As the international community’s concern for the Gaza crisis grows, the disaster in Ukraine has been overshadowed. In Western countries, Ukrainian support fatigue is also conspicuous. In order to prevent any further rampant changes to the current situation in Ukraine, international cooperation must tighten back up again.
On the evening that U.S. President Joe Biden returned from Israel, he addressed the U.S. in a speech, asking Congress to approve a combined aid package of $105 billion (about 16 trillion yen) for Ukraine and Israel. However, the newly elected speaker of the House, Republican Mike Johnson, intends to prioritize the budget to support Israel.
This fall, in the face of internal Republican antagonism, the U.S. Congress was in turmoil over a short-term budget, and for the first time in history, the speaker was ousted. The budget was enacted but met with opposition from hard-line Republican supporters of former President Donald Trump, and it did not include support for Ukraine. If the current administration does not compromise with the Republicans, the support budget will dry up.
As the war in Ukraine continues, U.S. public opinion on support for Ukraine has also declined. The slump is particularly notable among the Republican Party’s base. According to a U.S. think tank, approval for military support to Ukraine has decreased from 80% at the outset of the war to 50%. As support fatigue increases, Trump’s “America First” policy, which prioritizes domestic issues over other countries, is gaining momentum.
Support fatigue and “country first” sentiment has spread in Europe as well. In October, Slovakia’s newly inaugurated administration adopted a policy that would end military support for Ukraine.
The West is Ukraine’s lifeline. If it is cut off, Ukraine’s strength will run out. Russian President Vladimir Putin is waiting for the West’s solidarity to fall into disarray.
Because of the crisis in Gaza, Russia was able to divert the West’s eyes from its war of aggression. However, in the mostly Muslim Republic of Dagestan, a mob protesting Israel’s attack on Gaza became violent, and it is possible that Russia may become internally unstable.
If Ukraine succumbs, more countries might imitate Russia. Support-fatigued countries must not turn inward. We especially want the U.S. to be aware of its great responsibility as the standard-bearing leader of the international order.
The international community must be unwavering in its support of Ukraine. At the same time, we must not forget diplomatic efforts to find first steps toward peace.