Former Senior U.S. Officials Urge U.S. And NATO to Increase Military Assistance to Ukraine, including Defensive Arms

February 2, 2015
Washington, DC
The Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs today released a report entitled, “Preserving Ukraine’s Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do.” The report, authored by eight former senior U.S. diplomatic and military officials, urges the U.S. and NATO to bolster Ukraine’s defense and deter further Russian aggression by providing military, including lethal defensive assistance to Ukraine.

The report is informed by and summarizes discussions held in January with senior NATO officials in Brussels and senior Ukrainian civilian and military officials in Kyiv and at the Ukrainian “anti-terror operation” headquarters in Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine.

The report makes several specific recommendations, including: the White House and Congress should commit serious funds to upgrade Ukraine’s defense capabilities, specifically providing $1 billion in military assistance this year, followed by an additional $1 billion each in the next two fiscal years; the U.S. government should alter its policy and begin providing lethal assistance to Ukraine’s military; and the U.S. government should approach other NATO countries about also providing military assistance to Ukraine. The focus of this assistance should be on enhancing Ukraine’s defensive capabilities, including by providing counter-battery radars to pinpoint the origin of long-range rocket and artillery strikes, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), electronic counter-measures for use against opposing UAVs, secure communications capabilities, armored Humvees, and medical support equipment. In addition, it should include lethal defensive capabilities, especially light anti-armor missiles.

“We urge the Obama Administration and NATO member governments, with support from the U.S. Congress and Allied parliaments, to move rapidly and implement these recommendations,” the report’s authors collectively conclude. “President Putin may hope to achieve glory through restoring, through intimidation and force, Russian dominion over its neighbors. But a peaceful world requires opposing this through decisive action.”

The eight distinguished foreign policy practitioners and scholars who contributed to this report include:
 
  • Ambassador Ivo Daalder, President, The Chicago Global Affairs Council, and former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO
  • Michele Flournoy, Chair, Center for a New American Security, and former Under Secretary of Defense
  • Ambassador John Herbst, Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, the Atlantic Council, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
  • Jan Lodal, Distinguished Fellow and former President, the Atlantic Council, and former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense
  • Ambassador Steven Pifer, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
  • Admiral James Stavridis, Member of the Board, the Atlantic Council, Dean, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe
  • Strobe Talbott, President, The Brookings Institution, and former Deputy Secretary of State
  • General Charles Wald, Member of the Board, the Atlantic Council, and former Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command  
 

Read the report “Preserving Ukraine’s Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do.”

Watch the launch event live stream.

When tweeting, please use the hashtag #UkraineCrisis.

For more information about this report and to request interviews with its authors, please contact: