USA Financing of the War in Ukraine


Opinion by Phil Jacobson

From the Libertarian Party perspective, what should the policy of the USA be towards the war between the Russian Federation and Ukraine? There are many aspects to this topic. In this essay, I will address one of them, the allocation of USA government funds to assist the government of Ukraine during its (ongoing as this is being written) war with Russia.

As I write this, the war between Russia and Ukraine is being fought primarily on Ukrainian soil. In 2014, Russian troops occupied Crimea and declared it annexed to Russia, with little military resistance, despite significant diplomatic opposition from the USA and its allies. The current conflict started early in 2022 when Russian leader Vladimir Putin sent Russian troops onto Ukrainian soil. The Ukrainian army has repulsed the Russian army from much of it’s initial holdings in Ukraine. The Russian government has authorized the formal annexation of Ukrainian regions (provinces) only partially occupied by Russian troops.

Even before the 2022 Russian invasion, the USA government was providing military training supplies and equipment to the Ukrainian government in response to the 2014 Russian seizure of land. These shipments have increased substantially since the current Russian invasion, and been augmented by military intelligence, training, and advice from USA sources. Polls in the USA indicate that this assistance to Ukraine is popular with most USA citizens.

Yet many USA citizens do not approve, for various reasons. Some are pacifists, opposed to any war. Some do not approve of any USA military activity which is not a reaction to an overt threat to USA territory. A few even support the Russian imperial claims. As is usually the case, members of the libertarian movement, including members of the Libertarian Party, are not united in their reaction either, there being a similar split in opinion to that of the general public.

The capacity for violence is a major component of any state. The most extreme form of this is the capacity to wage war upon another state, or to assist when other states are at war. Typically, the decision for one state to take sides in a war is made by a minority of the citizens of that state.

Often this begins as a de facto state of war established by the declaration of an emergency requiring rapid executive action. Popular opinion would always be a consideration, but war will be waged because a set of elite decision makers wanted it. The remaining citizens of this nation at war will be laden with tangible burdens, demanded in support of the war. This despite the fact that most citizens did not overtly choose to physically assist any belligerent.


Categories: Geopolitics

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