Two Biden administration officials told CNN last week that the Biden White House appointed retired three-star general Terry Wolff back on to the National Security Council as part of efforts to streamline security assistance to Ukraine.
The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Wolff’s experience handling the defeat of the Islamic State will help the Biden administration maintain momentum as weapons, ammunition, and other supplies continue to be sent to Ukraine.
“His experience as the deputy for the defeat ISIS coalition will be amazing in making sure this coalition maintains momentum,” an official told the outlet.
Wolff also has experience working in the Department of State and the Pentagon.
Wolff’s appointment attracted praise from Democrats and Republicans. Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire joined Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman in backing the decision. In a letter that was also signed by Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Democratic Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the legislators reaffirmed their support of the United States’ continued commitment to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia.
“Providing assistance to Ukraine is an ongoing national security priority – we need someone at the top,” Senator Shaheen also said on Twitter. “Glad to see LTG Wolff take this one.”
Wolff completed three tours in Iraq before retiring in 2014 and has served as the director of the Pentagon’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies since 2019.
Now responsible for coordinating aid from the United States to Ukraine, Wolff will also serve as the chief liaison between the United States and allies overseas in all matters relating to the transfer of existing stocks to Ukraine, and the assessment of partner capabilities.
Biden Meets Ukrainian PM
On Thursday, President Joe Biden told reporters from the Roosevelt Room of the White House that he had just met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who had traveled to Washington, D.C.
“I had the honor of spending some time with the Ukrainian Prime Minister, who’s in town today. And he is meeting with some of my Cabinet members, including the Secretary of Treasury and others,” the president said.
Biden said that Russian forces have “launched and refocused” their campaign to seize new territory in the eastern regions of Ukraine and that there is now a critical window of time where Russian forces will “set the stage for the next phase of this war.”
The president committed to moving as fast as possible to give Ukraine the supplies its military needs.
Also on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the president for the “leadership in supporting the people of Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression.”
“This help is needed today more than ever!” he wrote on Twitter. “It saves the lives of our defenders of democracy and freedom and brings us closer to restoring peace in [Ukraine].”
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.