A Penniless Ukraine Begs the U.S to Sell it More Arms – But How?

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The Ukrainian government is preparing legislative changes to override intermediaries and carry out direct arms purchases from the United States, said Valeriy Chaly, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States.

Chaly recalled that a meeting of the strategic partnership commission between Ukraine and the US will be held in Washington on Friday, in which issues of technical-military cooperation and cybernetic threats will be discussed with the participation of representatives of both countries .

“We are now working to ensure that changes in Ukrainian legislation allow the direct purchase of arms and military equipment without intermediaries,” said the Ukrainian ambassador to the Ukrinform news agency. “These changes may open up new opportunities for our interaction with the United States.”

At the same time, he stressed that the US are also interested in selling weapons to Ukraine.

“Today, the position of the White House and other US structures is as follows: the more weapons Ukraine purchases from the US, the more direct aid it will receive. In other words, these are related processes, and I think it is convenient for us to follow precisely this path,” he stressed.

“There are types of weapons that we really need, but we do not manufacture them, they exist in the United States, we’re working on it, every transaction and agreement includes a preparatory period so I think we’ll see the result by the beginning of next year,” added Chaly .

In 2018, Ukraine received more than $40 million in lethal weapons and other military equipment from the United States, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Canada.

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Russia has repeatedly warned of plans to supply weapons to Ukraine, as this will escalate the conflict in Donbass. Most European politicians have opposed such arms supplies. Russia also knows that these weapons have the sole purpose of being aggressive in nature, and not defensive.

But how?

Aside from this, Ukraine does not possess the financial resources to purchase over-priced American weapons. While many American weapons are close to comparable in effectiveness to Russian and Chinese made weapons, their price-points make them less than desirable.

Often, in comparisons of military hardware and technology, individual pieces are compared to individual pieces. This is an enormous error, because what separates military logic from economic logic, is that military superiority is based upon duplication and excess. It is the opposite of economical from the standpoint of using the minimal to accomplish the task.

An example of this is radar systems. While one radar system may effectively blanket, say, a 500 km radius, one radar system is not enough. This is because the opponent then only needs to take out  one target, to eliminate the opponents ability to scan the 500km radius in question. Therefore, having multiple, duplicate, overlapping systems is preferable over that which would be considered ‘economical’ in standard market-based economic structures.

Another example is illuminated in the S-300 vs. S-400 debate. Comparing one system to another, the S-400 system is superior. But in terms of the questions raised above, it’s preferable and also more affordable to have a number of S-300 systems over a single S-400 system.

Given Ukraine’s massive budget deficit, tutelage to the IMF, and economic crisis, the sole purpose of purchasing American weapons would be under the rubric of an attack on the break-away republics in the east – Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

Therefore, we must conclude that Ukraine is perhaps pushing for a cash injection from the US, from which it would then buy overpriced US goods – a question arises how this will be bought, and with what collateral. What does Ukraine have left to sell off, that isn’t already sold? As this does not add up, it means that we must consider that these moves are little more than electoral-political games, as Ukraine is quickly approaching upcoming elections.

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