Defense News quotes Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Director John E. Herbst on the challenges the Ukrainian military faces in its quest to modernize its Soviet era forces:

“Like everything else in the reform area of the Ukraine, this is going to be a tough slog,” said John Herbst, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and a Bush administration Ambassador to the Ukraine. “While the national interest is clear, the personal interest of some institutions and individuals do not necessarily line up. Corruption is a huge problem in that society, including in the defense sector.”


Herbst forecast much larger, more effective and serious foreign support for Ukraine over time, led by the United States — though it has so far been meted out too cautiously for some. Herbst, author of a report calling for the United States to arm Ukraine, said the two most important systems the United States can send are shoulder-fired Javelin anti-tank weapons and counter-battery radars.

“The White House has in my judgement been strategically myopic, where other parts of government at the senior levels understand the strategic stakes,” Herbst said. “The White House does not get it, and it’s quite appalling.”

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