Mike Brice ’25
In September of 1938, British and French officials met with Adolf Hitler in Munich to discuss his desire to annex the Sudetenland. In what is now seen as one of the last moments that could have stopped Hitler, the officials gave him the Sudetenland in return for a promise that he would not take any more land in Europe.
If British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had stood up to Hitler at the Munich Conference, World War II could have been avoided. At least, they could have sabotaged Hitler’s plans, as his army wasn’t ready for conflict. In the coming weeks, The United States will have to come to terms with our own “Munich Agreement” in dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Due to the role that the U.S. plays on the world stage, it must continue to back Ukraine in the war with Russia.
With the looming government shutdown and the GOP calls for less funding for foreign aid, support for U.S. aid to Ukraine has dwindled. Since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia war, the U.S. has granted Ukraine more than $113 billion in support. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Congress in late September to request more money. Many Americans have expressed discomfort in providing Ukraine, a relative stranger to the U.S., with so much money. Most people believe the money could be best spent elsewhere. However, the general public must understand the U.S.’s role on the world stage.
After the disastrous effects of letting Hitler have his way and bully Europe, the U.S. has been hyper-focused on not allowing someone to take control of foreign territory and wreak havoc again. This philosophy reared its head when the U.S. committed military power to proxy wars across the globe in the late 20th century. The U.S. has assumed the role of enforcer on the global stage and, for better or worse, has done its best to beat up on the metaphorical bullies, while sometimes being one itself in the eyes of some.
Putin, the leader of the Russian Federation, has been pushing the limits on global laws for years. In 2014, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation, and they suffered significant international sanctions. Now, Putin has fully invaded Ukraine and imposed his will on Russia’s sphere of influence. The war will be entering its second year of combat with Ukraine just launching its counteroffensive. The U.S., which has been streaming funds into Ukraine, will soon be reaching a major decision: supply Ukraine in its counteroffensive against Russia and risk a world war, or abandon Zelensky and Ukraine?
The U.S. cannot allow Putin to have his way with the Eastern European countries surrounding Russia. Of course, there is a limit to the U.S.’s ability to justify spending on Ukraine aid, but allowing Putin to seize power in a sovereign nation sets a terrible precedent. What’s to say that future tyrants won’t be empowered to follow Putin’s example with few consequences? If the U.S. is to be the supreme superpower and the “Global Enforcer,” it has to stop global tyranny, and that means continuing to support Ukraine.