On Monday, eight former United States senior officials issued a report proposing that the U.S. send $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine, after pro-Russian separatists ended a five-month truce and resumed fighting in Eastern Ukraine on Sunday.
The report, which was first released by the New York Times, urged the United States to send $3 billion in defensive equipment to Ukraine, including “anti-armor missiles, reconnaissance drones, armored Humvees and radars that can determine the location of enemy rocket and artillery fire.”
The contributors to the report include former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Ivo Daalder, former Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst, former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Jan Lodal, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe James Stavridis, former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and former Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command Charles Wald.
The report claims that a “stronger Ukrainian military” will increase the prospects for “negotiation of a peaceful settlement,” and will “make clear that the West will not accept the use of force to change borders in Europe.”
The Guardian reported that although the White House has “stopped short of providing military aid to Ukraine in order to avoid provoking Russia,” it has joined the European Union in putting a series of sanctions in place against Russia.
The New York Times noted that while the U.S. has not provided Ukraine with “lethal” military equipment, it has supplied “non-lethal” items, including “body armor, night-vision goggles, first aid kits and engineering equipment.”
According to Reuters, although NATO and Kiev “accuse Russia of sending thousands of troops to support the rebel advance with heavy weapons and tanks,” Moscow denies its direct involvement.
The New York Times reported that in addition to the eight former U.S. officials showing their support for sending arms to Ukraine, the idea has also garnered support from Secretary of State John Kerry, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Kerry is planning to visit Kiev on Thursday, to speak with Ukrainian officials.