Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Why Aid Ukraine

I happen to think US aid to Ukraine, as it tries to expel Russian invaders, is a good idea. Others argue with some justice that we are neglecting serious needs here at home. 

This claim is accurate, but the neglected needs are mostly things our government cannot assemble a political majority to support, like closing the southern border and imprisoning felons. Such a majority exists to support Ukraine so the unmet needs argument against doing so is irrelevant.

The Hudson Institute has an excellent article making the arguments for support of Ukraine. It isn't balanced, nor does it claim to be. These 14 points are what a good debater would say in support of our aid to Ukraine.

  1. The US is not writing “blank checks” to Ukraine, and most of the money allocated to help Ukraine never leaves the US.
  2. For a relatively modest amount of money, US aid helps Ukraine dismantle Russia’s armed forces without a single American firing a shot or being shot at.
  3. There has never been more accountability for US military assistance than what is available for Ukraine aid.
  4. Europe has spent more than the US on Ukraine aid.
  5. A victorious Ukraine means a safer Taiwan.
  6. European stability, which Russia is trying to undermine, affects the American worker.
  7. The lessons the US learns from Ukraine will make America stronger in the Indo-Pacific.
  8. The weapons the US is sending to Ukraine do not impact America’s ability to fight an Indo-Pacific conflict.
  9. Because of lessons the US learned by arming Ukraine, Taiwan is receiving weapons sooner.
  10. Iran and North Korea enable Russia to attack Ukraine. Russia supports Hamas.
  11. Ukraine is not a new “forever war.”
  12. The US is not engaged in a proxy war against Russia.
  13. The US needs to provide both military and nonmilitary aid to achieve the greatest effect.
  14. Claims that US aid to Ukraine has cost “$900 per American household” and that the newly proposed aid package will add “over $1,000” to the tax burden of “every family of four in America” are wildly misleading.
I'm not certain I agree with every point, nos. 3, 9, and 11 are questionable. On the other hand, the argument the author makes for no. 12 is particularly interesting.