Trump calls for immediate end to Ukraine-Russia war

 March 17, 2023

Donald Trump doubled down on his "America First" foreign policy in a provocative statement calling for an immediate end to the war in Ukraine.

In stark language, Trump accused President Biden of waging a "proxy war" with Russia that risks escalating into the next world war.

"We have never been closer to World War III than we are today," he said.

Trump's war message

President Biden, and pro-Ukraine members of both parties, have generally rejected calls for peace as premature and favorable to Russia, which has yet to recall its armies.

While Biden has used morally charged rhetoric to paint the war as a struggle for Western "democracy," Trump framed it as the latest reckless venture of a "globalist neo-con establishment" that pushes for "endless wars."

"Every day this proxy battle in Ukraine continues, we risk global war. We must be absolutely clear that our objective is to immediately have a total cessation of hostilities. All shooting has to stop. This is the central issue. We need peace without delay."

The real enemy?

Trump went on to say that Americans have enemies at home who pose a greater threat to the nation than Russia and China combined.

The idea that Russia is America's greatest threat is a "lie," Trump said, pointing instead to "globalists" and "Marxists" who are undermining "Western civilization" from within.

"These globalists want to squander all of America's strength, blood and treasure, chasing monsters and phantoms overseas—while keeping us distracted from the havoc they're creating right here at home," Trump said.

Party split

Trump's potential primary competitors have mostly followed his lead on Ukraine, including Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R), who came under fire this week for calling the Ukraine war a "territorial dispute."

But others, like former vice president Mike Pence, have doubled down on the GOP's traditionally hawkish foreign policy.

"Republicans need to speak clearly that we understand that American is the arsenal of democracy… we must continue to provide the courageous Ukrainian military the support they need to drive Russia off their sovereign soil," Pence said.

Earlier this week, Trump rejected calls for regime change in Moscow in response to a question from Tucker Carlson.

"We should support regime change in the United States...the Biden administration are the ones who got us into this mess," Trump said. 

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