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Why the U.S. shouldn’t send arms to Ukraine

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The U.S. National Security Council is reported to be on the verge of recommending the export of $47 million worth of defensive arms to Ukraine. The package will reportedly include a cache of Javelin anti-tank missiles, weapons that would reliably and efficiently disable the hundreds of tanks that the Russian-supported separatists in the country’s east have acquired since the conflict began.

To advocates who believe that sending weapons to the Ukrainian government will bloody Russia’s nose and send President Vladimir Putin a message, this pending decision couldn’t have come soon enough. Arming Kiev is a popular prescription supported by top military officers and many lawmakers in both parties.

Popular, however, doesn’t mean smart. Opening up America’s stockpile to Ukraine is not in Washington’s national security interest. In fact, it is bound to make a conflict that is mostly frozen into a more deadly one and it complicates any reasonable chance of a diplomatic resolution.

While it may be uncomfortable to admit, the political orientation of Ukraine and how Ukrainians choose to manage (or mismanage) their economy and political system doesn’t directly affect the United States. As Rajan Menon and William Ruger wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine last month, “Ukraine matters more to Russia than it does to the United States.”

To Washington, Ukraine is a post-Soviet state whose oligarchic politics and systemic corruption have severely handicapped the country’s economic outlook. U.S. security interests in Europe are not wedded to whether Kiev succeeds in establishing a more democratic and........

© Japan Today