Date: 16 November 2022

As U.S. Midterm Elections Are Underway, Potential Effects on the War in Ukraine Remain Uncertain

The 2022 U.S. midterm elections are underway. In every state across the nation, Americans are voting for congressional representatives and senators to Congress. The elections come at a time where the United States has found itself in numerous predicaments that affect each citizen.

SOURCE: Pixabay (Author: Ronile)

With record high inflation, political standoff with Russia, and rapidly growing national debt, the midterm elections may be a chance for frustrated voters to demand a change of course. A redistribution of political power in Washington could drastically shift American politics, domestically and abroad.

Under the Biden administration, with large support from House Democrats, the United States committed more than $18.2 billion since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This includes modern anti-aircraft missile defense systems, anti-armor systems, ammunitions, and more. Additionally, the United States has sent over $1.52 billion dollars in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, amidst mass displacement of civilians and a refugee crisis. Ukraine has been able to utilize American aid to launch counter offensives in Russian occupied territory. Ukrainian officials report reclaiming over 6000 sq km of land previously controlled by the Russian military in September. Higher-quality Western weapons have significantly aided recent Ukrainian victories and are crucial for maintaining control in the region.

Domestically, high costs of military aid have drawn scrutiny amongst many calling to redirect budget towards internal needs. Recently, GOP House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, suggested that the Republicans are wary of delivering further financial aid to Ukraine. In a statement, he said “I think people are going to be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine.” McCarthy further remarked, “They just won’t do it. It’s not a free blank check.” Republican Representative, Marjorie Taylor Greene, voiced an even stronger opinion, stating that, “not another penny will go to Ukraine.” With a potential Republican win in the midterm elections, a decline in funding to Ukraine would become an inevitability. A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 32% of Republican and Republican-leaning independents believe the United States is providing too much support for Ukraine in the war. In opposition, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, commented that “We’ve never given a blank check to Ukraine,” in a press conference in Croatia in October.

A decrease in funding to Ukraine, on the other hand, could spur a large security risk to the region and NATO. Russian attacks have taken place across Ukraine, pushing closer to its eastern border with NATO member states. Former Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, recently told POLITICO, “We hope that for our sake that we don’t become a victim to the partisan debate that’s unfolding right now in the U.S.” She continued to remark that Ukraine is “seriously dependent on not only American support, but also on the U.S. leadership in terms of keeping up the common effort of other nations.”

Nevertheless, numerous Republican figures, including former Vice President Mike Pence, and senator Mitch McConnell, continue to support military and financial aid for Ukraine. Amongst Americans themselves, the majority still support military and financial aid to Ukraine. A recent Reuters poll indicated that 73% of Americans say that the United States should continue to support Ukraine, even in the face of Russian threats to use nuclear weapons.

Maintaining stability and the territorial integrity of Ukraine remain pressing concerns in U.S. politics. Representatives from all fifty states continue to debate how to properly manage the growing Russian influence in the region. With election results soon to come, time will tell whether the United States maintains its position on Ukraine, or whether a Republican majority could undermine these efforts.

 


Jack Kakasenko
Jack is working towards his BS degree in Aerospace Engineering and Russian Studies at North Carolina State University. He is interested in the political and historical relationship between Ukraine and Russia, and it’s role in international affairs.

 

Source:

1. United States Department of Defense. “Fact Sheet on U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine.” November 4, 2022. Available at: https://media.defense.gov/2022/Nov/04/2003109432/-1/-1/0/UKRAINE-FACT-SHEET-NOV-4.PDF Accessed November, 2022
2. USAID. “U.S. Humanitarian Response to Russia’s War on Ukraine.” August 23, 2022. Available at: https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Ukraine_Disaster_Infographic_8-23-2022.pdf Accessed November, 2022
3. The Visual Journalism Team. “Ukraine in maps: Tracking the war with Russia.” BBC News. October 28, 2022. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60506682 Accessed November, 2022
4. Amiri, Farnoush and Freking, Kevin. “No ‘blank check’ for Ukraine if GOP wins majority.” AP News. October 19, 2022. Available at: https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-donald-trump-humanitarian-assistance-congress-c47a255738cd13576aa4d238ec076f4a Accessed November, 2022.
5. Dettmer, Jamie and Kuznetsov, Sergei. “Ukraine frets about US midterms.” POLITICO. November 8, 2022. Available at: https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-frets-about-us-midterms/ Accessed November, 2022
6. Ordonez, Franco. “Ukrainians keep a wary eye on U.S. midterm elections, fearing a loss of support.” NPR. October 19, 2022. Available at: https://www.npr.org/2022/10/19/1129652322/ukraine-us-midterm-elections Accessed November, 2022.
7. Schnell, Mychael. “Pelosi on McCarthy comment: ‘We’ve never given a blank check to Ukraine.’” The Hill. October 24, 2022. Available at: https://thehill.com/policy/international/3701824-pelosi-on-mccarthy-comment-weve-never-given-a-blank-check-to-ukraine/ Accessed November, 2022.
8. Dettmer, Jamie and Kuznetsov, Sergei. “Ukraine frets about US midterms.” POLITICO. November 8, 2022. Available at: https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-frets-about-us-midterms/ Accessed November, 2022
9. Zengerle, Patricia. “Three in four Americans say U.S. should support Ukraine despite Russian threats, Reuters/Ispos poll shows.” Reuters. October 6, 2022. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/three-four-americans-say-us-should-support-ukraine-despite-russian-threats-2022-10-05/ Accessed November, 2022

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