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America's Heart Wants To Help Ukraine, But The Mind Wants The War To End: TIPP Poll

Americans have a clear message for Speaker Mike Johnson.

Photo by Jessica Pamp on Unsplash

For more than two years, Americans have been torn in their support for Ukraine. They detested it when Putin, no matter the reason/cause, invaded a sovereign nation in February 2022. The war triggered a global crisis, killing and wounding thousands and displacing millions. In the early days, automobile dealer lots sported Ukrainian flags next to American and state flags. The solidarity with Ukraine extended to boycotts of Russian imports (caviar, wine) and a general thumbs down on Russian cultural and sporting personalities. But as the war effort faltered, more Americans began to question the wisdom of supporting an unwinnable conflict.  

Congress and the Biden administration have taken advantage of America's generosity to provide over $110 billion in direct aid to Ukraine, making it the top foreign aid recipient country. During this time, victory has oscillated between the two warring nations. 

After initially closing in on Kyiv, Russian troops hastily withdrew as Ukraine mounted a courageous battle. The Russians then regrouped and attacked Ukraine's East, systematically taking territory, even as leaders from America and the West grappled with finding a fitting response. With weapons and logistics support pouring in, Ukraine took the offensive and beat back Russia, recapturing large tracts of land even as the first winter started.

Then, Russia dug in and built impressive defenses as the fighting paused. The famed Ukrainian counter-offensive started in June 2023 but sputtered badly. Territorial victories began to be measured in fractions of a mile, with each side winning or losing as weeks rolled on. The word ‘stalemate’ began to take hold in media reporting, but the bleeding of blood and treasure continued on both sides. 

After nearly $200 billion in Western arms shipments, training, logistics, and strategic support, Russia has continued to advance in Ukraine. According to the Harvard Kennedy School's Russia-Ukraine War Report Card in December 2023, Russia occupied about 20% of Ukraine, nearly 9,000 square miles more than before the Feb 2022 invasion. 

By all measures, Ukraine is losing badly. Soldiers have been bravely fighting in the theater for two years non-stop, with no rotation or rest. Fatigue, illness, frustration at being away from home for extended periods, and a dwindling strength of the fighting forces as soldiers die or are wounded would all make any nation go to the peace table. According to the New York Times, Russia is now firing at least five times as many artillery rounds as Ukraine. Russia continues to enjoy an advantage in terms of the number of soldiers and weaponry. 

With the Senate having passed another $61 billion in aid and the House, having stalled action for months, about to take up the measure, we asked Americans what they think about America's continued support for the war.

The poll results surprised us. 

By a slight majority (54%), Americans want to support Ukraine, so their hearts are committed to helping Ukraine fight the fight, even if victory is unlikely. We asked if America's current economic state ($34.5 trillion in debt, over $1 trillion in debt service payments, high inflation, and sky-high interest rates) would give them pause.

By a smaller vote of 49%, respondents said they would still support sending money to Ukraine. This is a small dose of good news for the war hawks within the Beltway who are aggressively using guilt-trip narratives to pressure Congress into passing the $61 billion aid package.

But the rest of the poll results are terrible news for the Biden administration and the Neocons. Americans are dissatisfied (51%) that the Biden administration has not sought to end the war and say that Biden lacks a clear vision to do so (64%).

Even more crucially, Americans fear how continued fighting would impact them - a direct outcome of Biden's prosecuting the war so far. By more significant majorities, Americans fear that it would deepen the abyss (58%), escalate the conflict even to include nuclear weapons (65%), and draw America into a direct war with Russia (60%). 63% of Americans want our borders to be secure before extending assistance to Ukraine, and a nearly overwhelming majority (70%) say America cannot afford to finance foreign conflicts.

So, the American mind wants the war to end quickly. The American mind wants to invest in securing America's borders first and limit American involvement in foreign conflicts, a clear indication that the "America First" message is taking hold over Biden's globalist approach of ‘as long as it takes’ wars to protect the international order. Speaker Mike Johnson: "Are you listening?"

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