In About a Hundred Words on the Passing of the US Security Aid Package

100 words

Onward from the US Congress approving security assistance to Ukraine and other allies, GLOBSEC asks experts what did the US security aid package get right and get wrong?

James Townsend, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Transatlantic Security Program; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European and NATO Policy

What the US security package got right was the very fact that it was passed at all. After months of pressure from US and Allied leadership, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson put his job on the line and brought the aid package to a vote in the House. The overwhelming vote in Congress favoring the aid package showed that US support for Ukraine is strong for now. What the package gets wrong is if European Allies and Partners feel they can now relax, and the assistance burden will once again be carried by Washington. Such relief may be short-lived due to US polarized politics sharpened by a turbulent US presidential campaign. Europe must act now to rebuild its defense industry to refill its arsenals as well as provide sustained assistance to Ukraine. If US engagement in European security is imperiled by changing US politics, or if US military forces become overstretched by meeting requirements in both Europe and the Indo-Pacific, Europe needs to be positioned to fill the gaps quickly.  

Dr. Sc. Mirko Šundov, Retired General; Advisor to the Board, DOK-ING

The situation on the front line in Ukraine is currently very complicated. Russian forces are on the offensive and Ukrainian forces are struggling to maintain their defensive line. The latest aid package from the US arrived somewhat late and did not include all that the Ukrainian Armed Forces need to maintain the current difficult situation on the front line and to be able to undertake offensive activities. It will also provoke additional reaction from Russia and the intensification of Russia's offensive combat actions on the front and attacks on infrastructure in the rear area. On the other hand, this package will hopefully help achieve a positive effect on the combat morale of the battle-worn Ukrainian Armed Forces: It will enable Ukraine to match the Russian forces on parts of the front line and hit specific targets in the behind the contact line in eastern Ukraine and in Crimea. It will assist Ukraine in producing certain combat systems or components on their own. Likewise, it will encourage the EU to strengthen and intensify continued aid to Ukraine.

Martin Sklenár, Distinguished Fellow, GLOBSEC; former Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic

The adoption of the US assistance package is good news Ukraine has been waiting for a long time. US support is absolutely critical for their heroic fight against the illegal and illegitimate Russian aggression. 61 billion USD worth of equipment and support will substantially strengthen Ukrainian defensive positions along the contact line and increase the capability to disrupt Russian logistics in Ukraine's occupied territory. The political stall has had a negative impact on the battlefield. Insufficient equipment weakened Ukrainian defence. Russia was able to take the advantage and Russian advances will continue in the upcoming time. The political fallout could be more significant. Hold-up of the decision created the impression that Ukraine is no longer among the political priorities in the US and other countries. That could have more negative consequences down the road.