Pentagon, State Dept Propose Arming Ukraine

Arms Would Be Defined as 'Defensive,' Aimed at Russia

Officials familiar with the situation say that the Pentagon and State Department are both pushing a proposal at the White House which would see them providing a growing number of weapons to Ukraine, a package centering on anti-tank and anti-aircraft arms.

The plan is being presented as a shipment of “defensive” weaponry to Ukraine to deter Russia from invading the country. Of course, there is no reason to expect Russia to actually try to invade Ukraine. Rather, the arms seem aimed at the Eastern Ukrainian rebels.

That’s a potential problem for the US to admit, however, because the whole region has invested heavily into supporting a Ukraine ceasefire, and while the US hasn’t publicly endorsed that, directly arming one side would be deliberately undermining it.

That is something the US has been positioning itself to do for awhile, of course, as they’ve long presented the rebels as essentially a proxy of the Russian government, Still, directly arming Ukraine, far from “deterring” Russia, seems like it would be an invitation for Russia to invest heavily in the other side, if only to keep the two sides relatively balanced.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.