Why Ukraine matters

No one knows exactly why Putin has pursued such a consistently provocative course over the past 15 years. Perhaps he is paranoid about the security of his regime; perhaps he is personally bitter over the fall of the Soviet Union; perhaps he imagines himself a 21st-century version of Peter the Great. At this point his motives don’t really matter. What matters is that Putin has made his government, and therefore the Russian state, an implacable adversary of the United States and its allies.

There are instances where the interests of the United States collide with its values, but that is not the case here. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is naked aggression by one sovereign state against another, condemned by the United Nations, without any justification under international law, and conducted with no regard for the rules of war and no pity whatsoever for the innocent.

In short, the Ukrainians want to continue fighting and have asked for our help. They have the right to defend themselves; we have the means to help them; and it is in America’s interest to empower them to resist the common adversary, deny him a greater sphere of influence in Europe, and weaken his ability to engage in further aggression against our homeland and our allies.