As Ukraine goes on offense, it hopes NATO allies show similar resolve

Home » As Ukraine goes on offense, it hopes NATO allies show similar resolve
As Ukraine goes on offense, it hopes NATO allies show similar resolve


Ukraine’s surprising successes in battle are raising a question, at least cautiously: Instead of a protracted war of attrition, can Ukraine hope for turning points toward outright victory, sooner than in the distant future?

The answer may hinge on persistence, not just by Ukraine’s soldiers but also by its allies. 

Why We Wrote This

Recent military gains underscore Ukraine’s aspirations for victory against Russia’s invasion. Achieving that goal may depend on perseverance by NATO allies, too.

The NATO alliance, for one thing, must sort out its own debates about whether Kyiv should get the kind of heavy-duty armaments that could hasten the war’s end, but could also raise the risk of catastrophic escalation.

While President Joe Biden believes the United States should support and defend Ukraine, some critics see a missed opportunity to do more – to “play to win” by sending more and bigger weaponry. The arms flow from the U.S. already has been “unprecedented,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told a recent gathering in Germany.

Still, a shortage of supplies has been a constant challenge for Ukrainian forces.

If the U.S. and allies show they are ready to persist in helping to supply Ukraine for years, that “hopefully incentivizes Russia to stop fighting and to get down to negotiations,” Colin Kahl, undersecretary of defense for policy, said in a recent Pentagon briefing. 

As underdog Ukrainian forces were launching a lightning-strike counteroffensive, for the moment routing their Russian invaders, top military officials from 50 allied nations were mapping out how to bring more weapons – among those they are willing and able to give – to the fight for Kyiv. 

A memo outlining “Ukraine’s Urgent Requirements” awaited them as the meeting began. It was a list that ran from the high-tech to the bleakly basic: Rocket launchers were priority No. 1, with artillery and radars rounding out the top three. 

Fuel, spare parts, and oil were also among the dire needs. 

Why We Wrote This

Recent military gains underscore Ukraine’s aspirations for victory against Russia’s invasion. Achieving that goal may depend on perseverance by NATO allies, too.

As they strategized, Ukraine’s minister of defense shared updates of the offensive with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who later assured the gathering that Ukrainian soldiers were “putting the military aid that we’ve all been sending them to immediate and effective use.”

From the United States, this has amounted to an “unprecedented” $14.5 billion since the war began, the latest tranche representing the 20th drawdown from U.S. stockpiles.

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