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The Folly of Arming Ukraine and the GOP Platform

Daniel DePetris observes [1] that most of the Republican platform on foreign policy and national security shows that the hawks remain firmly in charge of the party’s agenda, and I agree. It is worth noting, though, that the Trump campaign has gone against the hawkish consensus on at least one issue. Josh Rogin reports [2] that Trump campaign operatives managed to work with pro-Trump delegates to delete language that called for sending weapons to Ukraine:

The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.

This is not much of a dissent from the hawkish line on foreign policy, but it is a rejection of one of the more thoughtless and irresponsible foreign policy proposals out there. The report predictably puts the most negative spin possible on this move, perhaps because this is the first sign in months that Trump and his allies aren’t just going to roll over for whatever the most hawkish Republicans want. Whatever their reasons for doing this, it happens to be the right call as a matter of policy.

Nothing good for Ukraine or the U.S. would come from sending them weapons, and in general it is irresponsible to stoke a foreign conflict, especially when it has died down and might still be resolved. It is even more irresponsible to stoke a conflict when it has little or nothing to do with us. The Republicans that should be embarrassed by this episode are the ones that wanted to insist on throwing more weapons at a foreign problem.

12 Comments (Open | Close)

12 Comments To "The Folly of Arming Ukraine and the GOP Platform"

#1 Comment By Viriato On July 18, 2016 @ 5:27 pm

My boy Donald…

#2 Comment By max skinner On July 18, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

Besides Trump wouldn’t want to arm anyone against Putin.

#3 Comment By KevinS On July 18, 2016 @ 6:10 pm

Even a broken clock is right twice a day!

#4 Comment By Chasm On July 18, 2016 @ 6:14 pm

Yea, what about that? This has Manafort’s fingerprints all over it. Did you catch Foer’s article in Salon?

#5 Comment By Chris Chuba On July 18, 2016 @ 6:51 pm

Well max skinner you don’t have any problem with us helping Ukraine using those weapons to kill ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine?

Wow, in Libya, we invoked R2P and used our airpower to actually destroy Gaddafi’s military under very dubious circumstances but the ethnic Russians don’t catch a break. Currently, they are trading artillery fire with the UKA under very bad conditions. If you look at the ceasefire line, it runs right next to the most heavily populated ‘rebel’ territory. A long term duel obviously works against the rebels but helps Ukraine keep sanctions against Russia. This is why I am more inclined to believe the Russian account of events. They have nothing to gain with the status quo.

In any case, I certainly don’t want to make Ukraine’s artillery and missile attacks even more destructive but that’s just me.

#6 Comment By EliteCommInc. On July 18, 2016 @ 6:59 pm

“Nothing good for Ukraine or the U.S. would come from sending them weapons, and in general it is irresponsible to stoke a foreign conflict, especially when it has died down and might still be resolved. It is even more irresponsible to stoke a conflict when it has little or nothing to do with us.”

Painfully obvious. That it makes little sense to do so for any reason as instability should rarely be in our best interests, save on rare occasions.

#7 Comment By worst of the worst On July 18, 2016 @ 7:24 pm

“one of the more thoughtless and irresponsible foreign policy proposals out there.”

But not the most thoughtless and irresponsible. That would be the bizarre platform plank equating support for Israel with “Americanism”. That one paints a terror target on every American’s back.

#8 Comment By Uncle Billy On July 18, 2016 @ 8:39 pm

The more insane Neocons actually want US boots on the ground in Ukraine. Wonderful. Let’s send pull 2nd Marine Division from Camp Lejeune and set them down in Eastern Ukraine to face off vs. the Russians. I have noticed that the people who advocate this insanity usually never wore the uniform. “Chairborne Rangers.”

#9 Comment By Jon Lester On July 19, 2016 @ 12:25 am

It’s better than John McCain wanting to bomb the Roki tunnel and send troops to FSR Georgia, after Saakashvili’s forces fired Katyusha rockets over residential neighborhoods in Tshkinvali and then called directly upon the nominee for help, rather than the sitting president. Not arming real-life Nazis in Ukraine has finally occurred to someone as a better idea. If we could also stop arming radical Islamic terrorists in Syria, that would be great.

#10 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On July 19, 2016 @ 4:05 am

This obsessive Russophobia is bad juju.

#11 Comment By jk On July 19, 2016 @ 8:50 am

Donald +1. Probably will get -2 in the next few days …still better than Shillary though or not?

#12 Comment By Alex (the one that likes Ike) On July 20, 2016 @ 6:18 pm

Perhaps it is a sign of something bigger. Perhaps.