For more than two years, Ukraine has been outgunned battling Russian-backed rebels and Russian soldiers in Crimea. Given that peace agreements have failed to end the conflict and Russia consistently lies about not helping rebels fight Ukrainian forces, should America give lethal weapons—specifically Javelin anti-tank missiles—to Kyiv?
If Russia steamrolls Ukraine, there is nothing in Putin’s history to suggest that he would not continue onward because he feel no one will care. And international law fully justifies a country protecting itself. Sending lethal weapons to Ukraine would simply be supporting a sovereign nation to defend itself.
Sending weapons to Ukraine is not a declaration of war against Russia. It is a commitment to Kyiv’s independence.
The USA has provided Janelin missiles to Estonia.
Senator John McCain pointed out to Trump, he has the authority as President to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine via the National Defense Authorization Act, which stipulates that the president can send upwards $350 million in military aid to Ukraine.
One advantage of Ukrainian soldiers having the Javelin is that it would allow them to fire from 1.5 miles, which would allow some distance between themselves and the target. Reuben Johnson of Jane’s Defence told the BBC that Ukrainian troops are being overwhelmed because they lack the proper anti-tank hardware to fight the rebels:
The Russian equipment in eastern Ukraine is some of the best they have. About 70 percent of Ukrainian anti-tank missiles are old or even expired. But almost all the Russian armor is reactive – that means boxes of explosives cover the tank, so when a missile hits a box it blows up the missile without harming the tank.
Former President Barack Obama resisted sending Ukraine lethal aid due to fears it would provoke Russia to further stir up even more trouble.
But the reality is that the conflict is getting worse, even though no weapons have been sent.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to fight Russian troops and proxy forces operating in Ukraine in a war that has claimed approximately 10,000 lives. Ukraine has engaged in an ambitious military reform program to modernize its armed forces and meet standards required for NATO accession by 2020. These reform efforts have seen important successes in recent years, but the Ukrainian military remains vulnerable to conventional and unconventional warfare.