Why U.S. Assistance To Ukraine Merits Bipartisan Support.

Michael Posner

By Michael Posner

When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed a joint session of Congress 14 months ago, he received a standing ovation. His defiant call to arms opposing Russian aggression and the warm reception he received from American lawmakers and the Biden administration were rightly seen around the world as an affirmation of strong bipartisan U.S. support for Ukraine. Today, much-needed U.S. military and economic aid to Ukraine is being stymied by a growing number of Republican leaders, led by the party’s torchbearer, Donald Trump, who are abandoning the Republican Party’s traditional engagement in the world and support for policies which they have viewed as enhancing national security. As Polish Prime Minster Donald Tusk recently wrote, “Ronald Reagan, who helped millions of us to win back our freedom and independence, must be turning in his grave today.”

A number of Republicans with national security credentials are challenging this retreat, among them H.R. McMaster, who served as Donald Trump’s national security adviser. He recently echoed Tusk’s expression of remorse and disbelief, writing that “the abandonment of Kyiv would be a gift to the Moscow-Tehran-Beijing-Pyongyang axis of aggressors. Allies and partners would lose trust in America as those aggressors are emboldened.”

Late last month, I visited Kyiv with colleagues from RFK Human Rights and Fortify Rights. We met with government officials, civil society organizations, students, diplomats and humanitarian workers. These meetings underscored three features of Ukraine’s response to Russia’s two-year-old invasion that make a compelling case for continued U.S. support. First and most important, Ukrainians are united and remarkably determined to repel Russian aggression. They don’t need pep talks or words of inspiration. They accurately view this as their war, an existential conflict that will determine their own freedom and well-being.

Read the full Forbes article.
Michael Posner is the Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance, Professor of Business and Society and Director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.