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WSJ: Pentagon Offers Plan to Arm Ukraine, Trump not yet briefed on plan

Tovarisc

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Jul 1, 2014
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U.S. officials say proposal, which needs White House approval, is meant to deter Moscow aggression

The U.S. Pentagon and State Department have devised plans to supply Ukraine with antitank missiles and other weaponry and are seeking White House approval, U.S. officials said, as Kiev battles Russia-backed separatists and ties between Moscow and Washington fray.

American military officials and diplomats say the arms, which they characterized as defensive, are meant to deter aggressive actions by Moscow, which the U.S. and others say has provided tanks and other sophisticated armaments as well as military advisers to rebels fighting the Kiev government.

Since Russia invaded and annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and then began supporting Russian-speaking insurgents in the country’s east, Washington, wary of escalating the conflict, has largely limited its support for Kiev’s military to so-called non-lethal aid and training.

A senior administration official said there has been no decision on the armaments proposal and it wasn’t discussed at a high-level White House meeting on Russia last week. The official said President Donald Trump hasn’t been briefed on the plan and his position isn’t known.

Some U.S. and Ukrainian officials said they expect it could be months before the White House makes a final determination.
A Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, said the U.S. has not “ruled out the option” of providing “lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine.” U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has endorsed the plan, according to U.S. officials.
Germany and France remain deeply skeptical about providing arms to Ukraine, fearing that such moves would raise tensions and deepen the conflict there. But U.S. officials said they expect allies, possibly including the U.K., Canada, Poland and Lithuania to be open to increased military support.

“It is really important we don’t inflame the situation,” said British National Security Adviser Mark Sedwell. “There has been quite a lot of agitation from across the border in the east.”
Russian officials have long denied supporting separatists and criticized Western efforts to train the Ukrainian military. Russian officials have said in recent days that any U.S. move to send weapons to Ukraine would further impair peace efforts.

Under the Pentagon and State Department proposal, the U.S. would provide anti-tank weapons, most likely Javelin missiles, as well as possibly anti-aircraft weapons, in addition to other arms. Ukraine has long sought Javelins to counter Russian-made armored vehicles in rebel-held areas.

U.S. officials, however, said the plan would be to deploy the anti-tank missiles with Ukrainian troops stationed away from the front lines of the conflict —part of an effort by policy makers to limit the risks of escalation and defuse criticism that the moves could encourage offensive action by Kiev.
U.S. and European officials are divided on how Moscow would respond to new arms shipments. Some believe it would push Moscow back to the bargaining table and others think it would prompt the Russian military to escalate the situation further.

But with violence rising in Ukraine and separatists making moves such as declaring their own government for the country, some Western officials think there is little to lose by trying to increase pressure.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/pentagon-offers-plan-to-arm-ukraine-1501520728
 

alr1ght

bish gets all the credit :)
Sep 25, 2005
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They don't want to tell him because he'll blurt it out on one of his 3am Twitter rants.
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
Jun 26, 2007
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Germany and France remain deeply skeptical about providing arms to Ukraine, fearing that such moves would raise tensions and deepen the conflict there

At least some countries aren't so quick to solve every problem with a hammer.
 

gutter_trash

Banned
Feb 4, 2005
43,878
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Pentagon should bypass Trump by using Canada as the intermediary to send arms to Ukraine.

Both Liberals and Conservatives in Canada are Pro-Ukraine.
 

KoopaTheCasual

Junior Member
Jun 5, 2013
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Ugh, this is a headache.

While it's good that Congress and the Pentagon seem really hell bent on curbing Russia's power-plays, it's only worsening our relationship with our EU allies.

If we had a functioning State Department and Executive Branch, we could craft these plans with more nuance to not piss off our allies, but that involves running anti-Russia plans through Donald and Tillerson.... and that's not gonna happen anytime soon.
 

Tovarisc

Member
Jul 1, 2014
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Is this even a good idea?

Depends on the mood Putin is in on the day first shipment of Javelins land.

It's what makes it dicey proposition and why EU isn't eager to jump on and provide Ukraine with weapons.
 

BrassDragon

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Nov 28, 2013
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The thing that has me curious is which problem this is trying to solve - are the Russian-backed forces breaking through or does the Pentagon intend for Ukraine to regain all territory in a renewed offensive? And then what? Ìs the US influence on Ukraine wavering ?

We're coming up on winter which usually slows down the fighting and gives Russia huge leverage through its energy trade, so WTF is the US trying to accomplish here?
 

Kieli

Member
Aug 11, 2013
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oh this should be fun

good on whomever decided to put it public before Trump decides

I'm glad Gaf is having a giggle at the state of US politics, and I admit I'm enjoying my fair share of it too for its absurdity.

But at some level, it's disturbing to watch the highest level of government of one of the most powerful nations in the world being so disfunctional. His administration has the power to irrevocably change American life, and affect many people's lives outside of US. That he has the power to nominate up to 2 Republicans to the SCOTUS is proof of that.
 

Tovarisc

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Jul 1, 2014
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The thing that has me curious is which problem this is trying to solve - are the Russian-backed forces breaking through or does the Pentagon intend for Ukraine to regain all territory in a renewed offensive? And then what? Ìs the US influence on Ukraine wavering ?

We're coming up on winter which usually slows down the fighting and gives Russia huge leverage through its energy trade, so WTF is the US trying to accomplish here?

Pentagon is worried about breaks in cease fire in Ukraine and wants to arm Ukraine with defensive weapons that could be deployed in case Russia backed forces start new offensive. Officially at least they don't want see supplied weapons being used offensively.

I guess Pentagon wants to reinforce current frontline and make it stay there? But what then? Who knows.
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
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Pentagon has dealt Trump quite the hand - if he approves the plan it will almost inevitably result in a disaster, if he doesn't, he'll be seen even more of a Russian puppet
 

Xando

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May 2, 2014
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The thing that has me curious is which problem this is trying to solve - are the Russian-backed forces breaking through or does the Pentagon intend for Ukraine to regain all territory in a renewed offensive? And then what? Ìs the US influence on Ukraine wavering ?

We're coming up on winter which usually slows down the fighting and gives Russia huge leverage through its energy trade, so WTF is the US trying to accomplish here?
The conflict is largely frozen. There are some skirmishes here and there but no real offensives on either side.
Armin Ukraine won‘t do shit except escalate
 

zer0das

Banned
Apr 13, 2007
1,485
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I think it would be idiotic to send "lethal aid" and then limit it to back areas. You're basically asking for that stuff to fall into enemy hands if things go south. The lack of commitment is rather alarming.

I'd rather they not send it at all if they're going to try to limit their use that restrictively.
 

BrassDragon

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Nov 28, 2013
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Another side-effect of Trump's cabinet being a clown car is that there are several anti-Russia hawks in positions of power around him. They may be trying to force a more confrontational stance as Putin's shadow influence over the US president becomes more apparent. Without an effective State department to counterbalance such moves, we may be seeing the real world consequences of a fractured White House led by a clueless leader.
 

Barzul

Member
Jun 8, 2013
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Oh good another proxy war. It was always going to come to this. When Russia annexed Crimea it was pretty much guaranteed to escalate to a point like this.
 

Electric Eye

Banned
Jan 5, 2016
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At least some countries aren't so quick to solve every problem with a hammer.

Oh they're worried about their energy needs and where they get some of it and companies and people in their territories that have a lot of money to loose. See EU sanctions on the US over the new US sanctions on Russia.
 

reckless

Member
Sep 1, 2013
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At least some countries aren't so quick to solve every problem with a hammer.

Yeah I mean its only been 3 years since Russia invaded Ukraine, numerous ceasefires have come and gone and Crimea has been annexed. But yeah way too quick to maybe try a different strategy since diplomacy alone sure hasn't worked.

Also their stance is pretty much just about not upsetting Russia enough to mess up natural gas exports.
 

bonesmccoy

Banned
Mar 1, 2009
14,115
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Ah, yes.

'Lets do this thing that our allies in the region - who have to deal with the consequences - don't want us to do!'
 

UnObtainium17

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Jan 4, 2012
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It's like someone in pentagon hates trump "let me give this dumbass a can of gas and a match.. If he burns himself it ain't me but it'll be fun to see."
 

Tovarisc

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Jul 1, 2014
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Oh they're worried about their energy needs and where they get some of it and companies and people in their territories that have a lot of money to loose. See EU sanctions on the US over the new US sanctions on Russia.

Yeah I mean its only been 3 years since Russia invaded Ukraine, numerous ceasefires have come and gone and Crimea has been annexed. But yeah way too quick to maybe try a different strategy since diplomacy alone sure hasn't worked.

Also their stance is pretty much just about not upsetting Russia enough to mess up natural gas exports.

These weapons are meant for defense only, not for retaking lost territory.

What if it goes sideways and Putin takes move really wrong way and we lose rest of Ukraine? Few Javelins won't save them if Putin decides to go all in and take whole country.

What then?

I imagine it's large fear here too.
 
Oct 4, 2012
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At least some countries aren't so quick to solve every problem with a hammer.

This conflict has been going on for a while. Russia invaded Ukraine and then shot down a passenger jet. The cease fires haven't worked and talks can't even happen because Russia continues to claim they're not involved at all while fucking Europe sits around whistling because they get so much energy from Russia.

I don't know what arming Ukraine will do but since Europe wants to pretend it's not even an issue and Russia won't admit they're involved, maybe this is the only option left. Perhaps if Russia keeps getting its soldiers sent back in bodybags and there are too many to hide it from the public like they've tried to do, maybe they'll cut their losses and withdraw.
 

reckless

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Sep 1, 2013
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These weapons are meant for defense only, not for retaking lost territory.

What if it goes sideways and Putin takes move really wrong way and we lose rest of Ukraine? Few Javelins won't save them if Putin decides to go all in and take whole country.

What then?

I imagine it's large fear here too.

Ok and what if we do nothing and Putin takes that as a free pass to be more aggressive?(appeasement has failed in the past...)
What if he goes after the Baltics next or goes after something like Gotland.

Him invading publicly would be a big change from the whole its not Russian soldiers there.
 

Rentahamster

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Jun 26, 2007
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Yeah, won't someone think of their oil supplier for once?
More like won't someone think of solutions that don't involve potentially escalating proxy wars.

Yeah I mean its only been 3 years since Russia invaded Ukraine, numerous ceasefires have come and gone and Crimea has been annexed. But yeah way too quick to maybe try a different strategy since diplomacy alone sure hasn't worked.

Also their stance is pretty much just about not upsetting Russia enough to mess up natural gas exports.
As if the USA's interests there don't involve oil-related power plays too. That argument might be more convincing if the USA's track record at this kind of thing wasn't so historically terrible.

maybe this is the only option left.
It's not.

Perhaps if Russia keeps getting its soldiers sent back in bodybags and there are too many to hide it from the public like they've tried to do, maybe they'll cut their losses and withdraw.

Yeesh, really? That's one of the major strategies to try to get the USA out of the Middle East.
 
Jun 9, 2004
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Except they already lost it and the conflict is largely frozen

Yes I understand that but you can't let Russia keep doing this. They did it in Georgia as well and they'll do it again in the region. I understand geopolitics is a minefield but it's not right.
 

reckless

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Sep 1, 2013
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As if the USA's interests there don't involve oil-related power plays too. That argument might be more convincing if the USA's track record at this kind of thing wasn't so historically terrible.
Cool those don't really matter about this particular situation in Ukraine through, but it is funny bringing up whataboutism when talking about Russia.