ECLECTIC RANT: Divided GOP Support for Ukraine

Ralph E. Stone
Monday March 20, 2023 - 04:47:00 PM

I have heard the occasional comment, especially among some GOP presidential candidates, asking why America should care about Russias invasion of Ukraine as the war is so far away and is not a threat to our national security or to Western Europe. This view seems strange when the GOP is traditionally a hawkish foreign policy party. In fact, a handful of Republicans have even criticized the Biden White House for not doing more to help Ukraine defend itself. 

The current and expected GOP presidential candidates, however, is divided about U.S. support for Ukraine. Former president Donald Trump has praised Putin as a clever strategist in the early days of the war and recently suggested that Ukraine should have ceded Russian-speaking areas” in a deal with Russia.  

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisrecently commented that U.S. support for Ukraine is not a vital” national interest to the U.S.", calling the Russian invasion a regional dispute. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Russias invasion of Ukraine should be Europe's fight, not ours” and described U.S. aid sent to Ukraine as a waste" and said it risked escalation of the conflict. Vivek Ramaswamy seems to be in the Trump-DeSantis camp. 

On the other hand, former Vice President Pence says, "We must continue to stand with the people of Ukraine against the violence and aggression of the Russian military,” Nikki Haley agrees, saying aiding Ukraine is vital to U.S. interests. Sen. Tim Scott (R.SC) said, War in Ukraine is a fight for the heart of Europe and the principles U.S. has championed.” Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the U.S. must provide Ukraine with the military equipment it needs to defeat Russia and insisted ongoing support is 'in America's best interest." 

True, the U.S. has a long history of meddling on the world stage, which Putin has used as cover for Russias invasion of Ukraine. The North Atlantic Alliance was founded in the aftermath of the Second World War to secure peace in Europe, to promote cooperation among its members and to guard their freedom. While Ukraine is not a NATO member, it shares a border with Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania, all NATO members.  

If Russia prevails in Ukraine, then it becomes a greater threat to these neighboring NATO countries. As Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” I would add that our support of Ukraine is about defending democracy. 

In conclusion, I disagree with the naysayers. If Putin is allowed to invade a sovereign country in violation of international law and threatens its sovereignty, it would signal to others to do the same, which in turn, will affect us. 

The U.S. is part of a global world interdependent economically, socially, and politically. If Putin succeeds in Ukraine, he wont stop there. He didnt stop after seizing Crimea in 2014. President Biden has made it clear that helping Ukraine will not include boots on the ground. The U.S., Canada, the EU, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the UK have already imposed severe sanctions against Russia and the U.S..has deployed or repositioned U.S.forces to Germany, Poland, Moldova and Romania near those countrieswith borders with Ukraine for defensive purposes only. 

I fully support President Biden's response to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.