While the EU and Russia were working to set up a fixed match in Ukraine, trying to bite off more than they could chew and also attempting to subdue the radicals in order to “bury the hatchet” and solve the sanctions issue, the side whose opinion was ignored in both Paris and Minsk has made its move.
As part of the 2016 defense spending bill, the U.S. Congress has approved $300 million to be spent on providing Ukraine with “appropriate security assistance and intelligence support.”
This document reinforces the right of the head of the Pentagon, Ash Carter, to provide this assistance, working in coordination with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Such provisions could allow for the transfer of intelligence and various types of weapons to Kiev: anti-tank weapons, mortars and systems for analysis during combat, as well as ammunition, grenades and small arms.
The bill also allows for the transfer of counterartillery radar, “unmanned aerial tactical surveillance systems,” and secure methods of communication and equipment for electronic warfare. In addition, the bill approves monetary resources for “exercises and training support of national level security forces of Partnership for Peace nations or the government of Ukraine.”
At the same time, Washington has granted itself the right to take military countermeasures if Russia does not stop violating the agreement of the Russian International Affairs Council within a 120-day period. In fact, this is the very agreement Russia has accused the U.S. of violating. In general, the situation is best described with the phrase, “Prove you are not an elephant.” Of course, to require one to prove this is ridiculous, which is why Europe has again continued to “remove all its irons” (back down militarily and diplomatically).
In contrast, the U.S. responded to the launching of our rockets and to the defeat of its efforts in Syria by talking about how Russia is becoming an increasing threat.
In short, the U.S. simply took a break and raised the stakes of the conflict, permitting the freezing of one theater’s military struggle for the sake of activating another. The political principle has stayed the same: War until victory, period.
And Washington is working hard to put an end to this conflict.