Today we are heartbroken for the people of Ukraine, and all those suffering from Russia’s unnecessary and unprovoked war of aggression. We stand united with Ukraine and our NATO allies and strongly condemn Russia’s clear violation of international law.
Russia’s actions halfway across the world are also being felt here at home. A number of U.S. service members have deployed to nearby NATO countries or been sent to alternate U.S. duty stations for temporary assignments. Many military families are feeling pangs of anxiety, separation, and fear. This new surge in operational tempo comes directly on the heels of an exhausting 20-year war, which spread many within our community much too thin.
To those who are hurting right now: we see and hear you. We recognize the potential reliving of past traumas that this new mobilization may bring to your family. We stand ready to support you.
Much of the future remains uncertain. We don’t know how far Russia’s President Putin will go to carry out his vision of expanding Russian territory through brute force. We don’t know how long this situation will drag on and, by extension, how long our troops will be called on to operate in their current surge posture.
Since our last statement, the brightlines by which this White House intends to abide have become more certain. The President and administration spokespeople have repeatedly declared that U.S. troops will not be sent into Ukraine to fight Russia. Instead, they have pursued non-military tools of persistent diplomacy and economic sanctions, which more appropriately correspond to U.S. interests at this moment. It is comforting when our foreign policy leaders communicate methodically and transparently.
A bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives released a letter on Tuesday, February 22, urging the President to seek congressional approval for any U.S. troop movement into Ukraine. While the risk of this sea change happening remains low, we welcome the emphasis on Constitutional war powers. Military families should feel assured by any reminder that escalatory decisions will be deliberated publicly.
The startling violence and bloodshed in Ukraine is a stark reminder of why we must avoid war and military intervention at all costs. We continue to urge world leaders to exhaust diplomatic options to hold Russia accountable, prevent escalation, and end this war. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine.
SFI Statements and Resources on Ukraine
- PDF version of SFI Statement on Russian Invasion of Ukraine, published February 24, 2022
- Statement on US Deployments Near Ukraine, published February 3, 2022
- Russia & Ukraine 101: What Military Families Need to Know, published January 26, 2022