Ukraine Aid: Congress’ Failure of U.S. Foreign Policy Leadership

Ukraine Aid: Congress’ Failure of U.S. Foreign Policy Leadership

By Lt. Gen. (Ret.) James M. Dubik

October 4, 2023 8:00 AM ET

That there has been no major war in Europe since 1945 isn’t an accident. It is because that generation of American leaders — political, diplomatic, economic and military — came together to defeat Adolf Hitler’s expansionist, war-crime-filled aggression. This same set of leaders then designed a set of structures that (a) provided near-term stability in a very turbulent and quite violent post-fighting Europe that (b) laid a foundation for a long-term peace — NATO and the European Union — from which almost four generations have benefitted. That is, until Russia invaded Ukraine. 

American and European leaders worked together to fashion post-war European security, economic, and political institutions that were mutually beneficial to all — including America.  Many of these leaders had very visceral reasons to succeed at this monumentally difficult task:  They had lived through or fought in two world wars. America falsely believed that “what happened in Europe doesn’t affect us,” only to be drawn into World War I and suffer almost 260,000 U.S. killed and wounded. And again, when an aggressive dictator went unanswered for too long: World War II, in which millions of civilians and hundreds of thousands of those fighting were killed or wounded in Europe alone — including approximately 552,000 Americans.

The scale of death, destruction, famine and the massive displacements of European civilians, many parentless children, all led senior leaders of the period to the same conclusion — never again. “The enormity of the task before all of them,” said Dean Acheson in the opening of his memoir Present at the Creation, “began to appear as just a bit less formidable than that described in the first chapter of Genesis.”

The men and women who fought, and then built the Europe most of us inherited, would be appalled by the growing attitude today among too many American leaders and citizens of not supporting Ukraine.

 The full text of this piece is available at The Messenger.