Last week, a grassroots organization rolled out a $2 million advertising campaign that was directed at Republican lawmakers, calling for continued support for Ukraine. The effort was launched ahead of an expected spending fight in Congress over aid for Kyiv.
The Republicans for Ukraine campaign is a project of the larger Defending Democracy Together, which was spearheaded by Republican pollster Sarah Longwell and conservative pundit Bill Kristol. It was put together as support for U.S. aid to Ukraine is beginning to wane, especially among the far-right element of the GOP. It solicited video testimonials from more than 50 Republican voters across the country, in which they outline their reasons for continuing to support U.S. aid to Ukraine.
Republicans for Ukraine used the videos in a series of advertisements directed at Republican voters and lawmakers. The ad has already aired on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and The Ingraham Angle, along with Sunday’s broadcast networks’ news programs, while the group has also announced it would air the ad on Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate that will be hosted by Fox News.
One of the first clips was posted to X – the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Republicans for Ukraine further released a new report card evaluating the GOP members on their support for Ukraine.
Is the GOP Turning On The Reagan Doctrine?
It was during the first GOP presidential debate last month that former Vice President Mike Pence reminded voters that the United States sought to confront the Soviet Union through military support around the world.
“We’ve been the leader of the free world, the arsenal democracy for years. The Reagan Doctrine years ago made it clear, we said, if you’re willing to fight the communists on your soil, we’ll give you the means to fight them there. So our troops don’t have to fight them,” Pence stated – and clarified that Russia under Vladimir Putin may not be communist but seeks to restore the territory of the Soviet Union.
During the Cold War, the “Reagan Doctrine” was meant to provide the means to counter Soviet aggression around the globe. It was introduced during President Ronald Reagan’s 1985 State of the Union Address, in which he said, “We must not break faith with those who are risking their lives—on every continent from Afghanistan to Nicaragua—to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours from birth.”
The doctrine served as the centerpiece of United States foreign policy from the early 1980s until the end of the Cold War in 1991. It provided overt and covert aid to anti-communist guerrillas and resistance movements to “roll back” Soviet-back pro-communist governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Washington Has Aided Kyiv
U.S. support for Ukraine, since February 2022 when Russia launched its unprovoked invasion, has totaled around $113 billion, including military, financial, and humanitarian assistance, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.
Critics have contended that the U.S. should focus on domestic needs rather than supporting Kyiv against Russia.
However, as previously reported, supporters of the aid have noted that Russia has spent around $1 billion a day on the war and that it could take decades for the Kremlin to recover militarily. The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) even described the costs to defeat Moscow as “peanuts” – as it has equated the aid supplied to date as just a fraction of the $715 billion defense budget for 2022, while CEPA also noted, “In cold, geopolitical terms, this war provides a prime opportunity for the U.S. to erode and degrade Russia’s conventional defense capability, with no boots on the ground and little risk to U.S. lives.”
Perhaps the question to the GOP lawmakers should be direct and to the point, “What Would Reagan do?”
NEW: We are launching a new ad pushing for Republican members of Congress to support aid to Ukraine.
The ad will air on the four major Sunday news shows in the D.C. market this Sunday, and it will also air nationally during the GOP primary debate on Fox Business. pic.twitter.com/Gasxp6F42o
— Republicans for Ukraine (@GOP4Ukraine) September 18, 2023
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.