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On February 24, 2022, Russia brutally invaded Ukraine with zero right or justification. Since that time, Ukraine has fought its aggressor — a nuclear power ten times its economic size — with unimageable bravery and remarkable tenacity. After two years of fighting, Ukraine still miraculously controls 80 percent of its territory.

However, well into the slog of war, neither Russia or Ukraine appears to be conceding even a little and traditional victory for either side seems far-fetched. Russia has already lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers and Ukraine is suffering from internal division and a lack of supplies and weapons due to the reluctance of many in the U.S. Congress to continue unconditional funding. In the end, this conflict will likely end with some sort of negotiation between the two.

That said, until that happens, the United States cannot allow Vladimir Putin to get away with these unspeakable atrocities. It’s true that the United States has a vital national security interest in Putin’s illegal invasion because we benefit greatly from a peaceful and secure Europe; we value international commerce; and we have a deep commitment to protecting democracy around the world. However, equally important is the fact that other countries are closely watching how this unfolds. Chinese President Xi Jinping, for one, is most certainly interested in how America responds to Russia illegally taking territory by force as he determines the risk versus reward of invading Taiwan.

The United States must fully support Ukraine — along with Georgia, the Baltic states and other former “republics” of the Soviet Union who have chosen to seek a free and democratic future — economically, diplomatically, and by providing weapons and sharing our intelligence. At the same time, we need to make sure our European allies continue to share the burden, and help Ukraine develop its own arms industry to reduce its dependence on outside forces.

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