Stop Half-A$$ing it and Arm Ukraine All the Way to the Teeth

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor


The United States is the sole global military superpower in March 2023. With this awesome power comes grave responsibility. This perch is by no means comfortable, nor is the posture destined to last forever. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is methodically approaching near-peer status relative to the US armed forces with great speed at least in the Pacific Theater. When it comes to individual weapons systems like ICBMs, it may have overtaken US capacity already. When the two nations’ military forces finally converge toward some semblance of parity in the near future, the development will go down in human history as a seminal event, causing tectonic shifts around the world. The current era of dominance Americans have enjoyed and taken for granted since the early 1990s will dramatically end with a thunderclap that will be heard around the world, reshaping the world order and permanently shifting geopolitics in new directions that are impossible to predict today. If not managed carefully, the transition may devolve into violent conflict between the two, with Taiwan being the prime suspect as to the playing field where hostilities would break out. The specific timeline is murky, which only illustrates the grave urgency to take advantage of this delicate, fleeting moment America now finds itself in. Assuredly China’s leaders will be increasingly tempted to test their burgeoning military might against the established top dog each year that goes by. The prospect of China’s bid to challenge the United States should serve as an immediate call to action for the United States to sort out the separate Ukraine problem as far in advance as possible, and clear the deck so to speak.

No other nation is capable of impacting the Ukraine War enough to bring about its end without direct military intervention. It’s time to harness this American power for good.

President Biden, Congress, and the Pentagon decided as soon as the Ukraine War started more than a year ago not to deploy US troops directly into the war zone, or jets into Ukrainian airspace. This was absolutely the right decision for several reasons. Ukraine is not a US treaty ally like NATO countries, which the United States is obligated to fight for in case of an attack. The United States has no core national interests for fighting inside Ukraine. America is not interested in colonizing Ukraine or making it a dependent vassal state, any more than the Ukrainians desire to hand over their freedom and resources to the West. Americans are also war-weary, rightly so, after being stuck in a costly, bloody, and futile quagmire for over 20 years that came to be known as the War on Terror, resulting in no victory parade for the troops who trudged home. Nobody even pretends that the United States succeeded in Iraq or Afghanistan, to the extent we can even agree upon what the objectives and mission of the War on Terror were supposed to be, and whether those ever even had a fighting chance at any point in the first place. Putin has also repeatedly made exceedingly clear his willingness to use nukes against Ukraine or beyond if Western nations escalated too much in support of Ukraine. However credible, nobody believes this is a threat that’s worth putting to the test.

Washington must maximize its relative position of strength while it still can to help shape the modern world order in line with core American values, which are on the line at various flash points today. There’s no better example than the epic war under way between democracy and autocracy. On one major front, democracy is under full frontal assault in Ukraine as Russia relentlessly pushes to gain ground, annex more territory, and topple duly elected President Zelenskyy’s administration, all while deliberately slaughtering civilians in a sick genocide. The brilliant experimental new form of government that the founding fathers invented and handed down to us is a glorious legacy worth defending tooth and nail when and where it’s in danger, even far from our homeland. I cannot think of a better use of American power and resources abroad than putting the brave warriors of Ukraine firmly on the path to victory against Vladimir Putin and his army of mercenaries and marauders who launched a war of choice. While US arms and funding provided to date have been critical in keeping the courageous Ukrainian soldiers in the fight, it has not been enough to prevail in what has turned into a bloody meat grinder of a stalemate since the beginning of winter, with no end in sight. Ukraine’s clearly stated objective is to win back its occupied territory, including Crimea. This is entirely possible if America takes its aid to the next level, and arms Ukraine all the way up. To the teeth. We should ramp up logistical support for Ukraine in order to help President Zelenskyy and his warriors expel the Russians from Ukraine decisively in 2023, once and for all.

via Army Technology

It’s time to be in it to win it. It’s high time for Washington to reach deeper into its arsenal and pockets, and inject Ukraine with more advanced weaponry. Why not dip into some of the most advanced weaponry the United States has ever built? There is no better use of these munitions I can possibly think of than to expend it against Putin’s rapists and murderers. What else would we want to save it for? This should include newer and more technologically superior arms, in higher volumes, and faster. We should be sending over America’s more modern jets like the F-15, F-16, and F-18; more accurate and deadly drones like the Reaper, the latest tanks, Apache and other attack helicopters, longer range missiles, and other weapons systems as quickly as we can possibly transport them. Current US policy has instead been half-assed, providing a steady but minimal stream of low-grade, older, and cheaper weapons to Ukraine. Washington has been hoping to win this proxy war on the cheap, instead of arming Ukraine to the teeth in a bid to guarantee victory.

Sure, there are unknown consequences to aggressive US escalation. Will China ramp up its own aid or trade to prop up the Russian oligarchy in response? Will Putin more loudly beat the drums of threatening to deploy tactical or even strategic nuclear weapons against Ukraine- or further West? To these or any other consequences, I believe the Biden administration has a bullet-proof deterrent: the credible, public threat of overwhelming force that will result in immediate regime change in Moscow and, if necessary, Beijing to backstop the change in US posture.

The decision was made long ago to pick sides. Other NATO nations are mostly followers of America, so if America leads we’ll have substantial coalition backing. If you’re going to arm Ukraine at all, may as well go all the way. The Ukrainian people, and the world economy have suffered enough at the hands of a tin-pot dictator despot. This is in my mind no less than a war between Good and Evil. Every bullet, missile, and bomb we give to Ukraine is money well spent for American interests. It does not involve invading a country or colonizing it like all of the dumb past failed war efforts of the United States. It’s time to finally end the Ukraine War with overwhelming force by arming them enough to kick the Russians out of Ukrainian land including Crimea, and usher in an era of lasting peace in Europe and beyond- as China will also get the hint that the juice sure as Hell ain’t worth the squeeze.


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