Mike Levin on the War in Ukraine

Question #9 to Mike Levin, asked by Chloe Needham (’27) on behalf of Grade 8.

“How far should the US go, in terms of both financial and military support, to help Ukraine fight against the invasion by Russia?”

So I think about this a lot in the context of my grandfather. My grandpa served in World War Two, as was said at the introduction. And he fought against tyranny, he fought to stand up for democracy. Not just the United States, but for the entire world. And I think that we are at an inflection point right now where American democracy is at risk, but democracy in the world over is at risk. And when you have a thug like Vladimir Putin who invades his neighbor, who infringes on the rights of a free Ukraine, and who commits human rights abuses. Who goes after civilians, who goes after children, and who threatens to up-end the entire world order, the way that we have understood the free world operates in the last 70 plus years, since World War Two. It is absolutely essential that the United States stand as strong as it can against Putin in this instance. And what does that look like? Well, it means that we send as much humanitarian assistance as we can, which we have. But also the military assistance and the know-how, the intelligence necessary to defeat Putin. Putin must be defeated. Now, how far do we take that? Well, I support what the President has said. Which is that, ultimately, the Ukrainians need to be the ones to negotiate a resolution with the Russians. It should not be us imposing our own solution for this problem. We need to do all we can to ensure that Putin is defeated in the Ukraine because of the implications it would have outside of Ukraine, all around the world! Places like Taiwan, places like the Middle East. And if American democracy, if we can’t be that example, if American democracy does not become more strengthened in our lifetimes, then I worry a lot about what it means for the rest of the world. We’re at this impasse, this inflection point as I said, between democracy and autocracy. And I hope you’re all studying that in history because what we do or fail to do, I mean all of us, in our lifetimes, really can have a massive impact on many generations to come. So that is why we have to stand with Ukraine and why we will.

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