War in Ukraine: What’s Next

What impact has the war in Ukraine had on the world since it began?

By Michael Levitas

Photo Credit: | Soldiers rally around a Ukrainian flag.  

The war in Ukraine has reached its first anniversary. 

War, however, is nothing to celebrate.

 According to current sources, 30,000 civilian casualties have been recorded, 60,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, and more than 100,000 have been wounded. Civilian infrastructure has been severely damaged, and millions of people have been forced to flee their homes. 

Ukraine has received high amounts of support from Western nations. This includes America and its allies in Western Europe. 

For example, America has sent millions in aid to Ukraine, and Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, has made trips to Washington. This energy is divided amongst the masses. 

Many anti-war activists have criticized America for sending large sums of aid and weaponry to Ukraine. They claim the money being sent to Ukraine is being diverted from domestic issues. 

Weapons, tanks, and logistics support provided to Ukraine have been disparaged as further escalating the war.

On the opposite side, we have Americans who are staunch defenders of Ukraine. They feel sympathetic and view this war as a symbolic event for the future of democracy and stable order. 

Unfortunately, there are growing partisan divides regarding Ukraine. Pew Research Center shows that Democrats support Ukraine at much higher rates compared to Republicans, who have dropped their support compared to the previous year. 

A precipitous rise in isolation and nationalism is occurring, with many GOP figures stating that America should not interfere with global affairs.

Colleges and universities have stepped up in the past year, where they have expressed solidarity and support with Ukrainian students.

Colleges have provided avenues for students to donate money, clothes, aid, and food to those bearing the costs of the war. They have also removed Russia as an option for studying abroad. 

Universities have cut off research centers located in Russia. According to the Institute of International Education, colleges have provided programs granting tuition assistance to Ukrainian students, allowing some to even study for free.

In the political sphere, the war in Ukraine sets a drastic precedent where American hegemony is undermined. 

The end of the Cold War presupposed the “end of history”; there would no longer be any large-scale conflicts mirroring the 20th century. 

This hopeful idea was shown to be short-lived. America’s war on terror was gravely unsuccessful and attenuated legitimacy in our foreign policy. 

America spent twenty years in Afghanistan; only for the Taliban to quickly regain power the minute America retracted its military presence. General Tod Wolters has stated that the botched Afghanistan pull-out might have incentivized Putin to enact his invasion. 

It seems that we are currently entering a multipolar world where several countries compete for global supremacy, which will likely lead to a renewed era of wars and crises. In this multipolar world, America accounts for only 15 percent of the global GDP, a stark contrast compared to the 1950s, when it was nearly 30 percent of the global GDP. 

Russia has also lost political and economic power since the fall of the Soviet Union. The precarious and uncertain situation of both these countries will most definitely lead to further clashes.

We have to be wary of this renewed era of crisis, especially when international cooperation is necessary to combat global problems.

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