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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Roodnitsky: American Support for Ukraine Is More Important Now Than Ever

The U.S. must bolster its efforts to provide aid for Ukraine for the sake of protecting democracy and showing the world that it will not tolerate annexation by dictatorships.

It has been 740 days since Russian President Vladimir Putin began his full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The attack was a global shock: nobody could fathom that in the 21st century, we would regress to colonialist regimes waging a territorial war. This detestable action should not be tolerated by any country, as we cannot allow a new precedent of larger countries violating the sovereignty of smaller ones.

The United States is currently in a position where the entire world is watching what our next moves will be regarding Ukraine. With Congress currently in a bind regarding Biden’s foreign aid request, the integrity of our role as a respected world leader is at risk. The U.S. must not waver in standing with Ukraine to show that it will not condone imperialistic tendencies wherein the seizure of land is allowed.

First, passing the $60 billion aid request currently held up in Congress will not only solidify the U.S.’s commitment to uphold democracy but also establish that we are still a nation that is firm in maintaining global stability. Just a few days ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy announced that the current confirmed number of casualties is 31,000 — and that excludes those missing in action, likely many more. 

Currently, speaker of the House Mike Johnson holds a lot of power in deciding whether or not the legislation for the foreign aid bill will reach the floor for a vote, where it would likely pass with bipartisan support. However, he is currently being influenced by far-right members of his party, including Donald Trump, to focus on the Southern border, leaning towards a more isolationist ideology in response to Putin’s aggression. In rare circumstances, a floor vote can be forced with the support of the majority of members of the House — 218 seats. Known as a discharge petition, they are typically difficult to execute and are usually a last resort option. However, this aid bill must be passed to give Ukraine the munitions, missiles and other weapons to be able to push back on Russian forces and reclaim the land that has been annexed by Russia. 

By ensuring that Ukraine gets the proper support it needs to reach a successful outcome to the war, the United States must simultaneously show other world leaders that we will not accept the invasion of other countries by land-hungry dictators. China’s President Xi Jinping will see that we would not allow its encroachment on Taiwan; but conversely, if he sees our support for Ukraine wavering, his territorial ambitions will be emboldened. We must show that we are not an overextended power that is spread too thin to carry out effective policies to protect democracy. Cutting military aid to Ukraine would send the wrong message to Jinping. 

The national security of the United States heavily depends on the outcome of the Russia-Ukraine war. Many argue that the U.S. is currently sending too much funding abroad. However, these people do not consider that this investment would cost much less than if Putin won the war, which could potentially escalate the conflict into a full-blown World War III. A Russian victory would mean that more NATO countries would be at risk for invasion, which would result in U.S. troops being deployed and a huge sum of money spent on the military.  

As the next generation of leaders, current college students must be mindful of the conflict and of the way they engage with their fellow peers regarding the war. To maintain our status as a bastion of freedom and democracy, we all need to acknowledge that this war is not only affecting countries overseas; it directly impacts the safety of all of us, too. Ukraine is courageously fighting on our behalf, and this must be recognized as we continue to engage in dialogue regarding the invasion. Moreover, the war also impacts Dartmouth’s campus directly, as we have many Ukrainian students in our community. We need to stand with them and their country as peers who care about their well-being. 

This war is not one to be taken lightly — in fact, it should be considered as the opposite. Our attention needs to be on prevailing against the horrors of Russia’s constant destruction of an innocent, beautiful country. Ukrainians deserve to have their freedom back — not just for their sake, but for our sake as well.  

Opinion articles represent the views of their author(s), which are not necessarily those of The Dartmouth.