Arming Ukraine Against Russia Will Only Make Things Worse

Arming Ukraine Against Russia Will Only Make Things Worse
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Relations between the U.S. and Russia have hit the lowest level since the end of the Cold War. Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia, accusing it of assisting separatists in eastern Ukraine. On the other hand, Moscow has outrightly rejected Western allegations, and accused the West of plotting to topple the former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

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Will the U.S. strategy of “raising the cost” for Russia work?

Last month, the Pentagon approved the plan to station hundreds of howitzers, tanks, and other lethal weapons in the Baltics and other European countries. For the past several months, Washington has been considering sending $3 billion worth of lethal weapons to Ukraine. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Secretary of the State John Kerry, and the U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove have all advocated the move to arm Ukraine. However, President Obama is not pushing this agenda despite growing pressure on him to do it.

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Josh Cohen, The Great Debate columnist at Reuters, believes that arming Ukraine will only make things worse. So far, the U.S. has said that it would “raise the cost” for Russia to an extent that Vladimir Putin is forced to back down. Putin has been hiding the number of Russian casualties in Ukraine from his citizens to avoid a domestic opposition to the war. U.S. officials argue that if there are widespread casualties and the number of deaths become public, Putin will be forced to go back from Ukraine to prevent a domestic backlash.

Russia cannot afford to go back

It makes sense, but not in reality, says Cohen. Ukraine’s geographical location is “supremely important” to Russia, but not equally important to the U.S. It is a “must have” for Moscow, but “nice to have” for Washington. Putin’s 89% domestic approval ratings suggest that he has won people’s support for the Ukraine issue. Now he cannot afford to go back without hurting his political standing in Russia.

So, even if the U.S. provides lethal arms to Ukraine, Moscow is more likely to double down on its support to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Last year when Ukrainian forces were close to eliminating separatists, the Kremlin sent Russian troops to Donbass and other fronts, leading to a defeat of Ukrainian forces. Even those American officials who support the move to arm Ukraine have admitted that Ukrainian army with American weapons still cannot defeat a determined Russia.


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  1. I have to agree with the other poster, I have friends fighting there now, I lived in Ukraine for 5 years and will probably go back. I speak Russian and Ukrainian. This is a war manufactured 100% by Russia. I visited the embassy there on many occasions and know that the US had almost no american staff in the Ukraine at the time of maidan. Hard to start a coup when your embassy is run by non-americans. Ukraine wasn’t even on the US radar with wars in the ME. Maidan was a common movement to throw out Yanukovich, he was the worst kind of thief and liar. Spoke like a retard and everyone joked he was a Russian puppet even before Miadan. The Russians have lost at least a thousand soldiers there not to mention volunteers and Chechen/Dagestani mercenaries from police MVD units. From what I have seen approximately 4000 Russian citizens in Ukraine have either been killed or disappeared.

  2. Russian Army ain’t that advanced as they (including Vikas Shukla, whoever this guy is) are trying to picture here. I actually in the Russian army right now. Russian Army is a very backward organization with only some units up to the current standards (all of them are probably already in Ukraine now). It might be good enough to defeat some small countries like Georgia or Estonia but such army defiantly cannot deal with a country of Ukraine or Poland size. Thus, the nuclear saber rating around-the-clock. We are scared of Ukraine possessing advanced weapons; that’s what paid trolls, Cohens, and Vikas Shuklas about. We don’t want to lose Moscow to advancing battalion Aidar. Anyways, Russia is doomed. It either West take over or Chinese take over. I prefer West.

  3. You Putin trolls tag team to support each other. Between the two of you, not one intelligent word has been spoken. Go back to your state controlled media for your latest talking point!

  4. You ARE brainwashed. He is right. It is obvious for any well informed person. The sad thing is that you will never know it, since you have forgotten what it takes to think.

  5. Odd, how your media provides to you only after Putin allows it to be given to you, that you call me brainwashed. You sound more and more as someone who has not a clue what is going down!

  6. Wrong! Arming or not arming Ukraine is still the same. Better arm Ukraine to defend itself rather than watch Ukraine succumbed to that Russian invasion.

  7. “held its own against the regular Russian forces, albeit with more difficulty”

    Search battle for Illovaisk and battle fro Debaltsevo, plus Donetsk airport fell three days after Russian troops actually joined the fight.

    It is tragedy that Russians are fighting Ukrainians. But with all due respect, Ukrainian military is not a match for Russian and will be defeated in real open confrontation in matter of days.

    “Rag-tag Donbas separatists are a minority”

    I would recommend you to read Behind The Mask in Ukraine by New York Times.

    “Kyiv” is Ukrainian pronunciation of the city, “Kiev” is Russian and one which is the most used in English language.

    Craig you post is full hate and silliness. Stop being silly hater. Try to learn how to be a reasonable person.

  8. Is Ukraine a NATO member? And do you really think Americans and Europeans are ready to die in nuclear Holocaust over Ukraine. Do you seriously think so?

  9. It are odd comments like yours that puts support to providing assistance to Ukraine so they may stay free of Russia! You want to support a Revolution and America wants to support freedom. No contest, you lose!

  10. I sincerely hope that Obama is smart enough to back-track from this failed policy in Ukraine. Warmongers never change. They are often deluded and incline to exhibit self-righteousness, this is nothing new. All we need to look at is the outcome of the Russo-Georgia brief war in 2004, where the Georgian army was routed almost to extinction. The country was practically cut in two, after the US assurances that it training and arming schemes would make the georgian army defeat a weak Russia, for Russia was weak in 2004. But we know what happened. Now these morons are here again agitating for war supported by the warmonger MaCain for yet another war against a stronger and more assertive Russia. John MaCain was also in the forfront of the drive to arm Georgia in 2004, with the warmonger George Bush in office, even the hawkish Rebublican were helpless to do anything.

    The sooner these deluded warmongering morons realised that for Russia, this is not just another geo-political game, but Ukraine joining Nato represent an existential threat the better. They can express all their twisted reasoning as to why Ukraine must be armed to fight Russia as they want, Russia will never allow Ukriane to part of Nato, and Nato can do nothing about it

  11. The point bis the world has to stand for the sovereignty of nations and their borders as agreed between nations. This article says Russia cannot afford to go back the world cannot afford to let Russia go forward. But first let us be honest this Putin not Russia. Putin installed his puppet to subject Ukrainian people to his slavery and they said no so he Hitlered the whole issue and marched his armies in I was in Crimea in February 2014 there were none zero attacks on Russian people there were stage events film in Moscow studios and played on Moscow news programs which were the only news programs in Crimea because Hitler I mean Putin blocked all news programs except his version from Moscow. It was so phony that a women news caster with a high paying job quit rather than continue being a part of Putin’s lies. We need to give weapons to Ukraine now and let them defend themselves already Russian people are taking to the streets in protest against Putin’s greedy grab for Ukraine and its’ people. The more body bags coming from Ukraine to Russia the more the protesters will gain strength and the sooner Russia will leave Ukraine if we do not do this Putin will not stop just like Hitler when he took Czechoslovakia. That was the turning point away from World War two and the world did not do it this is the turning point from World War three if the world fails to turn this now World War Three is inevitable. However the United States has the most corrupt and evil person in its’ history as president he hates Christians and he hates white people and because of his hatred he will see World War Three happen. Mr. Shula is an MBA there were thousands of them employed by big banks that did not see the bubble bursting in the real estate market throwing our economy into kais and that is what they were employed to do see economic changes coming ahead of time so his try at impressing us with his education has failed as his article has failed to back up his view.

  12. I did not talk of supporting a revolution in Ukraine. I talked about what the article spoke off and asked for the author to ask the same question when Russia gave arms to support the Ukraine Rebels (see my first to the forum question). You spoke of an analogy pertaining to Texas which is absurd and is an on going talking point of all pro Putin fans that sometime includes Mexico and Canada. To be absolutely clear. I support a civil war, if that is what it takes in Ukraine to solve this thing. But it is kind of hard for Putin to put the genie back in the bottle now. I am for Putin getting out of all of Ukraine and letting Ukraine tend to its own business.

  13. Richard, supporting revolution in Ukraine, is the same threat for Russia, as if Russia support revolution in Texas.
    What wrong with this logic?

  14. The key is to arm Ukraine to the point of forcing Russia to opening invade Ukraine( They do have active army units there already) and then help Ukraine defend itself. The problem with the current US policy is Russia is able to use small numbers(3000-4000) of Russian troops to effect battles and outcomes in the conflict while still claiming they are not active army units. If Ukraine was armed with better weapons Russian loses would jump up into the hundreds per week and this would force Russian to get out or openly invade Ukraine in mass. This then would allow other countires to fully help defend Ukraine from a Russian invasion with active troops also. My wife is from eastern Ukraine and support for Russia is not as strong as Russia would have you believe. Most just wanted to live their life in peace and would have been happy staying part of Ukraine.

  15. You can say, “”It’s absolutely the same, if Russia support revolution in Texas.”” all you want! haha! The point you are missing is your scenario could never, ever take place. Texas, Mexico, Canada, etc would have to want Russia there first. If you think a free, democratic country would want Putin’s support, you are as crazy as your comment indicates.

  16. I think someone like Vikas Shukla forgot the step that took place before the possible arming of Ukraine by the U.S. The arming of “the Rebels” with Russian arms took place first. Didn’t that make things worse? Of course it did. This article is clearly intended to paint the good of Ukraine and those democratic countries supporting Ukraine as bad.

  17. You repeat the usual Russian talking point lies. Russia HAS been using at times over a dozen regular army battalion tactical groups in Ukraine, and is using full Russian military command and control there. The rag-tag Donbas separatists are a minority and not well armed by the Russians. This is a Russian show. Fact is, the Ukrainian military HAS stopped the separatists and the fully Russian-trained and armed groups of Russian govt mercenaries who use some of the latest equipment, and has held its own against the regular Russian forces, albeit with more difficulty. Your Putler has lost over a thousand regular troops dead in Ukraine (you know, a sovereign “fraternal” country that is NOT Russia). If he committed a large part of his military (which would then be even more obvious than it already clearly is that the Russian military is there) he could take Kyiv (the properly transliterated non-Russian imperialist spelling), but Ukraine would keep fighting on either with our without any foreign support. Putler is nothign but a (truly according to Mussolini’s definition) Fascist iredentist megolomaniac whose people largely support him dragging them into oblivion because he tells them that annexing parts of other countries makes them great. Trying to make others fear you is not the same as them respecting you. V zhopu.

  18. So, arming the UK or the Soviets against the Nazis was also not a good idea? Sorry, but there is such a thing as objective right and wrong. Stop repeating the Kremlin disinfo lies that the US/EU or whomever created Maidan to overthrow Yanuk. Maidan (which I myself froze and breathed tear gas on for some time) was a true grassroots across-the-political-board movement that was dirt poor, and cerainly was not financed by “Gosdep” as the Kremlin claims to the tun of $20M per week (how much do sticks, old tyres, and recycled street sign shields cost these days?). This is not a civil war as Russia claims, but a well-proven case of Russia having directly invaded partss of Ukraine with the goal of annexation (Crimea already done), initially using Spetsnaz groups, then Russian government mercenary groups with fully modern arms, and then over a dozen actual Russian militayr battalion tactical groups at key times. All under RUssian military command and control. Some groups of local Rambo wannabes given some old AKs and RPG-7s are there, but they are not so numerous or decisive. This is a foreign invasion of a “fraternal” sovereign country in violation of numerous international treaties, with the goal of territorial annexation, which Russia denies. It lies, and there are far too many in the West who are willing to either give them the benefit of the doubt or actually activaly support their murderous lies.

  19. Sink or swim… Either jump in the water or move to Kansas. At some point a decision has to be made but I think arming the Ukrainians is the right move even though I know it will lead to more violence and death just because we know that Putin will never back down.

  20. Didn’t article made it clear? Arming Ukraine army will not make Ukraine win. It will only lead to more casualties on both sides and prolong the conflict. Surprisingly, but Obama is smart enough to see it. You can give him a credit here, he is denying arming Ukraine despite all the pressure from military leaders and congress.

    About Putin using “main” army. If Putin wanted he could be in Kiev already long time ago. But he has another agenda. Rebels shoudn’t be defeated. Kiev should make a concession and give Donbass autonomy. That’s it.

  21. Yes, if USA raise stakes Russia will call or even go all in.
    It’s absolutely the same, if Russia support revolution in Texas.
    Removing Putin from power don’t change anything, ay politic replacing him will continue same policy.

  22. If one were to take the principle of trying to save Ukrainian lives then it would be prudent to arm Ukraine so it can better defend itself. What are hesitant people waiting for while Putin keeps retrofitting & supplying abundant pile up of arms and establish control bases within Ukraine territory. Doubt very much Ukraine cares to encroach crossing Russia borderline but should be able to defend its own territory . Since the beginning seems Ukraine has had to fight with one hand behind its back while allowingPutin to do as he wishes. If Putin should cross the imgainery line and take further offense whats going to impede him from plowing thru more regions unless contested. Right now Putin has been able to stall for time allowing the separtists to reorganize and recruit more mercenaries from his Siberian regions without having to fully use his own main troops. If Putin does cross the line then the blood and lives lost will be on those that hesitated in providing Ukraine what it needs.

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