Written by: Oliver Leicester
Edited by: Piotr Kosik
Supervised by: Cansu Macit Karaduman
It is becoming difficult to analyse the 2022 conflict in Ukraine without also evaluating the political debate in Washington, D.C. This debate is becoming particularly relevant among ‘America First’ supporters who question the continued
financial and military aid provided by the United States. Despite initial bipartisan support for aid packages, dissent has
been growing, with critics arguing for fiscal caution rather than continued support.
This paper outlines the aims of the ‘America First’ foreign policy. The primary aim of ‘America First’ politicians is that
US allies contribute their fair share to collective deterrence in NATO and internationally. This paper highlights that
since 2022, many European allies have contributed more than their fair share of defence spending. ‘America First’ politicians also demand that the foreign policy focus on cost-effectiveness. Understanding the specifics of this term is critical
to measuring the success of the US aid program to Ukraine. This paper has contended that supporting Ukraine aligns
with US long-term interests, such as countering “Russian adventurism.” Deterring Russian adventurism is more cost-effective for the US in the long term as it prevents an emboldened Russia from threatening NATO allies and interests.
In essence, the paper argues that the aid to Ukraine, despite initial bipartisan support, faces challenges due to fiscal
concerns and shifting political priorities. It contends that supporting Ukraine is in the long-term interest of the US,
given the strategic and financial implications of ‘Russian adventurism’ in Europe. The ongoing debate reflects broader
ideological tensions within US foreign policy.