The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.
This article has been updated to reflect news developments.
“A year since Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine, the war is far from over. However bravely Ukrainians fight on, and however muddled the performance of Russia’s military, Ukraine cannot prevail without continued and substantial Western assistance. Since the invasion, that has swelled to over $150 billion in American and European spending, and the weapons supplied to Ukraine now include the latest Western tanks and antiaircraft systems.
The United States and its major allies have been steadfast in their resolve to support Ukraine in its fight, and their people have largely accepted the enormous cost. In the United States, the political resistance has been limited largely to a few voices on the far right and far left. But questions will become only more common as the war drags on. As Representative Kevin McCarthy, the speaker of the House, a Republican and a strong supporter of Ukraine, has warned, “There should be no blank check on anything.”
Outside Europe and the United States, support for the Ukrainian cause is much less solid, making efforts to punish Russia for its aggression less effective. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview recorded Saturday for “Meet the Press” that China is providing nonlethal aid to Russia and is “strongly considering providing lethal assistance to Russia.” Mr. Blinken expressed his “deep concern” to his Chinese counterpart.
To strengthen the alliance supporting Ukraine, as the second year of this terrible and unnecessary conflict begins, it is useful to examine why it is in the interest of the United States and other democracies to expend so much wealth, and to take so great a risk in confronting a nuclear power.