Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Sunday said he has introduced a resolution to authorize US military force if Russia uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in Ukraine — calling the scenario a “clear red line.”
Kinzinger (R-Ill.) revealed on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he introduced the resolution, which, if passed by Congress, would give President Biden the authorization to allow the US to help militarily Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.
“I don’t think we need to be using force in Ukraine right now. I just introduced an AUMF, an authorization for the use of military force, giving the president basically congressional leverage for permission to use it if [weapons of mass destruction] — nuclear, biological or chemical — are used in Ukraine,” Kinzinger told host Margaret Brennan.
The Air Force veteran, who twice served in Iraq, said the authorization would provide Biden leverage while also serving as a deterrent to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The resolution wouldn’t “compel the president to [use military force]. It just says if [WMDs are] used, he has that leverage. It gives him a better flexibility, but also it is a deterrent to Vladimir Putin,” the congressman said.
In a statement released by his congressional office shortly after his appearance on CBS, Kinzinger said, “Words matter, but so do our actions.
“I’m introducing this AUMF as a clear redline so @POTUS can take appropriate action if Russia uses chemical, biological, and/or nuclear weapons. We must stand up for humanity and we must stand with our allies.”
Congress passed an AUMF immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, that gave former President George W. Bush authorization to use the military to pursue the terror groups that carried out the attacks.
Another AUMF was approved in 2002 for Iraq.
Kinzinger said the US must now be ready to act on Ukraine’s behalf, too.
“Prior to World War II, there were moments nobody ever wanted to get involved and eventually came to realize they had to. I hope we don’t get to that point here, but we should be ready if we do,” he said on CBS.