Russia’s war in Ukraine should make America reevaluate its role abroad


Citizens in London protest against war in Ukraine. (Flickr)

After months of repeated warnings from intelligence officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin has unjustly invaded the sovereign nation of Ukraine. 

In a televised address, Putin claimed the invasion was launched to combat Neo-Nazis and nationalists within Ukraine. You don’t need to be an expert in geopolitics to see this is an extremely flimsy excuse to rebuild the Soviet Empire. 

In our current political climate, we can often lose sight of reality. Before attempting any analysis of this situation, it must be emphasized that war is brutal, bloody and tragic. 

It is currently estimated that more than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since the beginning of Russia’s invasion. The UN also estimates hundreds of thousands have been displaced. 

Given the horrors that are unfolding, there are those among us who are making appeals to the United States to enter the war. Former National Security Advisor and noted war-hawk John Bolton advocated for President Biden to set up a no-fly zone for Russian aircraft over Ukraine. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman called on Biden to “set a red line” in order to deter the use of nuclear weapons. 

The images coming out of Ukraine are heartbreaking, but this is not our fight. This is not to say we cannot send military and humanitarian aid to the country (which we already are), but we should not get directly involved. 

The United States has continued to entangle itself in the affairs of Europe. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a mutual defense alliance formed in 1949 to combat the Soviet Union, is now bigger than it was during the peak of the Cold War. We have military bases in Portugal, Spain, Poland, Germany and several other European countries. 

America’s foreign policy has been aimless since the end of the Cold War. We spend trillions of dollars to maintain a massive global military presence to prop up a bloated defense alliance which is a relic of a bygone era. Our leaders continue to insist our massive military budget and NATO are necessary, despite there being no clear reason to maintain them. 

Citizens in London protest against war in Ukraine. (Flickr)

Putin made reference to NATO’s continued eastward expansion and the West’s massive military complex many times during his televised address. Of course, it was all exaggerated and used as another excuse to proceed with Putin’s unjust invasion, but the criticisms of our institutions were not all meritless. 

I am in no way, shape or form supporting Putin or his actions, but the fact that an egotistical dictator leveled legitimate criticisms towards our foreign policy should give us pause. 

Why is NATO continuing to expand despite the Cold War having been over for three decades? Should we be so entangled in Europe’s affairs? Does our military really need to be that massive? What exactly should our role in the world be? These are all questions that our leaders should be asking themselves. 

America has no reason to be so actively involved in foreign affairs or get directly involved in other conflicts that pose no threat to us. As we have seen time and again throughout the past 20 years (most notably in Afghanistan just a few months ago), this is a tremendous undertaking that we are not equipped to handle. 

We should supply arms and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but it would be foolish to send in our troops. The last thing we need is to be stuck in yet another unwinnable war. Getting involved will solve nothing and only lead to more death and destruction. 

No words that I could write can fully represent the horrors of war. My heart goes out to the citizens of Ukraine and I hope they will soon know peace. 

War is a horrendous tragedy. Please join me in praying daily for the swift end of this terrible conflict.