The fate of American aid to Ukraine

Internal political disputes in the United States have reached a new phase, jeopardizing aid flow to Ukraine. Republicans, who announced they would not support aid to Ukraine until border security is ensured, deemed Biden's concessions on border security insufficient. More precisely, they stalled the issue at the behest of Trump to potentially exploit the immigration crisis in the presidential elections. Especially after this strategy was accepted in the House of Representatives, it was rejected by Senate Republicans. With the passage of a $95 billion aid package, the Senate shifted the responsibility of aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan to Trump-aligned Republicans. If the House of Representatives rejects this aid package under the pretext of the border crisis, it will mark a new phase in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Avoiding a choice between "war continuation" and "diplomatic solution" until the November elections and managing the current situation should not come as a surprise.


If House Speaker Mike Johnson brings up the Ukraine package, which also includes $14 billion in aid to Israel, it will mean giving Biden what he wants regarding border security without conceding. Criticism that prioritizes Ukraine's security over the American border is already widespread. Moreover, reaching a compromise with Biden would mean ignoring Trump's demands and election strategy. Some Republican representatives may support the aid package by arguing that aid to Israel should not be jeopardized. If the package manages to pass through political bargaining, Trump's influence will be partially diminished. The biggest obstacle to this is Johnson's refusal to bring the bill to the agenda. In this case, Republicans have two options: either reject the aid package to Ukraine in line with Trump's election campaign or continue aid to Ukraine under the pretext of aid to Israel.

In either case, nothing will be done about border security, and representatives will have to be held accountable to their constituents on this issue. Moreover, they may face the wrath of Trump, as seen in past elections. The fact that Trump's centrist figures in the Republican Party struggled to control the situation during the removal process of Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas was observed. Mayorkas, who remained in office after failing to convince centrist Republican representatives in the first vote, later became the first secretary to be impeached while in office due to pressure from Trump-aligned forces. Trump's weight in the party reaching this level indicates that the Ukraine aid package is also in serious jeopardy.


Cutting off American aid to Ukraine would be a major blow to Biden, who claims to revitalize the Western alliance. We already know that Ukraine's firepower has decreased as it has managed to survive for six months to a year due to the continued flow of aid packages passed last year. As Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines try to use their ammunition judiciously, they are already beginning to face problems with armored vehicle spare parts. Deprivation of American aid to Ukraine, which cannot advance against Russia, could result in its retreat in the coming months. Actions such as attacking the Russian navy by Ukrainian forces on the field to gain strategic superiority and morale would actually be a consequence of this.

It could be said that more important than the financial aspect of American support is whether the message that the West will defend Ukraine at all costs can be conveyed. We see that American support is not popular among the public and the perception that too much aid has already been given is highlighted in polls. Opposition to aid to Ukraine does not only come from Trump-aligned representatives. The American public's deep skepticism about world leadership and its lack of conviction that investment in Ukraine will yield results also fuel this opposition. Cutting off American aid will reinforce the image that Ukraine is abandoned to its fate and, consequently, the thesis that a peace agreement needs to be reached. While Europe continues the financial aspect of American support, the stagnation of Washington's strategic, intelligence, and military support capacity would be a significant handicap for Ukraine.

The weakening of American support for Ukraine in a short period like one or two years would mean that Russian leader Putin's calculation is correct. Preventing Putin from savoring this victory is one of the most important factors in ensuring the passage of the aid package from the American Congress. We know that politicians in the Senate largely passed the aid package with these concerns in mind. The failure of the package to pass the House of Representatives would mean that American foreign policy loses to domestic politics. This will have serious consequences for the Ukraine war and global power struggle. One of these consequences could be an increase in pressure for a "diplomatic solution" to Ukraine, and at this point, Turkey could intervene as a mediator again. However, if Putin insists on maintaining his current gains, a long and unresolved diplomatic process could begin as it would require Ukraine to compromise on its goal of full sovereignty.

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3 months ago
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