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    Ex-NATO Officials Push Obama Toward Further Conflict Escalation in Ukraine

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    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)
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    The White House "should immediately change its policy from prohibiting lethal assistance" and allow weaponry supplies, warmongering US officials insist.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova — While Washington is considering supplying arms to Kiev, a group of former US and NATO officials released a report urging the White House to step in and provide Ukrainian regime with "direct military assistance."

    "The West needs to bolster deterrence in Ukraine by raising the risks and costs to Russia of any renewed major offensive. That requires providing direct military assistance — in far larger amounts than provided to date and including lethal defensive arms," the report entitled "Preserving Ukraine's Independence, Resisting Russian Agression: What the United States and NATO Must Do" states.

    Prominent American scholars and former practitioners from the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, the Center for a New American Security, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs contributed to the report, including such figures as James G. Stavridis, a retired top NATO military commander, and Ivo Daalder, the ambassador to NATO during Mr. Obama's first term, Steven Pifer, a former US Ambassador to Ukraine and others.

    According to the report's authors, Washington should provide Ukraine one billion dollars in military aid "as soon, as possible" and to send additional $1 billion tranches in FY (financial year) 2016 and FY 2017, in order to bolster Ukraine's deterrence against both eastern Ukraine's militia and Russia (if it decides to step in). Along with non-lethal military equipment, such as counter-battery radars, medium altitude/medium range UAVs, armored Humvees, the White House "should immediately change its policy from prohibiting lethal assistance" and allow weaponry supplies, including, specifically, light anti-armor missiles to Ukraine, the report elaborates. In addition, the former NATO practitioners call upon those NATO allies who have former Soviet/Warsaw Pact equipment to provide Kiev with arms and spare parts in order to improve Ukraine's defenses, adding that Washington should approach Poland, the Baltic states, Britain and Canada regarding their readiness to join the campaign.

    The report concludes that the United States and NATO "must respond," both to support Kiev and "to push back" against Moscow, preventing what the authors called "Russia's unacceptable challenge to the post-war European security order."

    Former top US Pentagon official said at an Atlantic Council conference that US training for the Ukrainian military is underway
    © AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky
    Remarkably, The New York Times reported on Monday, February 2, that although President Obama has not yet made a decision regarding lethal military aid to Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry (who plans to visit Kiev on Thursday), along with NATO military commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove have already signaled they are open to discussions about defensive weaponry supplies to Ukraine.

    While the warmongering scholars and former NATO commanders are pushing US President Obama towards the escalation of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Human Rights Watch organization is alerting the international community about the growing number of deaths in the eastern regions of Ukraine.

    HRW points out that the military standoff has already claimed the lives of 341 people, including 71 women and 6 children in the Donetsk region in January 2015. Political analysts and human rights activists stress that the conflict should be solved by diplomatic means only. If the United States decides to boost Ukraine's army military capabilities through lethal weaponry supplies it will inevitably aggravate further tensions in the region and provoke the new outbreak of violence in the torn-apart country, experts warn.

    Topic:
    Situation in Ukraine After Ceasefire Agreement (450)

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    NATO, lethal weapons, military aid, violence, United States, Ukraine
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