KIEV/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – With informal talks on Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference approaching, German foreign policy makers are not ruling out their approbation for US arms deliveries to Kiev. Initiatives from within US government circles in Washington, to contemplate supplying anti-armor weapons and drones to the Ukraine’s military, are considered by Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, to be “appropriate and important.” German parliamentarians – in spite of the Chancellor’s negative announcements – have made similar declarations. Washington’s contemplations are based on the fact that Kiev has so far proven incapable of leading the West to victory in Ukraine’s civil war. Some of Kiev’s troops are in a desolate condition. Desertion is on the rise, as well as protests against the murderous combat. For western states, official delivery of lethal weapons to Ukraine is considered an option for turning the tide on the battlefield. Security Conference Director, Ischinger, finds a “division of labor” between Washington and Berlin conceivable.
The Director of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, declared recent US contemplations of supplying Ukraine with lethal combat equipment “to be appropriate and important.” According to news reports, the idea of equipping the Ukrainian armed forces with anti-armor missiles, reconnaissance drones, armored Humvees and radars that can determine the location of enemy rocket and artillery fire is gaining popularity among Washington’s political and military elites. Military equipment worth up to US $3 billion is in discussion. As one speaker for the government in Washington explained, these deliveries are not scheduled for the immediate future, however “all options” are on the table. These “options” are the subject of Secretary of State John Kerry’s talks tomorrow, Thursday, in Kiev. Other consultations are scheduled to take place back stage at the Munich Security Conference, where, alongside Secretary Kerry and US Vice President Joseph Biden, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are awaited.
US contemplations of furnishing weapons to Ukraine are based on the fact that, until now, Kiev has been unable to lead the West to victory in its civil war. Government troops are apparently in a desolate condition. Based on official Ukrainian documents, the Ukraine expert Reinhard Lauterbach reports, there have been repeated complaints of Ukrainian soldiers’ brutal attacks on civilians. Most recently, according to the prosecuting officer of the Ukrainian military, “the country’s level of security is clearly deteriorating.” Military weapons “are often used in the commission of crimes, in staging illegal demonstrations and for solving property disputes vis à vis companies (hostile takeovers), as well as for blackmailing courts and investigating officials.” The smuggling of weapons and explosives is flourishing. This is a long way from a disciplined, effective army in a civil war.
Danger of Escalation
Arms deliveries from the United States or other NATO members could now shift the balance of power in Kiev’s favor, further exacerbating the already growing tensions with the nuclear power Russia. According to experts, this is particularly because some of the weapons systems Kiev is supposed to receive, can only be operated by specialists. This, then means that one can expect US American troops to be engaged in offensive military activities from Ukrainian territory. In spite of this, German politicians are not ruling out German approbation for these US arms deliveries. “If there is no fluctuation in Russia’s policy, arms deliveries can no longer be avoided,” declared the CDU foreign policy maker, Karl-Georg Wellmann. “The Ukraine must be able to defend itself,” said Roderich Kiesewetter, Foreign Policy Spokesperson for the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group. “That is why I sympathize with those, who also call for indirectly supporting that country.”
Two Sides of a Coin
Until now, Chancellor Merkel has strictly refused to deliver lethal weapons to Ukraine, and instead she called, a few days ago, for the EU to consider cooperation with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union. This is not necessarily in contradiction to US weapons systems. Just recently, Wolfgang Ischinger proposed a “double strategy:” On the one hand, the struggle against Russia should be returned to the economic level, while, on the other, military “strength” must also be demonstrated, to increase the pressure on Moscow. Ischinger, therefore, declared that he does not want to rule out possible arms deliveries. “That could also be referred to as a division of labor”  – similar to the cold war – with a Federal Republic of Germany, economically expanding into Russia, while the USA makes a demonstration of armed force. Monday, Angela Merkel will confer at the White House with Barack Obama about the power struggle with Russia and, probably discuss these two sides of the coin.