Half-hearted military assistance to Ukraine will only make things worse

recent report by the Atlantic Council think tank advocating the provision of lethal military assistance to Ukraine highlights the threat posed by Russia to neighboring states.

But the key question missing from the Atlantic Council report is what the West’s overall goal in the conflict should be. The possible goals could range from helping Ukraine restore control over the Donbass, to implementing a cease-fire along the current line of control, to simply deterring Russia from similar adventures elsewhere.

The Atlantic Council report assumes but does not prove that Russian efforts to dominate its neighbors pose a grave threat to international security in general because success in Ukraine will embolden President Vladimir Putin to take similar actions elsewhere.

Click here to read the rest of the op-ed.

8 thoughts on “Half-hearted military assistance to Ukraine will only make things worse

  1. Nice op-ed and I agree with your sentiments. Unfortunately, there is a growing chorus of sheriffs in Washington who maintain that the “indispensable nation” cannot allow the Russian rustler to get away with stealing Ukrainian property. What these same true believers in American exceptionalism don’t understand is that the Kremlin posse doesn’t recognize Uncle Sam’s global mandate and will fight hard to keep this property. The fight over Ukraine may be the opening act of new security structure (e.g. “How the American One became the Magnificent Seven.”)

  2. The army in the Ukraine led from Kievs problems are not lack of weapons… when the enemy has only the armour they captured from them new Javelins will make little difference.

    BTW I have seen documents on the internet suggesting that weapons delivered to the Ukraine so far have been sold to third parties, which suggests western powers might be better off just sending cash to the criminals in charge to prevent blackmarket sales of western military equipment appearing all over the place.

  3. While I don’t believe that sending arms to Ukraine will be a ”quick fix” to Putin’s war of aggression I am also very hard-pressed to see what we have achieved by doing nothing (except sanctions). Some argue that weapons will escalate the war, but as far as I can tell Putin has been pretty busy escalating without any such “provocation” (first with the annexation of Crimea and then by moving from a proxy war to direct military intervention in Eastern Ukraine). This war has never been about Debaltseve, Donetsk or even Crimea. The Russian-Ukrainian war is about control with Ukraine. As long as there is an independent and democratic government in Ukraine Putin will fight it – either to achieve a complete surrender or to destroy the country. Nothing less.

    I am honestly a bit confused why it has to be “proven” that such a situation could be a threat to international security. It is always a threat to international security when one country invades another – that’s why we have such a thing as the UN and international law. That’s why EU and NATO was invented. If you turn the blind eye to what is going on in Eastern Ukraine you might as well ask why we need international law, EU, NATO, OSCE etc. Even if you ignore international law and assume (as it is apparently the case) that Putin acts within strictly defined limits (the former Soviet republics) that would still include the Baltic states. It is very difficult to reach another conclusion from your own words in the article. So unless NATO were to give up the Baltic states a new aggression in that region could result in a military confrontation btw. NATO and Russia.

    Finally a few words about the current Russian regime: The first Putin regime from 2000 until 2008 was authoritarian, but non-ideological. It tried to buy people’s loyalty with prosperity and could work with Western powers. The current Putin regime (2012 until today) is much more ideological and tries to mobilize the population behind a neo-imperialistic project. That means confrontation with the West and especially the United States. That also means that the people have to kept in a constant state of mobilization – otherwise people might ask uncomfortable questions why they are getting poorer while Russia is expanding its borders. Putin will therefore not stop. He might even unable to stop. Since he apparently perceives the Western powers as weak and divided there is also a very big chance that he will sooner rather than later test our “resolve” in the Baltic States or elsewhere.

    Long story short: I don’t believe Putin is rational. Even if he was it doesn’t change the fact (reported in recent months) that he now only listens to few trusted friends and advisers. That makes the risk of a political miscalculation with regard to NATO much greater.

    • Putins war of Aggression?

      Are you drunk?

      The democratically elected leader of the Ukraine was put in a position where he had two choices to choose for the future of his country… he could choose from small amounts of money in loans that would need to be repayed back at some time from the EU with all sorts of strings attached that would have forced all sorts of unpopular changes in the Ukrainian economy… which was of course already in tatters. Or he could choose quite a large amount of Russian money in the form of investment some of whose profits would not remain in the Ukrainian economy, plus a sizable amount from China too, but the pattern for Eastern Europe is to choose Europe and turn away from Russia. President Viktor Yanukovych chose the deal he thought was best for the Ukraine and rejected the offer from the EU.

      The west reacted by funding a rent a mob the culminated in the maiden riots where Blackwater thugs shot people on both sides to escalate tensions with the result that the democratically elected leader of the country of millions was thrown out of office by a few thousand people. Different parts of the Ukraine reacted differently… those in the west tended to be EU looking at supported the coup, while many regions in the east were not so happy and understandably so because they do a lot of trade with Russia and have rather more ties to Russia than those in the west, so it is understandable they might not be so happy with some rabble taking over… and of course in this coup all that is left was rabble.

      Being a western supported coup it could not include the communist party,,, so when you take out the party in power and you eliminate the communist party which is often second strongest (popular with the oldies who don’t remember properly) that leaves you with the rabble and the nut jobs… hense so many nazi symbols….

      When the choice for the Crimeans was Nazis and idiots, or return to Russia… of course they will choose Russia…. and about the first thing Putin did was raise pensions. Clearly there were Russian troops in the Crimea…. they are based there… they had a contract. I suspect a few more were added quietly with the express aim of keeping the peace as the Ukraine coup members would love any excuse to send their own troops in to monitor the elections. They were not needed and the results of the vote show Crimea is now Russian… just the same as the Falklands Islands are British.

      Apart from the Crimea however this is a Ukrainian war… the separatist areas just want to be left alone… like all places who want to be independent… the fact that it is pro EU Ukrainians vs Pro Russia Ukrainians is not important…. this is Ukrainians fighting Ukrainians and the coup members bombing Ukrainians doesn’t hurt Russia… Putin might speak out about that, but not because he wants to shell western ukraine or any part of ukraine…. that is what you get when you have nazis and idiots in charge. (I mean Kiev… not Brussels).

      The Ukraine already has plenty of weapons…. adding more will change nothing… in fact I would suggest sending a billion dollars of aid would lead to those weapons appearing in the middle east with the money going into the bank account of a Ukrainian official… probably a swiss account cause we all know they know how to keep a secret.

      You are confused as to why it needs to be proven to be a threat to international security?

      Did you know Putin has access to big scary WMDs…. real ones not the pathetic fake crap Bliar and Bush sold us that Saddam had.

      The hilarious thing is that the US has openly declared it will supply weapons and training to the ilegal coup leaders of Kiev, yet have economic sanctions on Putin and Russia because they claim without proof they might have been supporting the innocent victims of shelling and aerial bombardment by the same nutters and nazis the US is now supporting.

      Those sanctions were the best thing the west could do… Russia is now looking to the rest of the planet that is not the west and has about 85% of the worlds population… they are also going to buy local, which again will make them stronger.

      Putin is far more rational than any western leader. His first time in power he tried to get along but soon realised US foreign policy is all about using other countries as resources and crushing the ones that dont conform. The US doesn’t have friends, it has interests, and Russia could be best friends if it let US companies drill for oil and mine Titanium and all sorts of materials… for which Russia will earn nothing and US companies will make a fortune.

      Putin said no. Not to spite the US, but for the benefit of Russia… and that is why Putin has an 80% approval rating at home… and why people keep voting for him.

      He certainly isn’t perfect, but there is no one else to choose from anywhere near his calibre in Russia. Like him or not.

  4. I`d prefer to hear your opinion of Russian military expert Felgengauer`s evaluation of the Russian army.I read the similar short posts without the analyses of the Ukrainian war and evaluation of pro and contra . Fear is the bad adwiser.

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