The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

What Another Trump Presidency Could Mean for Ukraine

As we near the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many uncertainties continue to loom over Ukraine’s fate. This ambiguity is coupled with the United States’ upcoming presidential election. While many issues remain at the center of debate between presidential candidates, I believe one of the most important — and yet overlooked — is the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War. The outcome of the conflict affects not only Ukraine but countless other Eastern European countries.

While the election is still 10 months away, former President Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s current front-runner, making it increasingly likely he will be their presidential candidate. A probable Trump versus Biden rematch should raise concerns about Ukraine.

The Biden Administration, with the support of Congress, has continually provided Ukraine with military funding and humanitarian aid, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. More recently, the Department of Defense announced a $250 million security package for Ukraine amid Biden’s request. This assistance has accounted for nearly 40 percent of the global aid given to Ukraine. For these reasons, the financial contributions under Biden have played pivotal roles in Ukrainian defensive operations. But what about Trump?

Back in early 2020, Trump made the decision to withhold military aid Congress had approved for Ukraine. Then, at a CNN town hall in May 2023, Trump refused to commit to sending aid and picking a side to support, arguing that he would have the issue resolved in “24 hours” once in office. These claims have been repeatedly endorsed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump’s vagueness and Putin’s approval should be not only jarring but also a signal of what could come under another Trump presidency.

The implications of dwindling financial assistance from the U.S. are already starting to appear. While Republican support for aid has diminished, it has become increasingly challenging for defense bills to obtain congressional approval. In December 2023, Ukraine’s counter-offensive failed to regain territory they had previously lost in the initial invasion, presumably due to less aid, according to The New York Times.

Republicans now appear to be far more concerned about clenching a Trump endorsement and winning reelection than the security of Ukraine. Having seen the effects of a lack of funding on Ukraine, we should all start thinking seriously about what another Trump presidency would look like.

Given his previous statements and aforementioned actions regarding Ukraine, I believe that within days of being in office, Trump and his alliance of loyal far-right congressional Republicans could halt U.S. military aid to Ukraine. This would greatly hinder Ukraine’s defensive operations, leading to massive territorial gains for Russia and, in the worst-case scenario, the end of Ukraine. The burden of providing billions of dollars in military assistance to Ukraine would now fall to many European countries. That, however, would be incredibly challenging to do. Hungary has continually vetoed EU political policies in retaliation for the EU’s freezing of Hungarian access to joint funds, according to AP News. One political decision they are repeatedly vetoing is a €50 billion package for Ukraine. This is concerning because if another Trump administration were to withhold funds from Ukraine, it is unclear if the EU could step in and provide the financial support necessary to continue defensive operations.

A theoretical Russian victory over Ukraine would also set a dangerous precedent regarding the territorial integrity of former Soviet states. Especially under a four-year-long Trump presidency in which Trump could likely choose to “look the other way” and the EU remains gridlocked, Russia may be prompted to begin invasions into other Eastern European countries with the goal of restoring the Soviet Union’s territory.

The uncertainty surrounding the fate of many Eastern European countries, given the upcoming presidential election, should be a main topic of discussion between candidates. The outcome of the 2024 election will have impacts spanning the entire globe. Should Donald Trump win the election, based on his past policies toward Ukraine and his current purposeful ambiguity on the war, I believe military funding toward Ukraine would cease, leaving the country extremely vulnerable. This, in turn, could create a dangerous precedent if Trump were to continue turning a blind eye to Russia’s actions.

More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Colgate Maroon-News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *