Foreign Policy quotes Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Director John Herbst on the report recently released by the Atlantic Council calling for increased military aid to Ukraine and the Obama administration’s shifting position:
The president got a ringing endorsement a day later when a murderers’ row of influential national security experts now working outside government — Ambassador Ivo Daalder, former undersecretary of defense Michele Flournoy, Ambassador John Herbst, former principal deputy undersecretary of defense Jan Lodal, Ambassador Steven Pifer, Admiral James Stavridis, former deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott, and Charles Wald, former deputy commander of U.S. European Command — released a study forcefully recommending that the president arm Ukraine.
In an interview with Foreign Policy, Herbst said that the timing of the New York Times report followed by the release of the study was a happy accident.
“I would love to tell you that we knew this would be a key week. But that would be a lie,” he said.
Herbst said the report was the product of a whirlwind seven-week push initiated by Lodal, who asked the experts in December to travel to Brussels and Ukraine to consider American options to counter Russia. He said they had returned three weeks ago and quickly compiled the report.
“We did it quickly because we all believe it’s urgent,” the former ambassador to Ukraine said. “We want to bring strategic clarity to western capitals.”