For several weeks, the possible aggression by Russia toward the sovereign nation of Ukraine became one of the most actively discussed topics in global affairs and international relations. President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people received global attention in their efforts to avoid devastating war and maintain peace at the very edge of NATO’s and the European Union’s borders.
Most Western politicians like the UK’s Prime Minister, the President of Poland, the heads of the Baltic States and others, became major supporters of Ukraine to check Russia and warn Putin how destructive the possible war could be for not only Ukraine but for both Russian elites and people. The Secretary of State Antony Blinken eloquently mentioned during his press conference that “what really risks your security is a pointless war with your neighbors in Ukraine with all the costs that come with it”. The statement by Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, about rotation and extreme readiness of American soldiers in different United States bases, was probably the most effective warning for Russia, to not cross the Rubicon.
However, several unexpected and alarming statements have come from the American Republican Party – traditionally far more proactive in its support of allies and partners of the United States than the Democrats. One of the first was Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who made the poor comparison of the Southern border crisis to the border of Ukraine, where the army of 100,000 Russian soldiers is still gathered. In that comparison, Tucker declared that they (Democrats) suddenly care about borders.
In response, several GOP senators and leaders told Tucker Carlson and explained that “We’re the decision-makers on Ukraine, not you” which is true on paper, but everybody knows about the influence Tucker has over large areas of the Republican party, and that cannot be underestimated. For example, in one of his audio podcasts, a famous activist said after the 2020 elections “Today Tucker is a Republican Party”.
Surprisingly, the rising star, Missouri representative in the Senate, Josh Hawley, called on the Biden Administration to drop support for Ukraine membership in NATO. His main argument was that Ukraine’s NATO membership will make it difficult to strengthen US military forces against the rising threat of China in the Indo-Pacific. However, when Hawley is concentrating on China’s threats, he also must consider the strategic geopolitical importance of Ukraine and Georgia as well as China’s attempts to influence European nations. Those countries could very soon be possible partners against the threats of China within the EU and in its neighborhood or even under threat from China. The visit of Vice-President Mike Pence about the Anaklia deep sea port in Georgia in 2019 was part of the US-Chinese rivalry over strategic infrastructure and an example of China seeking to spread its influence into Europe.
The supporters and ideologues of a more Realist school outlook are speaking out against NATO’s eastern enlargement and generally, much of the US’s foreign entanglements too. As declared GOP supporters, their most common arguments against involvement in Ukraine are Afghanistan and Iraq. In the recent podcast of The American Conservative under the name, Neocons are Back, those realists criticise so-called neoconservatives who, by their explanation, say exactly the same things for the Iraq War. But is that a real argument? Shouldn’t the American Right pay more attention to the difference between people and regions and properly respect the loyalty of the partners like Ukraine and Georgia? Do they really want to tell us that we would be the same countries, with the same security and economy, with 20 years of American military presence on our soil?
Or course, the answer is no. There are Ukrainians who are ready for a bloody war against Russia without a single American soldier and on the other hand we have Afghanistan, where the people and government relinquished power to the Taliban, after decades of American presence and tons of dollars spent on Afghan security. Some people around the globe value freedom and liberty above the so-called negatives of American support, I’m sure Ukrainians are among them.