Source: DoD (Defense.gov)
The $2.98 billion package of military capabilities for Ukraine that President Joe Biden announced today is meant to demonstrate America’s commitment to the beleaguered nation and prove to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he cannot outlast the determination of Ukraine and the West in opposing Russia’s brutal invasion.
Colin H. Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, said the package is meant to build “enduring strength” for Ukraine.
Western aid combined with Ukrainian courage and valor repulsed Russian invaders when they launched the attack on Ukraine in February. Western aid combined with Ukrainian courage prevented Russian invaders from overtaking the country and installing a puppet government.
“Russia’s efforts have not succeeded and will not succeed,” Kahl said during a Pentagon news conference today. “And as we have made clear at every level of this administration, we are committed to sustained security assistance as Ukraine defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are with Ukraine today and — alongside our allies and partners — we will stick with Ukraine over the long haul.”
Russia has suffered tens of thousands of casualties in its war on Ukraine. They were driven from Kyiv and turned their attention to the eastern part of Ukraine. After some initial gains, Russian forces are bogged down, Kahl said. In Ukraine’s south, Ukrainian soldiers have made progress in taking back territory Russia took in the initial phase of the war.
With failure all around Vladimir Putin still “has not given up on his overall strategic objective of seizing most of Ukraine, toppling the regime, reclaiming Ukraine as part of a new Russian empire,” Kahl said. “What he has done is lengthened his timeline and recognized that he is off-plan.”
Putin’s strategy now is to wait out the Ukrainians, and wait out Ukraine’s allies and partners.
That is why this almost $3 billion program is so important. This program directly challenges Putin’s theory. The Ukrainian people are united in opposing the invasion. Partners will continue to supply equipment, training and sustainment to Ukraine.
The aid package was done in close consultation with Ukrainians. “We’re really trying to be very deliberate and disciplined about what type of Ukrainian force matters in the next 12, 24, 36 months under any range of scenarios,” Kahl said. “It could be a scenario in which the war continues. It could be a scenario in which the violence ebbs because there’s an agreement, or because it just dies down a bit. But even in that instance, the Ukrainians are going to need to defend their territory and deter future aggression.”