The option of giving Ukraine military aid is being opposed by some officials in Great Britain and Spain, although a group in the U.S. Congress led by John McCain believes that President Obama has waited long enough after signing the Ukraine Freedom Support Act back in December of 2014. Some experts believe that giving Ukraine lethal aid would amount to launching a proxy war between the United States and Russia, but others believe even more is necessary.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a top U.S. Army commander in Europe claims that Russian troops are already fighting in the front lines alongside the Ukrainian separatists. Some politicians in Great Britain are also open to giving Ukraine lethal military aid in order to prevent the forces directed by Kiev from collapsing entirely.
Russian authorities have denied sending Russian troops into Ukraine, but U.S. officials claim the newer equipment seen in the conflict is being operated by Russian soldiers.
“We have continued to see large quantities of Russian equipment flow from Russia into Ukraine,” said Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, according to the Wall Street Journal. “All of this Russian equipment that moves into Ukraine contributes to destabilization.”
The Ukraine peace talks continue even as pro-Russian forces invaded another town. As part of these attempts to hold together the ceasefire agreement, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond held a joint news conference with British Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo in Madrid.
“We don’t not believe that at the moment it would be helpful to provide lethal support to the Ukrainian armed forces,” Hammond claimed, according to the Local, saying that the decision should be up to national governments and not NATO or the European Union. “We are clear that we cannot afford to allow the Ukrainian armed forces to collapse, though I think they are long way from that position at the moment. So the UK will not change its position right now on supplying lethal aid as a consequence of what is going on the ground at the moment.”
Republicans Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham believe the Ukraine ceasefire is a failure and claim it is “long past time” to arm Ukraine.
“Western leaders say there is no military solution to the conflict in Ukraine,” they said in a joint statement on Tuesday. “Vladimir Putin clearly does not think so.”
Some experts argue that giving Ukraine military aid will result in a proxy war. For example, former National Intelligence Council officer Eugene Rumer says that giving weapons to Kiev “is essentially to fight the Russian military with the hands of Ukrainian soldiers with us [the United States] in a sort of remote-control situation.” According to the National Journal, experts are uncertain how Vladimir Putin may react to the U.S. officially giving Ukraine weapons, although it’s also claimed Putin believes countries are already providing weapons to Ukraine.
“I don’t know how [Putin] will react other than to say that I think it will have some influence on his calculation,” says Ivo Daalder, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO. “It won’t be decisive, but it will have some influence on his calculation. Ukraine is an independent country that is being invaded. It has asked for defensive weapons, and we provide weapons to many countries around the world. So why shouldn’t we do it to this country?”
Writing for USA Today, William B. Taylor and Kristin M. Lord argue that giving Ukraine military aid is not enough.
“The U.S. and its European allies also should make a relatively small but powerful investment in supporting Ukrainians’ efforts to heal internal divisions, build social cohesion and forge a legitimate, accountable government that delivers on the promises of last winter’s dramatic pro-democracy movement on Kiev’s Maidan.”
It’s argued that lessons should be taken from the fallout of the Iraq war, and that the U.S. should spend money on Ukrainian media, education, and grassroots efforts.