As support for US aid falters and an election looms, the White House needs a narrative based on reality, not rhetoric
- Emma Ashford is a senior fellow with the Reimagining US Grand Strategy programme at the Stimson Center, Washington DC
On Wednesday President Biden gave a speech from the White House calling on Congress to pass aid for Ukraine. He tried every trick in the book: pointing to the domestic economic benefits of military spending, highlighting the national security implications of aid, and even accusing Republicans in Congress of giving “Putin the greatest gift he can hope for”.
Hours later, every single Republican senator voted against the bill that would have given more aid to Ukraine. It’s just the latest setback for Ukraine, as something that had until only months ago been considered almost inevitable – continuing US funding for the war – has become highly uncertain. It’s a signal of the extent to which Ukraine aid has become a political football in the US, and a sign that it is likely to feature as a point of contention in next year’s presidential campaign.
Emma Ashford is a senior fellow with the Reimagining US Grand Strategy programme at the Stimson Center, Washington DC, and the author of Oil, the State and War