FACEOFF: Should Westernized or Developed Countries Fund Ukraine?

The U.S. should continue funding the Ukraine war effort (D.P)

The United States emerged as the world’s leading superpower after World War II and has remained a major player in global affairs since then. U.S. involvement in various conflicts in the decades since World War II has allowed American interests to receive American protection overseas. The war in Ukraine remains the biggest conflict Europe has seen since the end of World War II in 1945, and it only makes sense that the U.S. does its part in upholding values of freedom and democracy in the face of oppression and autocracy by continuing to provide Ukraine with funds and weapons. 

There is a misconception that the financial aid and weapons the U.S. provides Ukrainian fighters somehow have a major impact on the nation’s budget. In truth, the U.S. has delivered $48 billion in military financial aid and weapons to Ukraine. According to the Economist, that figure constitutes approximately 5% of the U.S.’ annual military budget. For that small slice of U.S. defense spending, the Ukrainians could fend off Russian aggressors for over a year— a success for European security and American foreign interests. Instead of finding fault with U.S. spending on Ukraine that comes from the military budget, criticism would be better directed at U.S. domestic policy and how it fails to provide for its people adequately. 

During the Cold War, the U.S. constantly remained under pressure to prove its military and economic strength. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. stood as the undisputed world leader, but more recently the U.S. has faced competition with Russia and China. The only way for the U.S. to continue proving its position in global affairs is to continue supporting the Ukrainian resistance. Without that support, Russia will prevail and the security of neighboring North Atlantic Treaty Organization states will be called into question. Without that support, China may take the opportunity to invade Taiwan if it sees that the U.S. failed to back Ukraine. Without that support, the world stage dominance the U.S. has enjoyed for so many years will end.

Vladimir Putin’s war of conquest in Ukraine has no real justification other than greed. As kidnapping reports of Ukrainian children and numerous war crimes by the Russian army surface, we must ask ourselves if we truly stand by our values. Will we allow dictators to bully other countries, or will we do our part and help the Ukrainian people defend their homeland? The U.S. must decide if it wants to back up its high ideals of liberty, peace and sovereignty with action.

 The U.S. should not continue funding the Ukraine War Effort (S.T.G)

On April 22, 1793, United States President George Washington issued a neutrality proclamation, declaring that the U.S. would not involve itself in the war between France and Great Britain. Many Americans criticized this proclamation, arguing it betrayed France, one of America’s oldest allies. France was not only one of the first countries to recognize the independent sovereignty of the U.S., but they also served as the main force aiding America in achieving that independence. During the American Revolutionary War, France provided the U.S. with supplies, arms, naval support and boots on the ground. The United States of America would not stand as an independent nation without French support. 

Nevertheless, Washington decided that even though France fought side-by-side with the U.S. during their time of need, America would not reciprocate the favor. As the U.S. had only won the revolutionary war nine years prior, Washington decided that the nation was too young and its military lacked advancement to survive another war; therefore, in the country’s best interest, he declared the U.S.’ position of neutrality. Modern-day America needs to take notes from the past and stay out of the Russo-Ukrainian war. Similarly to the war between France and Great Britain, difficulties arise in allowing the citizens of an ally nation to struggle overseas, but a country’s main responsibility lies in protecting the lives of its citizens. U.S. involvement in the Russo-Ukrainian war has the potential to harm American citizens financially and physically, a risk that the country cannot afford to take if they exhibit any concern for its citizens. 

The U.S. has promised and sent $196 billion to Ukraine. This includes aid to the military, the government, humanitarian causes and more. American politicians portray this financial support for Ukraine as a paragon of virtue– the ultimate act of nobility. Why does that virtue and nobility not extend to the 37.9 million Americans in poverty? Why does it not extend to the 12 million American children that are going hungry? Why not to the 20% of American schoolteachers that have to hold a second job year-round? Currently, the U.S. is looking after Ukraine at a time when it is not looking after itself. Though the war is unfortunate, America has to prioritize Americans before Ukranians.

Endangering Americans should not act as a key political policy. What is currently framed as “supporting Ukraine” truthfully provokes peril on American land. On Feb. 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin repealed the last nuclear arms treaty with the U.S., which helped prevent the use of nuclear weapons, following President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to Kyiv. Russia owns the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Unless the goal is to transform the U.S. into a nuclear wasteland, supporting Ukraine is not in America’s best interest.

One cannot deny the atrociousness of Russia’s actions towards Ukraine, but the realization that the U.S.’s further involvement would tremendously worsen the fate for themselves needs to come to light as well. A final message to the United States Of America, the self-proclaimed “best country in the world”: take care of your own.