Nikki Haley Goes Full War Hawk While Supporting More Funding for Ukraine

AP Photo/Morry Gash

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and current presidential candidate Nikki Haley recently voiced unyielding support for the U.S. continuing to fund Ukraine in its war against Russia. During a recent interview, she indicated that ensuring a Ukrainian victory against Moscow would protect U.S. national security by acting as a deterrent to China’s machinations. However, given the current political landscape – especially on the right – Haley’s stance could be a serious stumbling block in her quest to win the Republican presidential nomination.


Haley participated in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." Tapper first asked about the G20 summit refusing to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, even though it had done so in the previous year. Haley responded by saying it was “a win for Russia and China” and that President Joe Biden “should have really pushed hard to acknowledge what he acknowledged a year ago: that Russia invaded a pro-American, freedom-loving country.”

Tapper then turned the conversation to House Republicans who are “fighting to strip $24 billion in aid to Ukraine out of the upcoming government spending bill.” When asked whether she thought this was a mistake, Haley responded:

I think that you have to look at the fact that three and a half percent has been spent from our defense budget towards Ukraine. That's just 3.5 percent, that percentage of GDP. Eleven European countries have spent more than us. We know that Russia has said once they take Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltics are next. And then you're looking at a full-on war. What we're trying to do is prevent war. That's a pretty good return on investment to prevent war. So I think that we need to continue giving them equipment and ammunition with our allies to win. I don't think we need to give them straight-up cash. I don't think we need to put troops on the ground. But we need to finish this. Because we have to always remember, a win for Russia is a win for China. They've made that very clear. And right now, China is our number one national security threat.


Tapper continued, clarifying that Haley believes the Ukraine funding should remain in the bill. Haley responded:

Republicans and Democrats should not pull an Afghanistan. Don't go pulling out now. Putin is at rock bottom. We know that because he's getting drones from Iran and missiles from North Korea. We know that because they've raised the draft age in Russia to 65.

The candidate went on to argue that while the nation does not “want a further war,” the only way this can happen “is to have Ukraine win.”

Haley brought up the situation between China and Taiwan, noting that if Ukraine defeats Russia, “China will stay away from Taiwan” and that when the U.S. helps Ukraine win, the nation will have “[handled] Russia and China by just doing that.”

To those of the more Neocon/establishment persuasion, Haley’s comments would have been music to their ears. But there is a problem. The majority of the Republican base does not wish to keep sending more money and weapons to Ukraine. An August CNN poll revealed that a whopping 71 percent of Republicans oppose Congress authorizing new funding for Ukraine. An Axios/Ipsos survey in March noted that only 41 percent of right-leaning adults want to keep the cash coming.


These numbers seem to indicate that Haley’s foreign policy positions might be a serious liability in the primary races. While she is reflecting the traditional hawkish Republican stance of the olden days of GOP yore, we are living in a different time now. These types of views are about as attractive to Republican voters as a porcupine in a balloon factory. To say the least, it’s not going to go over well with the base, which might just doom her chances of occupying the White House.


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