Jump to content

US military aid to Ukraine - no politics please


Recommended Posts

Apparently he Obama Administration may be considering sending defensive weapons systems to Ukraine which is somethig to keep an eye on as regards possible BF upgrades. Javelin equipped Ukranias may be an interesting 2017 possibility.amng other things.

 

. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-31104979

 

And, who knows, if policy develops further maybe offensive systems such as the M1A2 might be part of the Ukranian TOE by June 2017

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would guess more along the lines of Javelins or GPS guided mortars.

 

This is a good website for just such questions.  They dont give you yes or no answers, just analysis.

 

Con...subscription only.

 

https://www.stratfor.com/geopolitical-diary/escalation-ukraine-would-add-putins-concerns

 

 

 

 

An Escalation in Ukraine Would Add to Putin's Concerns
  FEBRUARY 2, 2015 | 23:21 GMT   Text Size   Print
 

Several developments over the weekend related to the Ukraine crisis indicated that the standoff between Russia and the West could soon reach a turning point. Fighting continued between Ukrainian security forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine while the latest round of peace talks in Minsk collapsed in a matter of hours. Shortly after the talks failed, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic announced that a general mobilization of up to 100,000 fighters would occur within two weeks. Meanwhile, a report from The New York Times published on Sunday suggested that the United States is seriously considering providing the Ukrainian military with lethal weapons. The United States is characterizing this as a defensive move, but the pro-Russian rebels and Russian government are not likely to agree.

All of these events point to an acute risk of escalation in the conflict over Ukraine. The main question is where this escalation will lead. During the crisis, which has dragged on for more than a year now, there have been several ebbs and flows, as demonstrated by numerous declarations and breaches of cease-fires that occurred while political dialogue between various representatives continued. One thing that is clear is that all options remain on the table in this evolving standoff, including the potential for a larger military conflict.

There are two broader perspectives from which to view the crisis in Ukraine. One is that of the West, which sees the origins of the conflict in Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine — illegal and illegitimate responses to what was considered ademocratic revolution in Kiev in February 2014. The West regards Russia's actions as a violation of Ukraine's territorial sovereignty and believes that the appropriate response are sanctions against Russia and the backing of a pro-Western government in Kiev. The other view is that of Russia, which sees the February 2014 uprising as an illegal coup d'etat orchestrated by the West. The annexation of Crimea and the eastern Ukrainian insurgency are viewed as legitimate reactions that had substantial support from the local population and were an appropriate response to a conflict the West started as a means of containing and weakening Russia.

What is a Geopolitical Diary?George Friedman Explains.

Russia's view of the West's intentions existed long before the uprising in Kiev. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has witnessed what it perceived as deliberate efforts at containment by the West. One was the expansion of NATO into the former Soviet bloc in the late 1990s and early 2000s; with the inclusion of the Baltic states, the Western military alliance expanded to within 161 kilometers (100 miles) of St. Petersburg. Another was the wave of "color revolutions" that swept the former Soviet space in the mid-2000s, most notably the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, which brought Western influence even closer to the Russian heartland. The 2014 uprising in Ukraine was, from Moscow's perspective, merely the latest chapter in the same story of the West's attempts to contain Russia in the former Soviet borderlands.

This thinking has framed Russia's actions in Ukraine. If Ukraine is aligned with the West it poses an existential threat to Russia, so Moscow feels that it must do whatever is necessary to prevent this alignment. Following the Orange Revolution, Russia used several tools, including energy cutoffs and political connections in Ukraine, to undermine the pro-Western government in Kiev and eventually got a Russian ally in power in 2010. However, the current iteration of Moscow's standoff with the West has left the Russian economy isolated by Western sanctions just as it is reeling from a dramatic drop in oil prices. Meanwhile, the United States and NATO have increased their military presence and commitment to countries in Central Europe, with plans to pre-position equipment and forces in the Baltic states, Poland and Romania. Now the West is signaling its intentions to increase military assistance to Ukraine significantly.

This leaves Russia in a difficult position. A weakening economy puts Russian President Vladimir Putin under pressure at home, and although most Russians oppose a direct, overt military intervention in Ukraine, being seen as capitulating to the West on an issue as strategic as Ukraine could have dire consequences. The issue is particularly delicate given Putin's limitations within the Kremlin as he juggles different power circles' interests. 

These circumstances lend greater importance to the intensification of fighting in key areas such as the Donetsk airport and Mariupol. These moves could be meant to demonstrate Russia's capabilities in degrading Ukraine's forces on the battlefield while steering the negotiations over Ukraine's future toward a diplomatic settlement. But the United States and Russia's neighbors cannot discount the possibility that these actions are precursors to a wider Russian military offensive. The West has increased its support to Kiev since the crisis started, and the Times report about possible U.S. weapons sales to Ukraine shows that Russia cannot assume that the West's commitment will not grow. Therefore, Putin could be calculating that if any major military action is to be launched, it would be best to do it before the West increases its presence and assistance in Ukraine and nearby states.

This is not to say that a broader war is looming or inevitable. There are a number of possible outcomes in the range between a negotiated settlement and a full-scale military conflict over Ukraine. The conflict could continue for a long time. But the fact remains that Putin must survey his options, and continuing with the current tactics might not be one of them. 

Edited by gunnersman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Infantry gear (ballistic protection, clothing, night vision, portable radios), infantry heavy weapons (ATGMs), specialist support assets (CB radars, light and medium UAVs, ELINT gear) are all good options. Maybe sending some older WP stocks of heavy equipment would be a good idea (though you could pay for the local stuff to be repaired/rebuilt, boosting the local economy).

 

Heavy Western equipment is a big no no in current situation, as (should we forget political implications) those take longer time to train with, require extensive logistics/specialist support to maintain and operate and would decrease commonality (ie further increase the costs burden).

 

However that would still not address the core issues that plague the Ukrainian army - poor command, organisation, logistics and so on. For that to happen you need a comprehensive military reform, a considerable advisory body too I would think. So far that did not happen, and should it - the pro Ukrainians should hope that the Georgian and Iraqi experience was studied, so that it is not repeated there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The difficulty with advisory teams is the advised party is usually the one responsible for causing many of the problems.  No one likes being told they're wrong, or changing the institution they thought was pretty good for the last 20 years.  

 

Think Ukraine has a chance with a decent advisory mission because the proverbial wolves are at the gate, and a lot of the old guys that mucked things up are also the same ones that are getting fired/might actually be on the wrong side now.  The slate is somewhat blank, and I think a lot of the issues with logistics/organization/command are not the present system is broken as much as the present system does not exist any more.  It might be easier to build from this, than the Georgian/Iraqi type problem where the advised body simply thinks its a matter of buying enough F-16s/M1A1Ms/AR-15s and once that's happened, victory.

 

In terms of provided arms really sending anything western outside of Ravens, maaaaybe Shadows/other larger UAVs) and Javelins doesn't make a heap of sense (in that those systems are superior to what else is available on the market in their fields to the degree to justify the additional training/logistics burden).  The rest is best kept as eastern type hardware given the operators and the deniability of course (HOW did Ukraine get a warehouse of AT-14s?  No one knows!  Someone must have simply forgotten about them in the last inventory!  Was found in the last President's basement! Captured from Russian Armored Battalion that was defeated and all Soldiers captured!).  If we're going overt, being the ones to fund Ukrainian factories while they churn out new hardware, or buying stuff from allies (Poland would be an excellent place to go with a large checkbook and a mind to helping Ukraine get armed quickly) also works nicely in terms of making a local solution with fairly low overhead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We would see how events unfold, but in any case - you need time and effort/resources to rebuild an army, something that is present in the vanilla scenario (separatists crashed in 2014, Russia invades in 2017 I think), but from what I have seen so far, I don't see any indications of workable ongoing reform or such a pause (for rebuilding the Armed Forces) happening.

The reports from the Kiev Loyalists regarding the new mobilisation have also been fairly conservative and that is again not a good sign.

 

But, as I have said, I think it is best to wait and see how it goes, as the situation is a bit volatile at the moment. One of the key points would be the spring/summer campaign I think, as in my opinion the winter one is more or less finished (maybe the Debaltsevo pocket would be reduced, but otherwise there would be an operational pause I think).

Edited by ikalugin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think these arms shipments are actually going to happen. It's probably more of a "good cop, bad cop" routine, trying to push the EU countries to more severe economic sanctions.
Something like "If you won't support arms shipments to Ukraine, then /AT LEAST/ enact some harsher sanctions against Russia!"

Edited by Der Zeitgeist
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No way they'll get an M1A2.

 

Under current policy, no. But current policies appear to be changing - and may change further to allow provision of offensive weapons. So I would not rule it out though it seems unlikely at the moment. A cse of "watch this space" perhaps.

 

Javelin seems plausible.and possibly UAVs as well. I note our TOEs don't asllow Ukraine any TOEs though a scenario designer could always include a US liaison team embedded with the Uraainian army to run a few from the US list. Which will have the same effect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 But current policies appear to be changing - and may change further to allow provision of offensive weapons. So I would not rule it out though it seems unlikely at the moment. A cse of "watch this space" perhaps.

 

But US practices in terms of military aid makes anything outside of US infantry weapons, and someone else's stuff doubtful. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But US practices in terms of military aid makes anything outside of US infantry weapons, and someone else's stuff doubtful. 

 

There is precedent. The US supplied offensive weapons to other countries such as Iraq and Egypt  among others. It may not be to far fetched to supply MBTs to the Ukranians as the conflict continues as it probably will looking at current developments. For now at least it will remain a proxy war with Russia supplying arms and men o the seperatists and the US supplying the government in Kiev.

 

Supplying MBTs would be a vbery signiicant stp though and is likely to be some way off at least. Any models supplied will very likely be export modells should th political decision be takn to go down hat route.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The US weapons that went to Iraq/Egypt were part of larger weapons deals, or done as parts of long term goal modernization efforts, or replacing totally destroyed/obsolete fleets.

 

Sending M1s to the Ukraine is just adding a very complicated piece of equipment they're not trained for or able to support.  The Iraqi/egyptian missions both came with extensive training missions and logistical pushes.

 

It's just not the same or practical.  The amount of steps between now and Ukrainian M1s is about on par with Pakistan receiving retired space shuttles for it's space program.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

from the Guardian as to what you may see as military aid:

 

 

“We’ve been getting closer to receiving more military-technical assistance,” Klimkin said. “It’s not about buying a couple of tanks … It’s about modern warfare, training, logistics, organisation.”

 

He said Ukraine desperately needed hi-tech radio, radar and reconnaissance equipment to stop Ukrainian soldiers having their communications intercepted and improve battlefield efficiency. “We can’t win the war against Russia … But what we need to counter the aggression and to defend our country is not to lose the war,” Klimkin said

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/04/ukraine-military-financial-support-imf-kerry

 

Klimkin is Ukraine's foreign minister.

 

 

 

Despite an influx of heavy weaponry from Russia to the separatists, the Obama administration has balked at a proportionate increase to the Ukrainian government, for fear of provoking an even more aggressive Russian response. The $118m worth of aid the US military has so far committed to sending Kiev’s military and border guard includes night-vision goggles, personal body armour and field medicine kits. About a third of that total has arrived, Hillman said.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/02/ukraine-us-considers-miltary-help-kiev-separatists-plan-mobilise-army

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point is though that policy is changing as shown by this link from the same article you posted

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/02/ukraine-us-considers-miltary-help-kiev-separatists-plan-mobilise-army

 

This suggests the possibilities of heavy weapons from former Soviet equipment stocks held ny Eastern European stocks. Policies may well evolve further into a stuation where a US adminisration. likely post Obama, goes further and makes he political decisions neccessary to supply US tanks and IFVs. It is however a long way down the road and won't be something In would expect in 2015.

 

In game back story terms such a decision might be made early in 2017 when Ukraine announces it is joining NATO. They might get a small number of tanks for training pre war and maybe some more supplied as replacements for Ukranian tank losses during the war itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Policies may well evolve further into a stuation where a US adminisration. likely post Obama, goes further and makes he political decisions neccessary to supply US tanks and IFVs. It is however a long way down the road and won't be something In would expect in 2015.

 

.....

 

If we send IFVs or tanks, they'll be Polish refurbs or dumping money into Ukrainian industry.  It makes zero sense to ship in equipment the Ukrainians cannot support with their industry (unlike say, PT-91s or the even weirder solution of some sort of PT-91/M-84 hybrid (as refurbing some of the currently in storage Ukrainian tanks in Poland with newer Polish designed, old Soviet compatible equipment is unlikely, but several magnitudes more likely than M1s, or M2s being given to the Ukraine).

 

The M1A1Ms went to Iraq only with a legit US Army training program with US instructors for everything from crewman to platoon leader level.  Egypt's was less elaborate training, but still with significant US contractor maintainer presense.  Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are the same boat, Australia only gets away with it because they had a functional tank program before.

 

And most of those folks paid for their tanks with cash and asked for M1s, and planned accordingly.  Dropping a few Battalions of M1A1Ms or export A2s on the Ukraine is just....god you cannot think of a worse way to improve the Ukrainian military.  It'd be more cost effective to jump start the Arjune program for the Indians, buy their T-90s, and send those to the Ukraine than it would be to give M1s and Bradleys to the Ukrainians.

 

I cannot emphasize this enough.  If the US sends tanks it'll be something the Ukrainians already know, already can support, that shoots bullets they already have one hand.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

US would be loath to send military equipment 'recognizably U.S.' for fighting against Russia. Ukraine's not going to be driving around in Bradley Fighting Vehicles.  The assistance could be more esoteric, like satellite-based targeting data fed to the Ukrainians to help in directing their artillery, ECM jammers to disable Russian drones, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....

 

If we send IFVs or tanks, they'll be Polish refurbs or dumping money into Ukrainian industry.  It makes zero sense to ship in equipment the Ukrainians cannot support with their industry (unlike say, PT-91s or the even weirder solution of some sort of PT-91/M-84 hybrid (as refurbing some of the currently in storage Ukrainian tanks in Poland with newer Polish designed, old Soviet compatible equipment is unlikely, but several magnitudes more likely than M1s, or M2s being given to the Ukraine).

 

The M1A1Ms went to Iraq only with a legit US Army training program with US instructors for everything from crewman to platoon leader level.  Egypt's was less elaborate training, but still with significant US contractor maintainer presense.  Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are the same boat, Australia only gets away with it because they had a functional tank program before.

 

And most of those folks paid for their tanks with cash and asked for M1s, and planned accordingly.  Dropping a few Battalions of M1A1Ms or export A2s on the Ukraine is just....god you cannot think of a worse way to improve the Ukrainian military.  It'd be more cost effective to jump start the Arjune program for the Indians, buy their T-90s, and send those to the Ukraine than it would be to give M1s and Bradleys to the Ukrainians.

 

I cannot emphasize this enough.  If the US sends tanks it'll be something the Ukrainians already know, already can support, that shoots bullets they already have one hand.   

 

Ukrainian troops would, as you say, require a lot of training to use the M1A2 as you say annd that would require US instructorrs. At firs we would likely be seeing a small number of vehicles for training. More vehicles would come later. It would be a long term program for obvious reasons.

 

In the shorter term Eastern European nations might sell or donate their second hand Soviet era stocks. And of course there are the stocks of Ukranian tanks hel in storage. Hwever, I suspec many of these are being (or will be) brought back into service as war looms.

 

There may be possibilities around oher high tech tanks such as the Leopard II or Challeger II but this would have similar issues to the procurement of the M1A2.

 

The Ukranians are certainly likely to want something that can fight T90s on even terms and the Oplot does not seem to be quite up to the task in which case niether are Eastern European ex Soviet. Hence a probable need in Kiev to procure modern Western MBTs at some stage. 

Edited by LUCASWILLEN05
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oplot-T is a very good tank (about the same level as the T90MS), the issue is that there are issues with producing those tanks in the numbers that would matter, especially considering the loss of a number of important suppliers in Crimea and Donbas.

 

Oplot-T is a very good tank (about the same level as the T90MS), the issue is that there are issues with producing those tanks in the numbers that would matter, especially considering the loss of a number of important suppliers in Crimea and Donbas.

A good and interesting point there. Which might incline the Kiev government to procure Western models instead. Bu as already discussed the downside is the learning curve required to use the equipment effectively.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think they could procure the various ex WP Soviet pattern weapons. The other issue with such aid is the costs, considering that both the EU and the US are reluctant to give large sums of money to the Ukraine, it is less likely that such military aid would be adequate.

Morever I think that those funds would be better spent arming Poles for example.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WSJ, in an article updated February 2, 2015 says that supplying Javelins to Ukraine is under active consideration by the government. Apparently, rather than being  carried by the infantry, these Javelins would be vehicle mounted. It notes, and I'd dearly love an itemized list and associated quantities, that the US has already supplied Ukraine with body armor, NVGs and CM radar. Here is a piece providing more detail on what the US has now already sent to Ukraine. As does this. Here's a look at what the US has supplied and why, plus Poroshenko's shopping list. Particular items which Ukraine can buy with funds already in hand were favorably eyeballed by what appear to be key aspects of UKraine's defense defense conglomerate, known as "The State Concern.". Additionally, after already supplying Ukraine with "dozens of armored trucks," the US has now presented Ukraine with the prototype for the Ukraine produced APC. The donated Kozak apparently is the third vehicle built of this type. There is a strong possibility this US donation wound up being the last preproduction prototype. The threats against which it was tested and passed are in this article, together with a great photo series of the AFV. This is to provide better protection for the Border Guards and allow more men to be carried in far better protected vehicles. 

 

There's a very atmospheric winter pic of a slat skirted BMP-2 and an ERA equipped T-64BV? Whatever it is has barely discernable small roadwheels. Speaking of T-64s, it appears that last June, the UA captured a Russian one which had gone walkabout. A great pic for you armor modelers out there. Also, if EnglishRussia is right, Ukraine now has two BMP-64s, but the pic's text is screwed up and there's what appears to be a radically reworked T-64 to the right of the futuristic looking BMP-64.

 

Update

 

On a separate note, after writing the planned post, I discovered I managed to screw up and lose my history via an ill timed browser reset, which means the above mentioned winter pic of the skirted BMP-2 and a T-64BV described is presently lost after I forgot to include the link. 

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler 

Edited by John Kettler
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the interesting links John. I found the piece on possible drone purchase of particular interest, noting that Ukraine does not have such a capability in game. Can a Javelin be vehicle mounted and, if so, on what?

 

And might this be viewed within the context of a changing Obama administration that may, under certain conditons, evolve to the provision of more offensive weapons? I think it might very well prove to be the case given current trends and that would have highly significant European Security implications, As may the announcement of this apparent new NATO Task Force

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31137760

Edited by LUCASWILLEN05
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...