying -- as much as practicable -- Russia's military capabilities, as Breitbart reports.

The senator's statement came in the wake of a question regarding his willingness, if he were to become president, to send additional funding to Ukraine.

Rather than directly revealing whether he would “discontinue” American support to Russia's adversary in the ongoing conflict, Scott suggested that the key was instead to “destroy, to the extent possible, the Russian military.”

Specifically, debate moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News asked Scott, “If you were president in the Oval Office today, would you sign off on more military funding for Ukraine or would you discontinue it?”

Evincing a degree of reluctance to address the question head-on, Scott declared, “Bottom line is, we have to first have the level of accountability that allows the American people to understand where the resources have gone, number one.”

“Number two,” he added, “after we have that responsibility taken care of and accountability, then we have an opportunity to look at the overall strategy that helps us degrade the Russian military while we use our resources.”

Scott went on to state that “keeping our NATO partners safe from the Russian military is absolutely essential,” and he pointed to concerns that obligations under the NATO treaty could be triggered by ongoing conflicts overseas and that America's best bet is to neutralize that danger.

Pointing to Article 5 of the treaty and its requirement that member nations come to the defense of any other, if attacked, Scott said, “The fastest way for us to eliminate that possibility is for us to destroy, to the extent possible, the Russian military. By doing so, we actually achieve the objective of keeping our military home, and that's good news.”

As The Hill noted, Scott was not the only Republican contender to discuss Ukraine at some length during the third of the party's multiple primary debates.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed her unwavering support for Ukraine in its conflict against Russia, declaring it to be essential to America's national interest and key to containing what she called the “unholy alliance” of Russia, Iran, and China.

Chris Christie offered a similar take, saying, “The last time we turned our back on a shooting war in Europe, it bought us just a couple of years. This is not a choice. This is the price we pay for being the leaders of the free world.”

Taking a different view, however, were entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, both of whom cautioned against uncritical and unlimited support for Ukraine.

In contrast to the perspectives offered by Haley and Christie, Ramaswamy said, “To frame this as some kind of battle of good versus evil: Don't buy it. Ukraine is not a paragon of democracy.”

Underscoring the numerous other challenges currently facing the country, DeSantis decried President Joe Biden's recent request that even more money be sent to Ukraine and matter-of-factly declared, “We need to bring this war to an end.”