Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden gave a prime time address to the nation after having returned, once again, from a war zone—this time Israel, rather than Ukraine, which he visited in February. Biden opened by remarking that the world is at “an inflection” point, drawing a parallel between the militant group Hamas, with which Israel is at war in Gaza, and Russian President Vladmir Putin, whose army continues its invasion of Ukraine. Biden said that both Hamas and Putin were seeking to “annihilate a neighboring democracy” and reiterated U.S. resolve to support both Israel and Ukraine in their struggles, stating bluntly that the U.S. is “not withdrawing.”
The next day, Biden put his words into action, requesting $100 billion from Congress. The vast majority of the funds, $61 billion, would go to Ukraine. Another $14 billion would go to Israel, with the remainder divided among a host of other security priorities, including border control and resources for the Indo-Pacific region.
While the U.S. is not at war, it is now a primary supporter of two nations in major wars, making Biden a two-war president. Indeed, he is the first president to ever visit two active war zones. While former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama each visited Iraq and Afghanistan while U.S. troops were still involved in counterinsurgency operations, they stayed within environments controlled by U.S. troops. The situations in both Ukraine and Israel are more precarious; Biden was putting himself in harm’s way, within range of hostile missile strikes in both countries.