Gov. DeSantis Pushes for U.S. Defense Prioritization Over Ukraine-Russia War

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently weighed in on the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, saying that it should not be a vital U.S. national interest. In a statement provided to “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, DeSantis argued that the U.S. should prioritize its own defense, particularly at the southern border, instead of becoming entangled in a foreign conflict.[0]

DeSantis’ remarks align with former President Donald Trump’s stance on the issue.[1] Trump has said that defending Ukraine from Russia is vital for Europe, but not for the U.S. According to DeSantis, U.S. intervention in Ukraine “would risk explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers.”[2]

DeSantis further emphasized the importance of prioritizing the defense of the U.S. homeland, citing the tens of thousands of Americans who die every year from narcotics smuggled across the open border, and the rapidly depleting U.S. weapons arsenals.[3] He argued that the Biden administration’s funding of the conflict without any defined objectives or accountability “distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges.”[4]

DeSantis’ position has been met with opposition from some Republicans. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, for example, criticized DeSantis for suggesting that President Biden has focused more on Ukraine’s border than the U.S. border with Mexico, asking how “they teach foreign policy in Tallahassee.”[5] Former Vice President Mike Pence also took issue with DeSantis’ stance, warning that anyone who thinks Vladimir Putin will stop at Ukraine is wrong.[5]

Ultimately, Gov. Ron DeSantis has made clear that he does not believe the U.S. should prioritize intervention in the Ukraine-Russia war over the defense of its own homeland. He has argued that sending in troops, or advanced weapons like F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles, would be too risky.[1] Instead, the U.S. should focus on its own pressing interests, such as securing its borders, addressing the military crisis of readiness, and achieving energy security and independence.[1]

0. “DeSantis Assails US Policy in Ukraine, Breaking With Much of GOP” Bloomberg, 14 Mar. 2023,

1. “War in Ukraine ‘distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges,’ DeSantis says” msnNOW, 14 Mar. 2023,

2. “Republican 2024 hopefuls respond to Tucker Carlson’s questions about their stance on Russia-Ukraine war” Fox News, 14 Mar. 2023,

3. “DeSantis Calls U.S. Support of Ukraine Distraction From More Vital Interests” The Wall Street Journal, 14 Mar. 2023,

4. “Further US involvement in Ukraine is not vital national interest” The Jerusalem Post, 14 Mar. 2023,

5. “Ron DeSantis says protecting Ukraine is not a ‘vital’ U.S. interest” AOL, 14 Mar. 2023,

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