Much hay has been made lately on the concept of the United States providing material arms and support to the Ukraine military in its fight against the Russian-Aligned separatist movement in the East. Senator John McCain has come out as a staunch advocate of this strategy, and various other groups are urging US involvement in the crisis.
This would be a disastrous intervention on our part. While it is obvious that neither side has kept to the 2014 Minsk Agreement, it would provide multiple outlets of negative reverberation for the United States to begin to fund, equip and presumably train the Ukraine military in this conflict. The Ukraine military is known to be so corrupt that it is assumed that much of any equipment they were to receive would end up on the black market.
There are credible claims to suggest that Ukraine artillery units are purposefully bombarding civilian neighborhoods near and within contested areas. Once a government has resorted to the indiscriminate killing of its own civilians, we must put ourselves morally above providing the bullets and bombs a government is very likely to turn against its own civilians. This would be an unfortunate result of a desire to intervene to halt a conflict.
While it will be a longer-term negative to reinforce what is likely to be direct Russian expansionist designs, it would be a short-term worse situation to be in defacto confrontation with a Russian regime which is more likely to desire escalation to a conflict that it would appear they are in every position to win as the current situation stands. The Ukraine military has proven to be incapable of winning this conflict on their own, certainly without the risk of further senseless civilian death, dislocation and suffering.
A trend that has not gone in our favor any time recently has been intervening in local conflicts, whether to support an allied regime, or to facilitate in the downfall of an enemy. The track record is too long and well-known to warrant individual analysis, but in short, We have not been winning as of late. It would be insane to believe that we are going to reverse this trend by equipping a government which already has shown a penchant for killing their own citizens merely to try and counter what has, thus far, been a success for Vladimir Putin’s expansionist ambitions. As the leaders of France and Germany tried to explain to Ukraine’s President last week, it is better to recognize that you have lost and try and freeze the lines of demarcation where they sit now rather than expect a reversal in course that shows no sign of arriving.
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