Ukraine war, August 21, 2023: Ukraine and the Republican debate on Wednesday, August 23

The most fateful questions may not be asked or debated at the Republican televised debate on Wednesday, August 23. It will be broadcast on Fox News from 9-11 pm ET.

Those questions relate to the policy of the different candidates toward continuing to provide military and economic support to Ukraine, to meet the requirements of Ukraine, and continued leadership of tbe Western alliance supporting Ukraine with weapons and money.

In the United States, we are living in a news silo in which the cable news media are obsessed with the details of the criminal legal proceedings against Donald Trump, as if they were presenting an ongoing series of CSI-style crime dramas.

Today, there is little coverage of world affairs, and coverage of the Ukraine war seems limited to the latest “breaking news”.  As a result viewers may have little interest in the Ukraine war and consequently the cable news channels, driven by the quest for ratings and profit, may pay little attention to the gravest challenge facing America today:

How will the U.S. respond going forward to the challenges re represented by continuing Russian aggression against Ukraine, and the continuing commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and acts of genocide against its population?

Donald Trump and most but not all of the candidates for the Republican nomination have taken positions indicating they would not continue such support.  Donald Trump who has never once criticized Vladimir Puti,  has made little secret of the fact that he would not continue such support if elected President.

See., e.g., Ishaan Tharoor, “Ukraine’s hopes for maximal victory look remote,” The Washington Post, August 21, 2023 (12:00 a.m. EDT);

In view of the above, the key issues that should be debated on Wednesday include the following:

1) Will a candidate condemn tbe Russian invasion of Ukraine and vow to continue mikitary and economic assistance to Ukraine at levels that are needed, and will he or she pledge to uphold the sanctions in place against Russia?

2)  What does the candidate believe should be done, if anything, to uphold international law and the United Nations Charter, and the current U.N.Charter-based international order?

3) What relationship does the candidate see between the war in Ukraine and tbe ability of the world’s nations acting through the United Nations to meet the challenges of global warming and climate change?

Candidates should be required to state what specific actions they would take to implement the policies they say they would support.

As when Britain and the West faced Nazi Germany in 1940 and throughout World War II, the United States and the West today face historical challenges which will decide whether tens or hundreds of millions of people live in freedom or under totalitarian dictatorships.

On which side will America stand if a particular candidate becomes President of the United States?

That is a question worthy of debate, especially at the Republican debate among primary candidates on Wednesday night.

The Trenchant Observer

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