By Aidan Freeman
It is no secret that America tends to involve itself in foreign affairs by sending aid to allies, and recent events are no exception. Since the war in Ukraine began, the United States has sanctioned Russian trade supply, including all Russian oil and gas imports. With these sanctions, labor, fuel, and material prices have soared since February. The government has seen the Consumer Price Index rise 6.2 percent. Since the war began, inflation has increased, and experts expect it to continue to do so.
Americans are stuck wondering if the prices will continue to rise and when we might see fuel prices below 4 dollars a gallon. Citizens remain glued to their televisions, constantly hearing how America is providing Ukraine aid, but are the efforts of the United States enough, and how is the populace reacting to such interventions versus the side effects felt at home?
A study conducted in late April by The Washington Post discovered a split opinion of American citizens, where 37% believed that Ukraine’s support had little to no impact, while 36% believed the American aid package had paid valuable dividends. However, when questioned whether the United States should progress to a more militaristic approach, over half of the poll results showed an opposition to the United States taking direct military action.
Regardless, since the war began, the White House has made it clear that boots-on-the-ground military intervention is prohibited. Biden’s fear of a possible World War III has the administration actively trying to prevent escalation; This current policy seems to reflect the opinions of American citizens. Over 60% of individuals call for an increase in the sanctions and more military aid, and President Biden has continued to listen, on the surface at least.
With inflation on the rise, the Pentagon has seen a spike in weapons pricing, leaving Biden to respond with a far greater military budget to aid in foreign affairs. Yet despite the overwhelming support for an increase of sanctions and military aid, the cost of labor and the market prices remain the same. Americans remain concerned about the rise in prices. Citizen approval for Biden’s treatment of Ukraine has increased since it began, yet only by an arbitrary degree. Less than half of Americans have approved of Biden’s handling of the war, not including political officials.
Chair members of the Pentagon fear that the 2023 fiscal year budget won’t be enough to count for the inflation caused by the pandemic and the war, leading to an increase in fear for the future inflation rates. It raises the common question for citizens of the United States: how far are we willing to aid in stabilization efforts when it is affecting our own bank accounts? A study conducted by CNN found that while 33% of Americans believe that the sanctions imposed on Russian imports are doing little to help the United States economy, well over 80% are still in favor of maintaining the sanctions, even to the extent of future U.S. economic harm. The support for these sanctions seems to be more popular with Democrats, yet not by a marginal amount. With 71% of Republicans and 91% of Democrats announcing their support, sanction favor crosses party lines.
Regardless of the decisions made by the country’s leaders, it is apparent that there is no right answer on how to approach such an unprecedented situation. President Biden has continued to provide Ukraine with some degree of support. Yet, it’s apparent that this ultimate lack of involvement creates an atmosphere of uncertainty for the Biden Administration in the coming months.
Putin’s rebuttal to the sanctions placed by neighboring and foreign countries has created a tenuous situation and continues to leave Russian citizens with a disheveled economy. It creates little room for direct involvement without inherent consequences, and while the opinions of the populous help drive policymakers’ decisions, the constant fear of a global conflict remains omnipresent.
About the Author
Aidan is a Lobo Institute Intern and a content writer who graduated from Purdue University with a degree in English. He is a creator of many things: linguistical content, technical copy, fantastical worlds, and strange tales that weave between pathos and ethos. He is an avid board gaming nerd and coffee lover with an overzealous collection of Dungeons & Dragons miniatures.
The views and opinions expressed in this paper are the author’s and not necessarily those of the Lobo Institute. For more information on the institute or to get on the mailing list for our papers and LoboCasts, please go to Lobo Institute.