The president and the secretary of defense have committed to long-term, sustained support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia, which invaded Ukraine two years ago this Saturday.

But that commitment also requires a commitment by the U.S. Congress, said Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh during a briefing today.

“We can’t stand by as an aggressor invades a sovereign neighbor,” Singh said. “[Ukraine has] a commitment from the United States that we are going to be with you for as long as it takes … We do need Congress to give us the funding in order to supply Ukraine with what it needs. We not only need the supplemental, we need a budget passed. And so, we’re working with Congress and hopefully we’ll be able to get something done.” 

According to Singh, Ukraine’s top priorities include air defense, artillery, and ammunition. She said whatever is contained in the next presidential drawdown authority package — whenever that comes — will reflect those priorities. 

“We’re not taking anything off the table, but we certainly want to make sure that we’re getting Ukraine what it needs,” Singh said. “We can only do that when we have the supplemental passed in Congress. But of course, whatever we give Ukraine it will be to meet their urgent battlefield needs.”

In the same way the U.S. commitment to Ukraine requires a commitment from a large swath of the U.S. federal government — Congress included — commitments in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian requires commitment from partners and allies as well. 

That operation, which kicked off in December, brings together multiple nations in order to address the challenges posed by Houthi attacks originating from Yemen which threaten the free flow of commerce in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. 

“The Houthis are, every single day, putting at risk innocent mariners transiting, putting at risk the freedom of navigation, and therefore, Operation Prosperity Guardian is there to protect against that alongside other allies and partners.”

Singh said the U.S. welcomes more partners to help join up with OPG or to create their own operations that can work alongside OPG. 

“We always welcome more nations to join that coalition. We have seen growth since December when it was first announced,” Singh said. “We welcome more nations to join. Just recently you saw the EU announce a coalition as well, that will work alongside Operation Prosperity Guardian. We certainly are seeing an expansion of assets in the region, even if they’re not under … OPG … they’re still working alongside us and like-minded nations, with the same goal in mind.”

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