As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nears its one-year anniversary on Feb. 24, many Americans’ patience is wearing thin. A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that American support for shipping weapons and tax dollars off to Ukraine is declining.
Less than half of Americans, 48 percent, now say they favor the U.S. providing weapons to Ukraine, with 29 percent opposed and 22 percent neither in favor nor opposed. This is a decline from May 2022, when less than three months into the conflict 60 percent of U.S. adults were in favor of sending weapons to Ukraine.
Americans are equally divided on whether to send cash. Thirty-seven percent favor it, 38 percent are opposed, and 23 percent are neither in favor nor opposed.
For a war with no end in sight that has already cost U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion in less than one year, it makes sense that public support for funding the conflict is waning, especially as Americans are more concerned about how they’ll foot their wildly inflated grocery bill or handle declining wages, due in part to the influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Meanwhile, a fentanyl crisis — thanks to truckloads of illegal drugs smuggled into the country via the same disastrous border policies — is wreaking havoc on poor, blue-collar communities. More than 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021 alone.
Americans seem to increasingly want the Biden administration to focus on issues at home. This is why almost half of them want Biden to help Ukraine negotiate a peace settlement with Russia. Perpetual funding of a proxy war overseas is simply not a priority for the average American, whether Democrat or Republican, which is probably why Biden administration officials reportedly warned Ukraine quietly that Americans have limited patience for endless wars.
Of course, in giving Zelensky and his ilk more money, the American war chest extends Ukraine’s ability to fight and thus prolongs the war — a fact to which Americans seem to be waking up. Whether the money actually goes to the war effort or lines a Ukrainian oligarch’s pockets is an open question.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., might think supporting Ukraine’s war effort against Russia is “the single most important event” going on right now, but fewer and fewer Americans agree.