Continue sending aid to Ukraine: Is the US right?
- On April 28, 2022, President Biden proposed $33 billion in humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine. Previously, he announced two sets of $800 million in military aid: a ban on Russian-affiliated ships from US ports and approval for weaponry and ammunition.
- The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations reported 5,718 civilian casualties in Ukraine as of April 25, 2022. According to Forbes, the estimated death toll of Russian troops is about 15,000, while the reported number of Ukrainian soldier deaths is almost 3,000.
- In an emergency United Nations General Assembly, 141 countries passed a nonbinding resolution on March 2, 2022, condemning Russia for invading Ukraine with only five countries in opposition: Russia, Belarus, Syria, North Korea, and Eritrea.
- Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, “unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks” with condemnation coming from the US, Europe, South Korea, Australia, and other countries.
The high-profile meetings between Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy resulted in a defense assistance package worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This announcement was made on the 60th day of the invasion, underscoring exactly why this aid is necessary; the Russian invasion is ongoing, and more needs to be done to stop it. Vladimir Putin has shown little regard for human life during his invasion, and it has become increasingly clear that this conflict will only end with either the Russians being kicked out militarily or through a Russian victory. The prior is the just and possible option, with much-needed assistance from the United States; the latter would mean unbelievable suffering on the part of many Ukrainians and must not be allowed.
As we have seen throughout this conflict, what happens in Ukraine affects the entire world. Many other nations rely on grains and fertilizers from Ukraine to feed their citizens. The crisis has sent fuel prices skyrocketing, and uncertainty has infected financial markets.
Finally, a continued commitment to aid the Ukrainian struggle to fend off the Russian invasion sends a message to Moscow that the United States and its allies will not stand by as Russia attempts to bully those states that have drifted from its sphere of influence. This commitment may help fend off incursions into Baltic states or those in the Caucasus. Further, it also sends a message to China or any other would-be bad actors that invasions of sovereign states will be met with sustained commitments to assistance.
The Ukraine-Russian war has been going on for over two months with no end in sight. Every day, Ukrainian President Zelensky is on social media and news networks asking for financial and military assistance from western nations. Russia does not appear to be ready for any peace talks, but at the same time, the Ukrainians are determined to defend their country from Russian aggressors. Up to now, the entire Ukraine war has been subsidized by western nations, including the US. One has to ask the question—how long can this go on? While the US is a wealthy nation, it's undergoing several domestic problems: inflation, which has reached a 40-year high, uncontrolled migration crisis at the border, and COVID-19 concerns. All the while, America is navigating the fraught waters of an economic standoff with China, a nuclear deal with Iran, and Russia's threat of using nuclear weapons against western nations.
Zelensky keeps repeating that if the Russians capture the eastern part of Ukraine, they will eventually capture the whole nation. But this doesn't mean Americans should continue supplying weapons of war with no end in sight. Simply pouring weapons into a country like Ukraine can prolong armed war conflicts, endanger peacekeepers/civilians and delay or hinder any peace agreements. Any weapons sent will continue to make Ukraine more volatile and violent for decades to come.
Zelensky appears to be a warmonger, and instead of regularly begging western nations for more arms, he should use the same rhetoric and speak to Putin about peace. Russia is not only a bigger country but far more powerful than Ukraine. Simply supplying weapons will only lead to more death and destruction of both parties, with only one potential winner: Russia.