Here's Why the Ukraine Funding Debate Is So Tricky

Here's Why the Ukraine Funding Debate Is So Tricky
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Congress sent a $40 billion aid package bill to President Joe Biden’s desk this week in order to assist Ukraine in its war with Russia.

While it overwhelmingly passed both chambers, all of the dissenting votes were Republicans, although they were few in number.

Foreign involvement, especially when it comes out of the taxpayer’s pocket, is an especially tricky subject when a nation is at war. Except the United States has not formally declared war on Russia and doing so would likely result in a direct threat to the Homeland. So, proxy war it is.

Of course, there is a serious question here, one that has been at the root of all debate for decades: Is it considered serving the American people if American interests abroad are being served?

People feel strongly about this on both ends of the spectrum, and rightfully so. On one hand, this money could go toward helping people in need at home, or bolstering efforts at the border, if lawmakers are focused on that money having national security or military component. Many veterans are homeless, and some of them may be wondering why this money is going to help soldiers thousands of miles away fight.

Attitudes toward the U.S. being the world’s policeman especially soured after the Vietnam War and once again after entering Iraq and Afghanistan. Many Americans both on the left and right felt that they were lied to about the intentions behind these wars and felt that the blood of soldiers and their cash was wasted.

On the other hand, there is a larger picture here to consider. America is undoubtedly the most powerful Western nation, and it has always played a unique role in protecting its allies. The war in Ukraine is horrific, but their military is able to put up a strong fight against the Russians. Giving them aid could bring them over the top and continue to help fend off their enemy, which was activated purely by the fury of Vladimir Putin.

If Putin successfully takes Ukraine, it may open the door for him to try and attack other European nations. This looming threat of a possible aim at global domination, even if it is far-fetched and unlikely, is still cause for concern. Sending aid to Ukraine could be viewed as a long-term investment into the safety and security of the Western world.

It may be easy to dismiss one’s stance as incompassionate or fiscally irresponsible, yet it’s important to keep in mind that times are tough on a global scale. Not only is the entire world in the waning days of a pandemic, but the U.S. and many other countries are also dealing with major economic problems. A war against a sovereign European country is another wrench thrown into that, so lawmakers are being challenged to make tough choices when faced with the subject matter.

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