Biden must act now to better arm Ukraine. Here’s what that should look like - from DefenseNews

Updated: Jan 23

Momentum is building again in Congress to help Kyiv better defend itself in light of Putin’s impending potential invasion of Ukraine. Let’s hope President Biden listens and acts — fast. - article by Bradley Bowman, John Hardie and Jack Sullivan 21.01.22.


As Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to add troops on Ukraine’s borders in preparation for a potential large-scale military operation, the Biden administration is reportedly weighing whether to provide additional defensive weapons to Ukraine. This should not be a difficult decision for the White House. The administration should be moving heaven and earth to urgently provide Ukraine — a beleaguered democracy pleading for American help — with the weapons and other support it needs to deter a Russian offensive by increasing the costs of aggression for the Kremlin.


Hoping to prevent a Russian offensive, U.S. President Joe Biden has tried offering Moscow a diplomatic offramp while warning that a renewed Russian invasion would trigger harsh Western sanctions, a strengthened force posture on NATO’s eastern flank and a dramatic increase in U.S. defense assistance to Ukraine. That assistance could include support for a potential Ukrainian insurgency against Russian occupation forces.


Unfortunately, these warnings alone may well fail to deter Putin. Moscow has gone to considerable lengths to reduce the Russian economy’s vulnerability to sanctions. Putin likely expects that Western countries will forgo their toughest sanctions options if push comes to shove, fearing blowback on their own economies, and Moscow will surely seek to play on divisions within the trans-Atlantic alliance to weaken the Western response. Putin may also bet that Biden’s expressed desire to focus on other issues, such as China and the climate, will eventually impel the administration to seek an accommodation with Russia.


Moscow may further calculate that it can accomplish its political aims without a prolonged and costly occupation, instead using standoff strikes and a limited ground operation to force Kyiv to accept Russian suzerainty, and that similar military options would be more costly in the future.


In short, Putin may conclude that the long-term strategic benefits outweigh the costs and risks and that the time is ripe for action.


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This article was first published as an addendum to the one by Robert Taylor for the Telegraph entitled: "Time is running out for the EU to stay on the right side of history". However, as it is now clear that invasion of Ukraine is now imminent, it seems that Biden has at last begun to help Ukraine with more weapons to defend themselves.




Ukraine - silver-ringvee - image from Unsplash-

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