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Impact Of Changes In Congress On War In Ukraine – OpEd

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Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the developments and news of the battlefield have been narrated in most media that the outcome of the war has changed in favor of Ukraine with the intervention of the United States in the war. Even if we do not judge whether the news of the war is true or false, the battlefield is somehow showing that the comprehensive financial and armed support of Europe and America to Ukraine is met with very serious criticism among the people and within the political structure of European countries. In fact, not only many politicians and industrialists in Europe and America, but also some Republicans and a significant number of figures and Democrat representatives of Congress do not agree with the continuation of the current process of supporting Ukraine and want a complete adjustment or change. 

One of the main current criticisms is the very high amount of American financial and military aid to Kyiv, which so far includes an astronomical figure of sixty billion dollars from the United States. Of this total amount, more than seventeen billion dollars have been delivered to Ukraine as military aid and in the form of equipment, and another fifty-billion-dollar package should be on the way if the war continues.

In such a situation, the November 7 election can have serious effects on the process of US aid to Ukraine by changing the composition of the current Congress. In this regard, a number of leading Republican figures, referring to the increase in the costs of American households, considered this amount of foreign aid irrational and, raised doubts about the continuation of the support, called for a fundamental change in this situation if the Republicans win in the mid-term elections. Republicans can achieve their political goals only by gaining a majority in the House of Representatives, which is responsible for presenting financial and economic bills. But there are split votes within the Republican Party and people like Mike Pence, the former vice president in the Trump administration, and Mitch McConnell, the minority leader of the Senate, not only do not agree with the reduction of aid but also want to increase it. These people, who are more political figures rather than technocrats, have a strong stance against Russia and Putin personally, and they actually want Russia’s definitive defeat in the Ukraine war.

In fact, what can be understood from the contradictory positions of the two major parties in Congress is that there is currently a battle going on between the Republican and Democratic parties, which is an old and deep-rooted confrontation that lacks the status of a populist movement with a strategic look at developments. However, many NATO member countries and the United States look at the developments with optimism and are still in the illusion of Republican and Democrat cooperation and believe that even if the composition of both houses changes, there will not be a change in the general policies of the United States, including support for Ukraine. 

Recently, the whispers of the support of some congressional democrats, or in other words, 30 leading representatives, who had written a letter asking for negotiation and reconciliation between the Biden government and Russia, even after withdrawing their letter, were faced with threats from the party leaders, which shows that the dream of a bipartisan agreement will never come true. The signatories of this letter asked the President of the United States to combine economic and military support of their country for Ukraine with pressure, diplomatic leverage, and efforts to create a realistic framework for Ukraine. Also, in another part of the letter, they called for more efforts by the United States to achieve a ceasefire and direct negotiations with Russia as the final solution. However, most of the writers of the letter were from the so-called progressive faction of the Democrats, which included people with radical tendencies such as Ilhan Omar and Alexander Ocasio Cortez, who are not politically influential. But this does not mean that other Democrats are not aligned with these representatives, and the silent groups of Democrats certainly cannot be indifferent to spending huge amounts of money in Ukraine, especially when their country is in an economic recession.

Polls show that many Americans support the continuation of aid to Ukraine, but the level of this public support is decreasing, as the Pew Research Institute points out in its report. The number of American people that oppose the continuation of these aids has increased by twelve percent compared to May and seven percent compared to March, which is a worrying trend for the Biden administration and the future composition of Congress.

In addition to these issues, the question is what effect does the continuation or non-continuation of US aid to Ukraine have on the final fate of the war? Any answer to this question can be predictable. But due to the recent developments and the prolongation of the war in Ukraine, Western countries have suffered more than others. The increase in immigration to Europe, the increase in the inflation rate in Europe, and the increase in fuel prices in a situation where winter has not yet arrived indicate the fragility of the situation.

According to what some western sources claim, Europe has prepared its gas reserves and will not have a problem with fuel supply. But it seems that this is only related to a few rich countries such as Germany and France, and the less privileged European countries did not have such a possibility. Therefore, what threatens the front of the western alliance against Russia is the decrease or even the mere increase of financial and military aid to Ukraine and popular dissatisfaction resulting from economic pressures and excessive concentration of governments on the events of this country.

In this situation, the arrival of news about the termination or increase of the US aid to Ukraine will lead to confusion among the parties in this dispute and the main culprit in the war in Ukraine. Present America is erasing the issue in order to avoid the responsibility of the war in Ukraine. Basically, NATO’s expansion strategy to the east, change, and transformation in the Ukrainian government due to interference in the sovereignty of Kyiv is only one side of the story. The other side of the story is the proxy use of Ukraine and possibly Taiwan at the next stage to maintain the deteriorating conditions, something that no one in Congress or in the world is asking about. Now, it is better that Congress, before supporting any country, first deals with the causes of the war and the role of the White House in it, so that it may no longer need to help out the war-stricken people of another part of the world.

In a situation where the United States and other allied countries are facing thousands of problems within their borders, they cannot play with the fire of war in Ukraine. Therefore, the domestic conditions of a country like the United States and the possibility of the victory of any of the parties or the rise of the populist factions and their extremism will not have an effect on the inevitable fate of the war that can lead to the use of nuclear weapons, and will not bear any fruit for the Western coalition.

Timothy Hopper

Timothy Hopper is an international relations graduate of American University.

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