Assistant Director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative Robbie Gramer writes for The Hill on the shift in US policy toward Ukraine and the five key questions the Obama administration should answer before providing lethal aid to Ukraine:
There was a palpable tone shift in U.S. policy toward Ukraine this week, when the Obama administration signaled that it was ready to consider sending the country lethal military aid. A confluence of factors is pushing President Obama toward this decision. The fragile ceasefire brokered in September between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists has failed, manifested in the series of recent and high-profile separatist advances against the Ukrainian military this week. Bipartisan congressional support for sending weapons to Ukraine, championed by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), as well as a newly released report by former senior U.S. and European officials recommending lethal military aid for the embattled country, have also contributed to Obama and his tight inner circle of foreign policy advisers reconsidering the lethal aid option.
Helping Ukraine help itself in the fight against separatists may be the right move, but before the Obama administration takes this step, it should be able to answer five key questions.