How to Win in Ukraine: Pour It On, and Don't Worry About Escalation

commentary

May 22, 2024

An airman loads weapons cargo bound for Ukraine onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, September 14, 2022, photo by Staff Sgt. Marco Gomez/U.S. Air Force

An airman loads weapons cargo bound for Ukraine onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, September 14, 2022

Photo by Staff Sgt. Marco Gomez/U.S. Air Force

This commentary originally appeared on Defense One on May 22, 2024.

Russia has gained on the battlefield in recent weeks, but Ukraine's cause is far from hopeless. The United States and its allies can give Kyiv the training and technological advantage it needs, but the Biden administration has failed to provide the necessary U.S. military involvement for fears of Russia using nuclear weapons against Ukraine or taking action against U.S. forces. Such fears are overblown: such escalation would be dangerous and undesirable for Russia. The Biden administration should increase the intensity of its military activities and thereby enable a Ukrainian victory.

The administration's caution was visible from the beginning of the war. The administration's policy of no U.S. “boots on the ground” limits U.S. military presence to a few personnel attached to the embassy. The scope of U.S. weaponry provided to Ukraine has expanded, but only gradually: towed artillery was announced in April 2022, HIMARS wheeled rocket systems in June 2022, Patriot air defense in December 2022, ground combat vehicles in January 2023, cluster munitions in July 2023, and Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) ground-launched in April.…

The remainder of this commentary is available at defenseone.com.


Andrew Radin is a senior political scientist at RAND, a non-profit nonpartisan research institution.