‘Antidote or poison’?

Largest security support unprecedented in contemporary history

If the Biden administration still opposes Ukraine’s President Zelensky’s call for a no-fly zone in the country due to fears of a war between the nuclear powers, the arms transfers show that Western involvement in the conflict increased dramatically.

The West massively pumped weapons into the Ukrainian battlefield: 'Antidote or poison'?  - first

Armor of pro-Russian separatists in Mariupol, Ukraine on April 21. Photo: RIA Novosti.

Washington has been speeding up arms aid to Ukraine since late February. Most recently, on May 6, President Biden announced a new $ 150 million weapons aid package for Ukraine. According to US officials, the package includes 25,000 rounds of ammunition for Howitzer howitzers, jammers, anti-ballistic radars, other electronics and spare parts.

This is the 9th batch of weapons that the US has transferred to Ukraine since August 2021. Before that, Washington provided many modern weapons such as heavy artillery, Stinger man-portable air defense missile, Javelin anti-tank weapon system and unmanned aerial vehicle.

“The United States has provided an unprecedented amount of security assistance to Ukraine at a rapid pace. We are sending weapons and equipment authorized by Congress to the front lines in Ukraine.” Biden affirmed.

However, President Biden said the current funding was “nearly exhausted” and for Ukraine to win, the US and its allies must keep “the flow of arms and ammunition to Ukraine uninterrupted”. Mr. Biden urged Congress to quickly pass new funding to help strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table. And the US Congress was quick to act.

Both houses of Congress have approved an emergency humanitarian and military aid package worth up to $40 billion for Ukraine, more than the $33 billion proposed by President Biden. US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said missile launchers such as MLRS and artillery systems will be part of the latest US aid package.

But Washington is not alone in its efforts to aid Ukraine with arms. The list of countries providing military aid to Ukraine is not only confined to NATO, but also extends to countries outside the bloc. In a remarkable move, Germany has broken with its traditional policy of not sending weapons to conflict zones, to hand over rocket launchers, Stinger missiles and Strela man-portable missiles from During the Soviet era, Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery for Ukraine.

Slovakia delivers S-300 missile system. Poland has proposed allowing all of its Mig-29 fighter jets, a type of aircraft that Ukrainian pilots are used to, to be delivered via a US airbase in Germany. The proposal was opposed by the US, but Washington sent Soviet-era Mi-17 helicopters to Ukraine.

Other countries, such as Estonia, Finland and Italy, have also recently begun to deliver large artillery pieces to Kiev for use in land warfare.

There are many reasons given to justify this action. Some believe that the support of the United States and its allies to Ukraine may cause Russia to change its calculus and quickly withdraw from Ukraine. Another opinion is that it will force Russia to pay for its military campaign, cause Russia to lose its troops and equipment, as well as cause domestic political problems for President Putin. But none of these arguments is convincing enough.

Antidote or poison?

Observers say that the massive Western injection of weapons and increased intelligence support to Ukraine is not an effective lever to end the war, but can instead add “fuel to the fire”. . The Russian government has repeatedly criticized the supply of weapons to Ukraine by the United States and its allies as a dangerous act, and warned that any foreign weapons shipment entering Ukraine could become a “legitimate target” of the Russian government. Russian forces.

According to some analysts, the weapons provided by the West will certainly help Ukraine make some progress on the battlefield, but it will be difficult to defeat Russia militarily. If Russia succeeds in controlling major Ukrainian cities, even toppling the Kiev government, Western weapons could be used in a protracted armed insurgency.

Tarek Megerisi, North Africa and Middle East program expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, warned that with the injection of weapons and the introduction of foreign fighters into Ukraine, Western leaders could spark future conflicts and turn Ukraine into the “next Syria or Libya”.

As in the Middle East and North Africa, the flow of weapons from the West could sow the seeds of new crises over the next 10 years due to a lack of planning and a lack of long-term vision. “Before Russia crossed the red line, the West sent Ukraine everything it needed,” noted Tarek Megerisi.

According to this expert, the scale and speed of arms shipments to Ukraine can be said to be “the largest and fastest in contemporary history”.

The United States and its allies have provided Ukraine with virtually everything needed to gain an advantage in a modern war, even with weapons as destructive as the Javelin and Stinger missiles. However, the country has few ways to track the use of the large number of weapons transferred to Ukraine.

The risk is that some weapons could end up in the hands of other countries’ militaries or other forces that Washington does not plan to equip, according to defense analysts and many US officials. The history of conflicts involving the United States shows that, in many cases, Washington’s arms shipments were diverted when they reached the receiving country or fell into the hands of black market smugglers. As a result, terrorist organizations, extremist paramilitary groups or drug cartels can buy such weapons illegally. Washington has seen this in a number of wars it has participated in, particularly in Afghanistan and Syria.

“By bringing billions of dollars worth of advanced weapons into the Ukrainian battlefield, the West has contributed to the overthrow of the original dominoes, giving future terrorist groups or other non-state organizations an opportunity. own them once the Russo-Ukrainian war subsides.”Mr. Tarek Megerisi said.

Not to mention, many military experts also doubt the effectiveness of using Western weapons in Ukraine. Scott Ritter, a former intelligence officer with the US Marine Corps, said: “Kiev does not have the ability to maintain and repair complex US and NATO weapons, so if damaged, they will become useless.”

He pointed out that for each heavy piece of equipment that the Ukrainian military is about to receive as part of a massive US-supplied military aid plan, the issue of maintenance and repair has not yet been scrutinized. For example, the M777 155mm cannon, the M113 armored personnel carrier have significant defects and require very strict maintenance procedures. That makes the Ukrainian military difficult to use, or ineffective.

In fact, by providing Ukraine with modern military equipment while not helping to develop the infrastructure available for maintenance and repair, the West is doing nothing more than making Ukraine sink deeper and deeper. into conflict. Not to mention that poses a threat to other countries.

Some analysts say that the injection of weapons to Ukraine is prolonging “the suffering of the people of this country”. If Ukraine does not have the support of the West, it will certainly soon have to sit at the negotiating table with Russia and the two sides can soon find peaceful means to end the conflict. Russia probably doesn’t want the war to last too long either. But things are not that simple.

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