Biden Must Explain to the American People Why We’re Supporting Ukraine—Before It’s Too Late | Opinion


Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky (R) shakes hands with U.S. President Joe Biden following the announcement of the G7 nations’ joint declaration for the support of Ukraine on July 12, 2023 in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event took place at the 2023 NATO Summit.SEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES

As the war in eastern and southern Ukraine rages on, President Biden has pursued practical, measured, and strategic policies in support of Ukraine against Russia’s war of aggression. Yet he has failed at an important task: conveying to the American people the rationale for their participation in this conflict, namely, their common national purpose with Ukraine.

What the Biden administration has failed to explain is that the ongoing war is not just a territorial dispute, as some would have it. Instead, it represents the first concerted attempt by great and rising powers to overturn the current world order since World War II. Allowing Moscow to annex Ukrainian lands with impunity, with Beijing and Tehran subsidizing Putin’s efforts to consolidate his gains, will set in motion a change of events that will wither away the current order that seeks to uphold human rights, civic freedoms, and laws and norms regarding the use of force.

This is certainly not the first war the U.S. has been involved since 1945 as a non-combatant. As part of a United Nations effort to repel North Korean and Chinese forces from South Korea, the Truman administration provided significant military assistance, supplies, and eventually troops as the U.S. sought to prevent the armed spread of communist ideals. As part of the Truman Doctrine, President Eisenhower sent some 700 military personnel as well as considerable military and economic aid to the government of South Vietnam to assist in the fight against communist guerilla forces. During the bloody eight-year long Iran-Iraq war, the Reagen administration provided Saddam Hussein with invaluable intelligence regarding the location of Iranian troops. More recently, the Obama administration provided varying degrees of support to anti-government rebels and Kurdish forces that valiantly fought the Assad regime and ISIS.

Although some of these armed conflicts led to eventual deployment of American troops, U.S. participation in them as a non-combatant was determined by short-term strategic thinking. In seeking to contain adversaries with considerable hard power capabilities, America’s involvement sought to assert itself as a military superpower, increase or strengthen its international legitimacy, and uphold the intrinsic liberal values of the world order.

America is once again facing such a challenge, and it’s this that justifies its support of Ukraine. Yet President Biden and his administration have failed to articulate this exact vision, even as their support has been constant. As of July 2023, the U.S. has supplied Ukraine with over $75 billion in humanitarian, financial, and military support, representing .33 percent of its GDP. This is no mean sum when American voters are facing down rising living costs, declining transportation infrastructure, and growing crime rates across the country. So it’s not surprising that a recent poll by CNN shows that most Americans oppose Congress authorizing additional funding to support Ukraine in its war with Russia; 55 percent said the U.S. Congress should not authorize additional funding, and 51 percent said Washington has already done enough to help Ukraine. These numbers represent a sharp decline since February of 2022, when 62 percent of Americans felt the U.S. should have been doing more.

This waning support is not for a lack of Ukrainian gains. Just this week, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry officially announced the total liberation of Robotyne. This breach of Russian defense lines is a tactical victory and presents a potential turning point of the war. Russian secondary lines are now being threatened.

The problem is one of messaging. The White House has not conveyed to the American people the impact that a loss in Ukraine would have on the current world order. Instead, the Biden administration has focused on highlighting the need to protect Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and contain Putin’s revisionist ambitions to expand and consolidate its historic sphere of influence. What the Biden administration has failed to convey to American audiences is that Ukraine is the first line of defense for the current world order.

This is why both Iran and China are increasingly investing in Russia’s ability to hold on to gains made since last year’s invasion. Since Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Chinese exports to Russia have grown by nearly 67 percent as Western states continue to uphold an extensive package of sanctions against Moscow; discounted oil prices have attracted illiberal and non-aligned regimes around the world as well, including China, India, Pakistan, Turkey. And Iran has provided subsidized military technology to Russia, including surface-to-surface missiles and drones, and probably sent personnel to Crimea to assist Russian forces in launching attacks on Ukraine.

These countries are keenly interested in whether aggression can successfully expand Russia’s borders, and if so, whether it can also do so for other illiberal regimes around the world with territorial grievances.

As we near the 2024 presidential election, the United States’ continued ability to lead the fight against Russian aggression in Ukraine will depend on its ability to convey the importance of its involvement to the American public. Arguing for preserving Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and containing Putin’s expansionist agenda is simply not enough.

The White House must stress the concerted effort across the globe to overturn a world order that seeks to uphold basic human rights, political freedoms, and existing international law. Ukraine is the first line of defense for all of us invested in liberal values.


  1. “What the Biden administration has failed to convey to American audiences is that Ukraine is the first line of defense for the current world order.
    This is why both Iran and China are increasingly investing in Russia’s ability to hold on to gains made since last year’s invasion.”

    Biden is sleepy at the wheel, not only in this regard. He is not assuring to end this war as fast as possible. Keeping vital weapons and ammo from being sent to Ukraine and forbidding Ukraine to attack mafia land is NOT a viable plan. Dragging any war out is not a viable plan. Unless you’re earning lots of money, or? It’s either that or the guy is stupid or a spineless coward. There is no other option.

  2. It was Chris Christie in the debate who spoke in graphic detail of the torture, dismemberment, castration and child rape inflicted by marauding orcs on Ukrainians, yet it appeared to have no effect.

  3. Biden hasn’t been able to articulate any of his policies, including the southern border. Oh I stand corrected he and his administration are real good at blaming everything at global warming, woke shit and DEI.

      • Sir Bill. Biden seems to be preoccupied with Woke Nonsense such as Transgender priorities and DEI stands for Diversity, equity inclusion meaning forget about competence.

        • That’s so true, Sir Cap. I saw first hand what diversity can do to an organization that hires according to skin color instead of skills. It’s not a very good concept to assure competency.

    • Our southern border needs a WALL, so ruSSia’s lackeys can no longer push scum and harddrugs into the States. Harddrugs are destroying our society and trigger white supremacist stereotypes.

      • The fucking chinks are also taking advantage of Biden’s welcome wagon policies. The fentanyl streaming across our border is almost wholly from bat virus land.

      • Drug smuggling is a real problem, but narcotics have mostly been smuggled in on trucks, cars and airplanes at official ports of entry, or through tunnels under the border, or through the postal system – not by individuals crossing remote parts of the border. Trump’s wall is a stupid idea that would have no effect on drug smuggling.

        (Fun fact – “the wall” was never supposed to be a serious thing. Trump’s advisors wanted him to focus on immigration, but they had a candidate who wasn’t too bright, wouldn’t read from a teleprompter, and couldn’t stay focused on anything. Since he was a builder, they came up with the idea of building a concrete wall as something he could retain.)

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