As the Russia-Ukraine War continues, how a future US Administration reacts in 2024 towards continuing support to Ukraine will depend on the course of the war. A key factor will be the success of Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian forces which have dug heavily layered defenses across southeastern Ukraine and in Crimea.
Success will sustain America’s commitment moving forward, yet Russia’s response towards a possible defeat on the battlefield may prove disastrous. To date, the Biden Administration has given over $35 billion dollars in security assistance to Ukraine with a wide range of weapons which include Patriot missiles, Abraham tanks, Javelin anti-armor systems, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, howitzers, high-mobility artillery and munitions and ammunition.
Many international organizations are lining up to sustain Ukraine for the long-term, the IMF just gave Ukraine a 15.6-billion-dollar loan for four years as part of a US $115 overall aid package, the G-7, the United States and Europe have all pledged to support Ukraine for the long-term. In 2024, if President Biden were to be reelected, the Democrats would continue support for Ukraine and keep the NATO alliance and Europe united in support of Ukraine for the foreseeable future.
The new wild card in Europe would be France, with Macron seeking to pressure Ukraine to negotiate a settlement with Putin, despite objections from the nations of Eastern Europe, Germany and the United Kingdom. The July NATO Conference in Vilnius will be pivotal, as Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis stated that the choice of Vilnius for the NATO summit highlighted the security of NATO’s eastern flank and sent a strong signal that ensuring the Baltic region’s security was important for the entire NATO.
The Republican strategy has been to portray the Democrats as spending too much on Ukraine, with no accountability regarding US military and financial assistance. Their “America First” narrative, emphasizes a focus on saving and spending money on America, less on Ukraine. Presidential candidate Trump is still somewhat sympathetic toward Russia as he continues to claim that Putin is “very smart” even though he has been indited as an international war criminal in the Hague.
Even before he has launched his candidacy, Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis, has had to correct various remarks he made regarding Russia-Ukraine War as he first commented it was just a territorial dispute. In all, 42 percent of Republican voters supports US aid to Ukraine against Russia; and 65 percent of all Americans approve it. However, the bigger question would be if the Republicans win the election, would the bipartisan support for Ukraine begin to erode in Congress if a future Republican President cuts military assistance. This is what Putin is betting on, this is his long-term strategy, to hold out long-term until US and European assistance falters and Ukraine’s war effort can no longer be sustained.
This is an existential danger that Europe faces along with the rest of the world, for if Russia’s aggression succeeds, it will be an example for other nations, such as China, to follow. In addition, future Russian expansion threatens Europe’s security in a number of other areas, Poland, the Baltics, Finland, and Moldova.