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5 Reasons Arming Ukraine Won't Work
[No 1.]  America's commitment to Ukraine [...] has actually been quite limited, especially relative to Russia's determination to support the Ukrainian rebels. Moscow knows this from our own words and deeds  [...] arming Ukraine will serve as a credible deterrent only if President Obama clearly and persuasively affirms that he is prepared to send significant U.S. forces to Ukraine to combat the rebels (and that he is willing to risk using nuclear weapons in the process, if needed). Is Mr. Obama willing to do that? Would Congress or the American public support him?

[No 2.]  Limited lethal military assistance, whether offensive or defensive, won't impose sufficient costs on Russia to deter its support for separatists  [...] an American decision to impose costs that high in Ukraine would allow the Kremlin to frame the war as an existential U.S.-Russian conflict, rather than as a symbolically important but otherwise optional struggle to help Ukraine's separatists.

[No 3.] Poor weapons are not the Ukrainian military's principal problem.

[No 4.]  Time is not on our side. America's current economic-sanctions policy is in essence an economic war of attrition against Russia  [...]   a deliberate attempt to collapse Russia's economy is a huge gamble that could easily end with extreme nationalists in power and a Kremlin seizure of Western assets in the country.

[No 5.] We will not be able to succeed in managing the challenges Russia presents if we cannot be honest with ourselves.

by das monde on Sun Feb 15th, 2015 at 10:37:41 PM EST

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