Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Kori Schake of AEI was interviewed on the most recent Ricochet flagship podcast. She questioned the assertion that most Americans do not want to put boots on ground in Ukraine. Conversation followed in the comments on that podcast, as well as on a Jon Gabriel thread No US Troops in Ukraine, Thank You Very Much, and we conducted a well-attended poll (members-only link) here at Ricochet, asking US Citizens only.
How the question was put in the poll:
Ricochet Poll of US Citizen Members: Ukraine Boots On Ground?
Please indicate (with a “like”) the ONE comment below, of 1-4, which most closely matches your position. One of the positions makes no sense (to me, anyway), but is included for completeness.
This poll considers two aspects of the problem:
- Support for Ukraine against Russia (money, intelligence, diplomacy, arms; everything but US Forces)
- Troops to Ukraine (US armed forces in-country, “Boots on Ground”, includes any presence of US military personnel in the territory, water, or airspace of Ukraine)
NOT ADDRESSED: extraterritorial sabotage (pipelines and so forth), US Boots in Russia, US involvement in direct attacks on Russia etc. For polling purposes, we are just talking about vanilla war against Russia in Ukraine.
Available answers were the four logical combinations of answering YES or NO on (general) support and on troops:
Support NO; Troops NO
Support NO; Troops YES
Support YES; Troops NO
Support YES; Troops YES
Support NO; Troops NO: 31
Support NO; Troops YES: 0
Support YES; Troops NO: 39
Support YES; Troops YES: 0
With some caveats, “Amcits” (as State like to say) on Ricochet are divided evenly on whether to support Ukraine at all, and are unanimously against sending troops. Caveats:
- Some (two or three) commented that they could support troops under certain circumstances.
- Some (one or two) said that they were undecided in general.
Gee, hard to say, Kori. I’ll select some relevant comments from these conversations:
The idea that anyone with influence in policy circles openly talked about manipulating the American people into what could be a civilization-ending conflict and they were going to do it by insinuating that either you’re all in or you’re not… well, I still have no way to express myself in a civil manner.
Jon Gabriel, Ed. :
I was stunned at her cavalier attitude, both to the use of nukes and to sending other people’s children to a war that doesn’t involve us. Seemed like she was phoning in from 2002.
With a son who is an Army officer, I most definitely do not want American soldiers involved. I do want Ukrainians supported fully so that we have the best chance of keeping American soldiers from fighting Russians.
I’m not completely closed to troops. Just not right now.
If it’s breaking Putin’s military, don’t fix it.
I voted #3 but my patience is wearing thin […] I’m a Vietnam vet but American blood in Ukraine with the risk of nuclear war, NO !
James Lileks :
What stunned me – among other things – was the idea that sending troops was actually already popular. IIRC, my assertion that most people don’t want that was met with incredulity, as if I was living in a bubble, and had missed all the parades and rallies.
I’ll graciously reserve the last word for myself:
She’s not snooty or crude, but her haughty dismissal of a hundred million people like Lileks as cowards serves as a poor defense for her Heigh-Ho do-gooderism. They’re just flyover people. They come from the ground and it doesn’t matter to her whose soil is enriched by their eventual return.
The problem with people like Kori Schake is the disconnect alluded to by several people in these conversations. People were right to point out her smirking disbelief that anybody opposed sending troops to Ukraine. We’re not “taking counsel of our fears” with regard to Putin — it’s the US Government we deeply mistrust, and Nuclear Nellie is a perfect illustration of exactly whom we actively distrust.
Fortunately for us, she already has the answer:
(h/t @KeithKeystone )Published in