As the war in Ukraine nears the end of its first year, Americans are starting to believe Washington is sending too much support to Kiev. Pew Research conducted a poll in January and found the proportion of Republicans that are opposed to the current level of assistance is now at 40%. The US has pledged well over $100 billion in aid to Kiev, mostly in arms and other military equipment.
In March 2022, Pew reported that 49% of Republican voters believed the US was not giving enough aid to Ukraine, while only 9% responded that Washington was sending too much. As of last month, those numbers have nearly reversed, with 40% saying there is too much support for Kiev, while only 17% said the Joe Biden administration is not doing enough.
Democratic voters have followed a similar trend, though at a far slower rate. In the early months of the war, only 5% of blue voters believed Washington was sending too much aid; that number has now grown to 15%. However, Pew’s poll conducted in 2023 found nearly a quarter of Democrats want the White House to do more, up three percentage points from a survey carried out last September.
The Pew results also reflect polls conducted by Morning Consult and Concerned Veterans for America in September, which found a growing number of Americans are opposed to giving more aid to Ukraine, led by Republican voters.
In the opening months of the war, the White House refused to provide Ukraine with advanced American weapons, insisting US involvement could spark a conflict between Moscow and the NATO bloc. However, the Biden administration has gradually escalated its support for Kiev in the time since, authorizing transfers of Abrams main battle tanks, long-range missiles and a long list of other military hardware. Despite worry that such weapons transfers risk direct confrontation with Russia, some Western officials have suggested those concerns are waning, with one unnamed Pentagon staffer telling a British paper in December that “the fear of escalation has changed since the beginning.”
Washington and NATO have ramped up hostile policies targeting Russia to unprecedented levels in recent months, including in the diplomatic, military and economic spheres. The CIA is reportedly working with another NATO country’s intelligence services to conduct sabotage attacks on Russian infrastructure, while the Pentagon has tacitly endorsed Kiev’s drone strikes hundreds of miles deep inside the Russian mainland. According to the New York Times, US-backed Ukrainian assaults on Crimea are also being considered by the White House, “even if such a move increases the risk of escalation.”