A blank check won’t happen

Published December 20, 2023

WORLD Opinions

The United States should see a clear strategy and more support from Europe before funding Ukraine

After fading into the background following two months of war in the Middle East, Ukraine is back in the news. Congress has debated continued military funding for Ukraine over the past couple weeks, with Republicans staunchly insisting that any such aid must be tied to a bill strengthening border security on the chaotic U.S.-Mexico border. The prospect of a halt in American military supplies has sent Ukraine’s leadership scrambling to shore up public support. Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska warned on British television that her country was in “mortal danger,” while President Zelensky met with leading officials in Washington to plead his case—all to no avail.

No fair-minded person can listen to such pleas without sympathy and concern; Ukraine’s courage and suffering have rightly captured the attention of the world. And yet politics is the art of the possible, the art of setting priorities among many needs and limited means. From that standpoint, it is hard to argue with the wisdom of Republican Speaker Mike Johnson’s stance. First, America’s primary responsibility is for her own national security, and that means securing the nation’s borders. Second, we cannot continue sending money and supplies to Ukraine without a “clear articulation” of the strategy. Let’s be honest about the endgame.

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Brad Littlejohn, Ph.D., is a Fellow in EPPC’s Evangelicals in Civic Life Program, where his work focuses on helping public leaders understand the intellectual and historical foundations of our current breakdown of public trust, social cohesion, and sound governance. His research investigates shifting understandings of the nature of freedom and authority, and how a more full-orbed conception of freedom, rooted in the Christian tradition, can inform policy that respects both the dignity of the individual and the urgency of the common good. He also serves as President of the Davenant Institute.

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