Director of National Intelligence James Clapper today confirmed what analysts have been warning about the possibility of providing arms to the Ukrainian military, saying it would trigger retaliation from Russia, who would likely send more sophisticated arms to the eastern rebels.
The Pentagon had insisted the arms would just scare the rebels into surrendering, and those arguing that it would lead to a buildup of a proxy war with Russia were arguing against the plan. Except Clapper.
Clapper, by contrast, sees the escalation of the Ukraine war as a good thing, and says he personally favors it, though he says it “does not represent an official company policy of the intelligence community.”
Throwing weapons at Ukraine to try to escalate the civil war there seems particularly inopportune right now, with Russia having worked with EU nations to negotiate a ceasefire which is holding up very nicely. The US opposed those negotiations in the first place, and to sabotage the Minsk ceasefire with arms shipments would surely not only spark Russian retaliation, but likely irk France and Germany, who worked hard on the deal.