Skip to main content
poroshenko_speech
FixGov

Ukranian President Needs More than Blankets to Win His War

This morning, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress about Russian aggression against his country. While placing these events against the broader backdrop of a threat to the post-Cold War peace of Europe, he came with some very specific requests: lethal as well as non-lethal military aid, an enhanced security relationship with the United States, and economic support for potential American investment in Ukraine.

A security agreement and broad economic assistance raise issues that cannot be decided overnight. Not so for military aid. Poroshenko expressed gratitude for the non-lethal assistance the United States has given Ukraine. But, he said, we cannot win the war with blankets, and we cannot keep the peace with blankets.

The question could not be clearer. Ukraine is willing to defend itself. The president of Ukraine is asking the president of the United States for the means to do so. That means more than night goggles, communications equipment, and vehicles. It means arms—things that kill people. Will Mr. Obama allow Mr. Poroshenko to return home empty-handed?

Author

Get daily updates from Brookings