The U.S. needs to up its support of Ukraine


Image courtesy of public domain

President Biden, in a passionate speech from Warsaw, Poland, on April 17th, proclaimed the West’s complete support for Ukraine. “We stand with you, period,” Biden said. And the President’s statement is true, for the most part. A recent report from the Los Angeles Times discovered that if you were to drive up the coast of California, you would probably see more Ukrainian flags than American ones. However, showing support through a flag only goes so far. Especially when you have innocent civilians getting shot and killed in the streets of their country as they stand in line for bread, showing support through symbolic gestures does not keep them safe. It is clear that moral obligations should be prioritized and the U.S. must do more to ensure its protection of Ukraine.

Over the past month, tough sanctions have been placed on Russia. Biden and other national leaders rallied to impose sweeping sanctions, leading to the Russian ruble and Russian stocks plunging. Putin himself acknowledged that the economic damage will be large. However, even with a crippling economic crisis, Putin has refused to back down. It is time for harsher and more drastic measures to be taken.

Over the past few weeks, President Zelensky has repeatedly asked for forms of help that he surely knows he will not get. The clearest example is a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Establishing one could require the West to shoot down Russian planes and even bomb air-defense systems inside Russia, potentially starting a world war.
Still, making unreasonable requests has value to Zelensky. It signals to Ukrainians that he is doing everything possible to defeat Russia and also makes it harder for the West to say no to other requests.

“He’s asking for the moon, knowing he’ll get less,” Eric Schmitt, a senior writer at The Times who has long covered military affairs, said. “But it keeps the pressure on the West to deliver the stuff he needs.”

In addition, the West needs to be sending more in military aid towards Ukraine, to make more of a lasting impact. The biggest ask from Ukraine currently is their plea for the kind of equipment that allows a smaller army defending territory to hold off a larger, attacking army. The U.S. and other allies have already sent a large amount of such equipment like shoulder-fired rocket launchers, but the U.S. needs to send even more if Ukraine is to keep fending off the Russians.

So far, Ukraine’s military has performed better than most observers expected, preventing Russia from taking over most major cities while reclaiming a few towns in the northeast. Because Russia has an enormous military, however, a war of attrition tends to work to their advantage. Russia can continue to bomb Ukrainian troops and civilians and hope for eventual capitulation.
There is a way to ensure the U.S. does more to help Ukraine without provoking World War III. The reality is that in order for Americans to call this country the best one on the face of the earth, Americans need to be taking immediate action to defend their allies.

Ukraine is fighting for survival and its people are dying. Its leaders need to try any strategy that might plausibly help. The leaders of the U.S, E.U. and other allies genuinely want to come to Ukraine’s defense, but they are also concerned about their own economies, domestic support for their policies, and the risk of nuclear war with Russia. The U.S. can continue to condemn Russia, but this is more bark than bite. As a result, people will continue to be killed. Ukrainian families will be torn apart and civilians will be shot down in the streets of Kiev. The call for action is necessary, and even with a stronger military than anyone ever expected, the Russian military will eventually conquer Kiev and Ukraine, empowering Putin and his regime to roll on.

The answer is clear: act fast and act now, America.