Support for Ukraine: Analysts on when Ukraine gets full Western military support – Newsweek

15:46 Oct. 19, 2016

Analysts on when Ukraine gets full Western military support – Newsweek

Paratroopers of the US 173rd Infantry Brigade (Airborne) stand in formation with partner nations during the Steadfast Jazz 13 drills on Oct. 27 (US Army photo)

It is not simply a matter of giving them weapons to counter the Russian threat, experts say

RAND ('Research And Development') analysts Andrew Radin and Lynn Davis explained Newsweek why the West still not giving weapon to Ukraine

"A recently published RAND study, done for the Office of the President of Ukraine, analysed Ukraine's security and defence sector from the ground up and emphasized the need for and potential impact of reform in Ukraine's security institutions.

While focusing on the defence sector, the report analyses the full range of security institutions—including intelligence, internal security and defence-technical—at all levels, from combat units up to the ministries.

Ukraine's military was simply not prepared to fight prior to the war and, while there have been improvements since 2014, there remain a range of deeply embedded problems that cannot easily be solved by foreign-provided weapons or assistance but which if corrected could significantly improve warfighting, promote the efficient use of resources and help Ukraine meet Euro-Atlantic standards of transparency and accountability.

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At the top, there are ambiguities and divisions in how the executive branch manages the security and defence sector. The president's authority to "administer" the defence and security of Ukraine is not clearly differentiated from the authority of the Cabinet of Ministers to "direct and coordinate."

Ukraine's Ministry of Defence and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are not integrated into a single chain of command, and both bodies are led by military officers, undermining coordination, accountability and civilian control.

The activities of the internal security, intelligence and military bodies are stove piped—the major coordinating body, the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC), serves as a forum for discussion and has only a limited role in executing the decisions of the senior leadership.

A number of steps could help address these issues, including clarifying roles and responsibilities, not only of the senior leadership but at all levels; strengthening the NSDC; and restructuring the defence establishment to place the General Staff of the Armed Forces under the command of a civilian minister, among other changes.

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Further, despite significant progress, there remain gaps in the basic systems that equip and sustain Ukraine's fighting forces that Western training and equipment cannot easily fill.

In the case of the procurement system, for example, Ukraine has a large defence industry that builds a wide range of advanced equipment. But the defence industry has largely focused on exports, in part encouraged by Ukraine's legal framework.

In the case of logistics, combat units are no longer without basic supplies, as they were at times in 2014, in large part due to the reestablishment of Soviet-era systems. But Ukraine continues to rely on a paper-based system for tracking arms and supplies, supplemented only occasionally with computers.

Without modern electronic inventory systems, the United States and other allies cannot responsibly provide modern weapon systems, and there will continue to be major problems with efficient distribution of critical items.

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The current period in Ukraine's history, after the 2014 Maidan Revolution, offers a unique opportunity since the government and significant elements of civil society are committed to undertaking reform, especially in the security and defence sector.

The United States and its allies already have supported this effort, including through encouragement by senior U.S. officials and the provision of defence advisors. But clearly reform in Ukraine will be a long-term effort, which Ukraine's partners should continue to support."

Andrew Radin is an associate political scientist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. Lynn E. Davis, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs, 1993 to 1997, is currently a senior fellow at RAND.

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