Thursday, March 30, 2017

Ukraine Deserves to Win

I've long felt that if Ukraine wants to fight Russia to push the Russians out of Ukraine, we should help arm the Ukrainians. Our top general in Europe wants to provide lethal arms.

The only way to get Russia out of the aggression business is to send body bags back to Russia.

This would help:

The top U.S. military commander in Europe again backed sending more advanced weaponry to Ukraine to help it in its fight against Russia-backed separatists.

The article mentions Javelin anti-tank missiles. That's a good idea given the large amount of armor that the Russians and their hand puppets field in the Donbas.

For a bunch of so-called separatists, they have a lot of modern Russian weapons. Odd that is, no?

I don't think we need to worry about supplying the big ticket items like fighter aircraft or heavy armor. Ukraine has plenty and if we support our new NATO allies who have experience with old Soviet stuff, Ukraine is fully capable of upgrading their own large stockpiles of old Soviet-designed armor to fight the Russians.

The objection reported in the article that helping Ukraine fight back would just lead Russia to escalate is meaningless. Russia escalated to invasion and occupation already. At some level, failure to escalate just leaves Russia in control of what they stole.*

That "stability" also leaves Russia free to use what they stole as a launching pad for new conquests when Russia rebuilds their military enough to do so.

And the objection assumes Russia can escalate at will. Russia faces limits on the size of the force they can field given their military's narrow scope of sufficiency in training and equipment.

You have to consider that Russia may not have escalated already because it would be too hard to do so.

Also, Russia is far more sensitive to casualties with their declining population. Russia is no democracy, but it is far from the stoic obedient empire that would follow a dictator's orders to win even if it costs 30 million dead as it was under Stalin in World War II.

We need to fill gaps in Ukrainian defense capabilities to make them more effective in lethality and in survivability. Russia won't leave Ukraine unless pushed out.

Javelin anti-tank missiles would be a good start.

*I can't rule out that Ukraine's leaders don't really want to expend the effort to expel the Russians and that lack of more lethal support from the West is a convenient excuse for inaction. But I don't know.

UPDATE: Is it my imagination or are there more explosions inside Ukraine lately?

UPDATE: This is what you get when Russia wages war but denies it is waging war, and the west goes along with that fiction:

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has ordered the military to implement a cease-fire and weapons pullback in the conflict region in eastern Ukraine beginning on April 1.

Poroshenko made the announcement on March 30 in Malta, where he was meeting with European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker.

Ukraine's president doesn't have faith that a ceasefire will work. So is he going along to keep the EU nominally on his side? Or does Poroshenko think of EU pressure a convenient scapegoat to avoid fighting Russia to regain Russican-occupied Donbas (and does anybody really talk about Crimea anymore?)