Seven Reasons Why America Must Help Ukraine Defend Itself

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Seven Reasons Why America Must Help Ukraine Defend Itself
Seven Reasons Why America Must Help Ukraine Defend Itself

With the Russo-Ukrainian War now in its third year, its outcome hinges on a fierce debate. Should the United States of America continue to send military aid to Ukraine? Unfortunately, a growing minority of Republicans say no.

Surprisingly, the foreign policy poles of the American political landscape seem to be reversing. The American left, from Jimmy Carter and George McGovern to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, has almost always opposed a stronger military and preferred dovish policies towards America’s enemies. Now, the American left, led by President Biden, is surprisingly hawkish in its rhetoric against Russia and China.

The American right’s traditional outlook, expressed by President Ronald Reagan’s slogan of “peace through strength,” gave much importance to a muscular foreign policy against Communist regimes and Islamic terrorism. Now, the right appears to be embracing an “America First” isolationism that, in the end, would harm America’s interests in the world. More and more Republicans would not object to seeing Ukraine (and perhaps other European countries) conquered and annexed by Russia. A Pew poll revealed that 48% of Republicans say the U.S. is providing too much support to Ukraine, up from nine percent when the war began in February 2022.

A significant number of Republican members of Congress refused to approve military aid for Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel because of objections regarding Biden’s refusal to protect America’s borders. Former president Trump has also expressed disdain for Ukraine on numerous occasions. After meeting with him at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Trump “will not give a penny” to Ukraine if he is re-elected U.S. president. Although Biden’s border policy is an outrage and should be resisted, many prominent Republicans oppose Ukraine aid in principle regardless of Biden’s border policies.

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This is a grave mistake. To abandon Ukraine at its moment of need to a neo-Soviet Russia would be a short-sighted catastrophe for Ukraine, Europe, the United States and Western civilization. A foreign policy that truly puts America first would send aid to Ukraine. Supporting Ukraine is a vital American interest. The following are seven reasons why Americans should support sending military aid to help Ukraine defend itself.

1.  Without American aid to Ukraine, Russia will win the war

Some American observers think that if the United States simply stops funding Ukraine, the European powers can pick up the slack. Others believe that some kind of agreement can be reached, trading “land for peace,” as Senator J.D. Vance has said. These are dangerous illusions that ignore the political reality.

Most serious Russian analysts, such as those at the Institute for the Study of War, believe that Ukraine will slowly but surely lose the war without American aid and might even be entirely conquered. If the United States cuts off support, European countries cannot begin to make up the difference. On the contrary, it will have a chilling effect that will prove fatal for Ukraine. “Everyone is saying the Europeans need to step up,” one military analyst said. “It’s more likely they’re going to step back.”

The Putin regime is determined to win the war and conquer all of Ukraine. Putin was not satisfied with taking Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia in 2008 or Crimea in 2014 and will not be satisfied with a “peace deal” that gives him eastern Ukraine. Such a move would be a defeat for Ukraine and its Western backers and will serve to embolden Putin to continue the war, take the whole country, and move on to Moldova or the next victim nation.

2.  The War in Ukraine is a Russian war to the death against Western civilization

Many Americans and Western Europeans think the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a regional dispute. If America would simply leave Russia and Ukraine alone, this narrative goes, Europe would have peace and the West could enjoy normal relations with Russia.

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This is simply not true. From the beginning, Putin and his inner circle have seen the war in Ukraine as the launching of a war to the death against Western civilization. For Putin, the goal is to destroy the Western world, shatter the NATO alliance, and create division between the United States and Europe.

The Putin regime is obsessed with irrational and diabolical hatred against Western civilization, with a special antipathy for the United States and the United Kingdom. Russian troops in Ukraine have said that their real target is not Ukrainians but “the West” the “USA inside Ukraine.” The Putin-appointed governor of Komi, Vladimir Uiba, said in a video posted to Telegram that the war in Ukraine is “a holy duty, a holy mission…not against Ukrainians, but against Americans.”

As French historian Françoise Thom points out, this hatred has little to do with Western moral decadence (a nevertheless common refrain in Russian propaganda to persuade Western conservatives to support Russia). Instead, the Putin regime hates Western civilization itself. In his speeches, Putin betrays a Marxist vision of the world: “oppressor” nations such as the U.S. exploit the “oppressed” nations of the Global South, with Russia serving as their “liberator.” In his speech at Valday on October 5, 2023, Putin outlined his vision for the war in Ukraine and the world order he envisions. He presents the West just as the Soviet Communists did in the twentieth century: as the great exploiter and enemy of mankind and Russia as the world’s savior.

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“….[T]he prosperity of the West was largely achieved thanks to the plunder of colonies over the centuries. This is a fact. In fact, this level of development was achieved by plundering the entire planet. The history of the West is essentially a chronicle of endless expansion. Western influence in the world is a huge military-financial pyramid; it constantly needs new fuel to support itself – natural, technological, human resources belonging to others…The Ukrainian crisis is not a territorial conflict. I want to emphasize this….This is not a territorial conflict or even the establishment of a regional geopolitical balance. The question is much broader and more fundamental: we are talking about the principles on which the new world order will be based.”

3.  A Ukrainian defeat will make war between NATO and Russia more likely, not less

In a series of articles titled “The High Price of Losing Ukraine,” published last December, (part 1 and part 2), the Institute for the Study of War shows that a Russian victory over Ukraine will make war with NATO more likely. It would bring a triumphant, battle-hardened, and much-expanded army right up to NATO’s entire eastern border from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea. It would be the first time since 1991 that NATO would have to face such a clear and present danger against which it is woefully unprepared. In the face of their losses in Ukraine, the Russians are aggressively expanding their military production capacity for the long term. Western countries are only just beginning to ramp up military production after decades of cuts. The Russian army will have a wealth of combat experience and a rebuilt military that the Western nations are simply unable to match. Flush in their victory over Ukraine and confident in the face of Western weakness, the Russians will be more likely than ever to launch a direct conflict with NATO countries, especially the Baltic states. Putin has already begun to make similar threats against Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania that he made against Ukraine before his invasion.

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4.  A Ukrainian defeat would be far more expensive for the U.S. than a Ukrainian victory

A victory of Russia in Ukraine would force the United States to invest a lot more money in European defense than it currently does. To fulfill our NATO treaty obligations, the U.S. would have to station more troops, more tanks, and more stealth aircraft in Europe to deter a possible Russian invasion. Such an expansion would take many years and likely cost hundreds of billions of dollars—significantly more than the aid we are currently sending Ukraine. It is much cheaper for the United States to send aid to Ukraine to hold that first line of defense than to send more American troops and weapons to Europe after a Ukrainian defeat.

5.  A Ukrainian defeat would result in Russia annihilating Ukrainians through genocide

Many in the West believe that the war started because of Russian anxiety over Ukraine getting too close to the West or Russian anxiety over losing influence in Eastern Europe. While these may serve as useful pretexts, the deeper reason is a long-standing Russian resentment over Ukraine’s very existence as a distinct nation and culture. Top Russian politicians, intellectuals, and government officials, including Putin himself, have said that the goal of the war against Ukraine is the annihilation of the Ukrainian people, language, culture and any religion not controlled by the Russian state. Even the name of “Ukraine” must be wiped off the map and forgotten. There are countless statements by Russians at all levels of government, media and academia that call for the liquidation of Ukraine and its people.

Putin and his advisors have repeated the line that “Ukraine is an artificial state” that doesn’t exist, has no right to exist, and shouldn’t exist except as a territory of Russia, and that to speak of “Ukraine” as a nation is “Nazism.” He has said that there is “no historical basis” for the “idea of Ukrainian people as a nation separate from the Russians.”

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On March 14, 2024, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson and former President Dmitry Medvedev announced a seven-point “Peace Formula” for a post-war Ukraine. His plan involves the unconditional surrender of Ukraine to Russia, international recognition of Ukraine’s “Nazi character,” a program of “de-nazification” of Ukraine’s government and society, a U.N. resolution stripping Ukraine of its sovereignty and international recognition, Ukrainian reparations to be paid to Russia and a complete political reunification of the “former” country of Ukraine with Russia.

Medvedev himself has made many violent and genocidal statements against Ukraine on his Telegram channel. Here are just a few examples:

  • “I am often asked why my Telegram posts are so harsh,” he posted. “The answer is I hate them. They are bastards and degenerates. They want death for us, Russia. And as long as I’m alive, I will do everything to make them disappear.”
  • “The Ukrainian state in its current configuration with the Nazi political regime will pose a constant, direct and clear threat to Russia. Therefore, in addition to protecting our people and protecting the borders of the country, the goal of our future actions, in my opinion, should be the complete dismantling of the political regime of Ukraine.”
  • “Our main task is … to inflict a devastating defeat on all enemies—the Ukronazis, the United States, their minions in NATO, including vile Poland, and other Western nits. We must finally return to our lands.”
  • “Now is the time to say how Ukraine will disappear, as well as what is the risk of renewed conflict in Europe and in the world. This will depend on which path the process of disintegration of this dying state will follow as a result of a lost military conflict. There are two of them. Or the path of relatively slow erosion of Ukrainian statehood with the gradual loss of the remaining elements of state sovereignty. Or the path of its instant collapse with the simultaneous annihilation of all signs of statehood.”
  • “Today is the day of reunification of new regions with Russia. A year ago, at referendums, their residents made a fateful decision—to be with their Fatherland. This choice became a symbol not only of the restoration of historical justice, but also of the unity of the Russian people, their colossal will and dedication. The special military operation will continue until the Nazi Kyiv regime is completely destroyed and the original Russian territories are liberated from the enemy. Victory will be ours. And there will be more new regions within Russia.”

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There are thousands of examples of prominent Russian politicians, journalists, intellectuals and others calling for the genocide of the Ukrainian people.

  • In June 2022, Dmitry Rogozin, former head of Roskosmos, openly called for the total destruction of Ukraine on Twitter. “In general, what has grown up in the space of Ukraine is an existential threat to the Russian people, Russian history, Russian language, and Russian civilization. If we do not put an end to them, as, unfortunately, our grandfathers did not do… we may die, but it will cost our grandchildren even more. So, let’s get this over with. Once and for all. For our grandchildren.”
  • A presenter on Russian state TV, Vladimir Solovyov, said: “Another question is whether the Ukrainian nation should exist. My answer is, in its current state, it shouldn’t. No! A nation whose ideology presents a threat to us cannot exist next to us.”
  • Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman, posted on her Telegram channel that “We will not allow the existence of an aggressive Nazi state on our borders, from whose territory there will be danger for Russia and neighboring countries… It is necessary to confirm the neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free status of Ukraine, carry out its demilitarization and denazification, recognize new territorial realities, and ensure the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities living in this country.”
  • Russian economist and pundit Mikhail Khazin said that Ukraine has “several million people [not loyal to Russia]” who “need to be partially eliminated and partially squeezed out… Russia should institute a “complete ban on Ukrainian fonts, Ukrainian texts, programs on [the] Ukrainian language, on teaching Ukrainian—i.e., completely.
  • The leader of the pro-Russian militia of Donetsk said on Russian state TV that Ukrainians “are Russian people, possessed by the devil. We are coming to convince them, not to kill them. But if you don’t want us to change your minds, then we will kill you. We will kill as many of you as we have to. We will kill 1 million, or 5 million; we can exterminate all of you until you understand that you’re possessed and you have to be cured.” In another interview, he said: “I don’t know how we [Russians and Ukrainians] can live together after our victory. We can’t commit genocide to them all. We will have to ‘re-educate’ them, create concentration camps. But for this, we must win at any cost and kill as many people as necessary.”

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6.  A Ukrainian defeat would lead to a religious persecution in Ukraine

Russia has a centuries-long history of religious persecution. The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has had particularly violent relations with the Catholic Church, notably in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Russian-occupied Poland and in twentieth-century Lithuania. The ROC has a particular hatred against the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), which they see as a renegade church that should be brought under the control of Moscow. This is partially a legacy of the communist period, when the Russian Orthodox Church was a KGB-controlled organ of the Communist Party, and the Catholic Church was one of the only intact organizations that offered real resistance to Soviet rule.

In the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine and Crimea, Catholic clergy have been killed or have disappeared, and Catholic churches have been confiscated. In the Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian occupation government gave an official order to suppress the Catholic Church for allegedly storing “explosives and firearms on the territory of religious buildings and auxiliary premises” and accused the UGCC of acting “in violation of the legislation on religious and public organizations of the Russian Federation,” namely, due to “the participation of parishioners in mass riots and anti-Russian rallies in March-April 2022,” “distribution of literature inciting violation of the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation,” “active participation of UGCC communities in Zaporizhzhia region in the activities of extremist organizations and propaganda of neo-Nazi ideas.” The order includes the confiscation of church property.

The Greek Catholic bishops of Ukraine, led by His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Galicia, have been adamant in their defense of Ukraine’s right to self-defense in the face of the Russian aggressor. Responding to Pope Francis’s “white flag” comments, the bishops wrote in a statement that “Ukrainians cannot surrender because surrender means death.”

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“By calling all Ukrainians (who refuse to be Russians and accept Russian rule) “Nazis,” Putin dehumanizes them. Nazis (in this case, Ukrainians) have no right to exist. They need to be annihilated, killed. The war crimes in Bucha, Irpin, Borodianka, Izium, and other places occupied by Russian forces have illustrated for Ukrainians (and to all people of goodwill) the clear purpose of this war: to eliminate Ukraine and Ukrainians. It is worth mentioning that every Russian occupation of Ukrainian territory leads to the eradication of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, any independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and to the suppression of other religions and all institutions and cultural expressions that do not support Russian hegemony.”

7.  A Ukrainian defeat would embolden America’s enemies around the world

The entire world is carefully watching the war in Ukraine. This is especially true among America’s enemies—Iran, China, North Korea and Islamic terrorists. Defeat for Ukraine in the face of such a brazen attack would signal weakness and make war more likely.

Iran, through its proxies, is already taking an unprecedented offensive against the West in the Middle East. Iranian-supplied Houthi terrorists have nearly blocked the Red Sea to commercial traffic with their almost daily attacks on cargo ships. China’s imperialist designs in Asia are blocked primarily by the United States. Any sign of American weakness in Europe towards Russian aggression would be an invitation for China to continue its imperialist expansion in Asia and invade Taiwan. A Ukrainian defeat would also make war on the Korean peninsula more likely, as South Korea is heavily reliant on the U.S. for its defense. After the shameful Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan, a second American defeat in Ukraine would only further embolden Islamic terrorists to kill Americans.

America must send the much-needed military aid to Ukraine. Failing to help Ukrainians defend themselves against the Russian aggressor would be a black stain on the country and a catastrophe for the Ukrainian people. The consequences of this debate will reverberate far beyond the borders of Ukraine and will shape the destiny of Europe and the world for decades to come.

Photo Credit:  © haidamac –

Updated April 11, 2024.

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