The USA should provide Ukraine with defense assistance, including weapons. A Democrat Carl Levin, who heads the Senate Committee on Armed Services and a Republican Senator James Inhofe, who represents Oklahoma in the Senate and is the ranking minority member on the committee called for it on the pages of The Washington Post.
"The Ukrainian people face a heavily armed insurgent force — equipped , trained and supported by Russia — and, more recently, Russia's own military forces, seeking to establish by force the political and economic dominance Vladimir Putin desires," say influential American lawmakers.
"We believe the United States should begin providing defensive weapons that would help Ukraine defend its territory. Such weapons could include anti-tank weapons to defend against Russian-provided armored personnel carriers, ammunition, vehicles and secure communications equipment. This would present no threat to Russia unless its forces launch further aggression against Ukraine. In other words, these weapons are lethal but not provocative because they are defensive," write Levin and Inhofe.
"While there is no purely military solution to what is a political problem, additional U.S. military assistance can help promote a political solution by raising the costs of further aggression by Russia. Raising the costs will give Putin pause to allow political and economic pressure from outside and within Russia to force a political accommodation," think the American senators.
Inhofe and Levin note that the weapons needed should be only one part of our strategy, combined with support for Ukraine's efforts to reform its political and economic institutions and reduce its energy dependence, continued diplomacy and relentless pressure on the Russian economy.
The aggression of Russia against Ukraine undermines peace and stability not just for Ukraine but also in all of Europe, and it sets the wrong precedent for international relations. That is a threat to U.S. interests.
"As we saw with the tragic downing of a Malaysian jetliner reportedly by Russian-supported forces, the impact of Putin's reckless aggression is global," say the authors.
The Senators note that the military assistance (total 146 million dollars) for Ukraine provided by the United States and NATO and Western sanctions imposed against Russia, still does not include weapons necessary for self-defense.
Meanwhile, "Ukrainian forces are suffering significant casualties from artillery fire, a result of the heavy weapons provided, and probably operated, by Russia on behalf of the rebels," added the American legislators.
The lawmakers suggest that the weapons provided by the USA should help establish a durable cease-fire truce and will eventually resolve the crisis.