Should America Give Guns To Ukraine?

Rafael Fontones

Topic: Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Summary:

This article addresses the issue of Ukraine’s desire to receive lethal defensive aid (military assistance) from the United States and its NATO allies. These requests were made by Ukraine due to the nation’s declining economy, weak military, and constant territorial tensions with Russia. Deadly combat has already occurred between Russia and Ukraine,  resulting in a death toll of over 6,400 in combat. Although violent interactions between the two nations have dwindled down, the political tension between both countries is still present. Ukraine wants to be prepared for the possibility of another violent occurrence with Russia, but their current economic status leaves them in a vulnerable situation.

After pleading for military assistance, the U.S. agreed to send Ukraine unarmed drones, basic military equipment, financial backing, and humvees. The United States is in support of Ukraine retaining their independence from Russia, and have publicly condemned Russia’s involvement with Ukraine. However, the U.S. does not want to provide potentially lethal military assistance to Ukraine in order to maintain political stability with Russia. Given a theoretical declaration of war between Russia and Ukraine, and if Ukraine was in possession of lethal military assistance acquired from America, Russia would announce the U.S. as a enemy in association with Ukraine.

This call for militant aid for Ukraine has been brought to public attention with the resignation of Evelyn Farkas, as former deputy assistant secretary for Russia and Ukraine. Farkas was the leading advocate for U.S. military aid in Ukraine, and even suggested developing a military base in Eastern Europe in order to “send a message to Vladimir Putin.” She is noted as stating her resignation as having nothing to do with the U.S not providing lethal defense to Ukraine, and also stated how helpful America has been in forms of additional support.

Critique:

I believe that knowledge of Ukraine’s desire to receive weapons from supporting nations is a dangerous issue to be known so largely publicly. The violence is at a halt between Ukraine and Russia, and now should be the time for Ukraine to recover and work towards resolve from tensions with Russia. With a broken economic system and hectic political structure, it would be in Ukraine’s best interest to focus on developing diplomacy and installing economic programs that aim towards growth, instead of addressing how Ukraine needs lethal weapons. Russia has made statements on how they do not see Ukraine as an enemy, and even want to engage in public trade, which has ended with Ukraine cutting off all economic connection with Russia. Although it is important for Ukraine to be ready for anything in regards to a commencement of conflict with Russia, it should not be a topic trending in media outlets. This can lead to a deeper feeling of untrust between the two nations, and may reverse the ultimate goal of peace between the two nations. Instead of focusing on the possibility of violent conflict with Russia, Ukraine should address their desire for peace with their neighbor, political order, and plans for economic growth.

Publication: DefenseOne.com

Publication Date: November 4, 2015

Article Title: “Obama Should Have Given Weapons to Ukraine, Says Former Pentagon Russia Official”

Link: http://www.defenseone.com/management/2015/11/obama-should-have-given-weapons-ukraine-says-former-pentagon-russia-official/123400/?oref=d-channeltop

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