Sunday, February 1, 2015

Should the U.S. help Ukraine?

Although many were against sending weapons to support Kiev’s forces, officials including NATO’s military commander General Philip M. Breedlove are now considering helping Ukraine’s forces. Secretary of State John Kerry even plans to visit Kiev on Thursday to open up talks on providing lethal assistance, but President Obama has made no decisions so far on whether or not to assist Ukraine. In the last few months, the White House has been hesitant in providing weapons in fear that Russia may retaliate with more force. Economic sanctions do not seem to have any effect in stopping Russia from continuing to send weapons and personnel to eastern Ukraine. The United States hopes to achieve a solution through diplomatic means, but as the way things are right now, the chances of negotiations are slim. Apparently in September, an agreement was reached in Minsk that called for an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine, the removal of foreign forces, and an arrangement that would monitor the border between Ukraine and Russia to make sure it is respected. Russia however has repeatedly violated this agreement and shipped heavy weapons to support the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

One reason why Russia is backing the separatists is that they want to replace the Minsk agreement with a new one that is more favorable to their interests and would give the separatists more economic stability. An independent report is being created by former senior American officials that encourages the United States to send $3 billion in defensive arms and equipment to Ukraine. Officials of the report argue that in order to dissuade Russia and the separatists, the United States and its allies should expand their offensive through providing Ukrainians with the necessary equipment to stop armored assaults. They believe this will likely stop the separatists from advancing and taking over more territory, and hopefully open up opportunities for negotiations.

Do you think the United States should send support to Ukraine?

Will sending lethal weapons truly help solve the situation? Or will it just escalate it and diminish any chances of compromise?


Andros Petrakis said...

If we do send aid, it should not be as just the US, but as NATO. An act solely by the US puts a much more "Cold War" feel on this issue, but as a more international body, NATO will have more resources and pressure to aid Ukraine.

Sadly, the two options the US can take both have solutions out of our hands. If we do send aid, Russia could escalate things further until we have an all out war. If we try to negotiate, and maybe sacrifice some part of Ukraine to negotiate, there could be a Nazi Germany appeasement style land grab that could just delay escalation. Whatever the US and NATO decide to do, the ball is still in Russia's side of the Court.

Catherine van Blommestein said...

I do not think that supplying weapons to Ukraine will help the situation. Even if the US and all the other countries provided them with weapons, Ukraine does not have the army to be able to defeat Russia. This will just create a lot of bloodshed and loss for Ukraine. The only solution I see is that the rest of the world has to unite against Russia, creating trade embargos. Russia cannot exist on its own; it needs trade. It is NATO and the UN’s responsibility to organize this.

Wesley Lee said...

I don't believe that sending lethal weapons will help in the situation in Europe. Sending weapons has gained much support in Congress, but many have failed to realize that the United States have much less to lose to escalation than the European Nations. Many Europeans simply do not want to risk another war in Europe. Sending arms would significantly increase the tension between the "western nations" and Russia, lead to even more killing in Ukraine, and possibly create a proxy war between the US/NATO and Russia.