Arming Ukraine and how to mitigate risks of illicit diversion of weapons and conflict escalation: a US perspective

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration has committed over $22 billion in security assistance to Ukraine in less than a year. The United States and its allies have rushed to provide Ukraine with the capability to defend itself, retake its territory from Russian forces, and secure it. Entering the 10 month of a war of attrition, there is little to suggest that Russia will cease attacking Ukraine or that either side will seek a negotiated settlement in the near future. As a result, the Biden administration and allied governments will likely continue to support Ukraine with further military supplies in the foreseeable future.

“Our focus is on continuing to do what we’ve been doing, which is to make sure that Ukraine has in its hands what it needs to defend itself, what it needs to push back against the Russian aggression, to take back territory that’s been seized from it since February 24th, to make sure as well that it has the support economically and on a humanitarian basis to withstand what’s happening in the country every single day. That’s our focus”, said Secretary Anthony J. Blinken on 5 December. America’s partners in Europe have pledged over $8 billion in terms of weapons and financial assistance for military purposes for Ukraine.

Read the full op-ed, published December 2022, in Trust & Verify.