Since January of 2022, the U.S. has given Ukraine more military aid than all other countries combined. In fact, the U.S. accounts for 63% of the total military aid to Ukraine. (It has also given a large amount of non-military aid, although not quite as much as the EU.) And it continues to provide the country with real-time battlefield intelligence.
Suffice it to say that U.S. military assistance has been crucial to Ukraine’s war effort.
For the first six months of the conflict, Americans were on-the-whole very supportive of their government’s policy. Yet by September opinion had shifted. In a Pew Research survey that month, 20% said the U.S. is providing “too much” support versus only 18% who said “too little”.
Where did things stand now? The most recent polls suggest a sizeable chunk of Americans remain committed to military assistance, though a growing number are sceptical. Here’s a chart showing the latest data from Pew Research:
26% of Americans now say the U.S. is providing “too much” support versus only 20% who say “too little”. On the other hand, the percentage saying either “about right” or “too little” is still larger than the percentage saying “too much”. Only among Republicans is there a plurality saying “too much”.
Another useful source of public opinion data is the University of Maryland’s Critical Issues polling. The latest such poll, completed in early April, confirms that more Americans now feel the current level of support is “too much” than feel it is “too little”. However, it also confirms that those who feel it is “too much” are still outnumbered by those who feel it is “too little” or “about right”.
Unfortunately, the University of Maryland did not ask this question in earlier polls, so we can’t track the change over time. One question they did ask in earlier polls is, “How much of a cost are you prepared to see the U.S. pay in helping Ukraine?” The question refers to three different potential costs: “higher energy prices”, “inflation”, and “loss of lives of U.S. troops”.
As an aside, I think it would have been better to ask about, say, the monetary cost of military assistance or the risk of catastrophic escalation – given that the costs to Americans in terms of higher energy prices and inflation have not been particularly great, and no U.S. troops have been killed there (at least officially). In any case, here’s a chart showing the percentages who said they’d pay “a lot” in each case:
All three lines are now at their lowest points since the start of the conflict (though it should be noted that the green line reached the same level in May of 2022). The blue line shows the biggest decrease: in March of 2022, 35% of Americans said they would be willing to pay “a lot” in terms of higher energy prices to support Ukraine; a year later, only 16% say they would.
These figures indicate that the Americans’ willingness to support Ukraine is not unlimited. Though if the initial phase of Ukraine’s much-anticipated counter-offensive proves successful, it’s possible the lines will all go back up.
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