by Paul Niland
"While Russia projects the idea of a better armed Ukraine being some kind of “escalation” of events, in reality the examples of Ilovaisk and Debaltseve show that it is actually Russia that is responsible for escalations. The counter argument to arming Ukraine is that it would lead to an increase in hostilities, this idea has simply not stood the test of time, because while Ukraine has not been armed with U.S. weapons, the Kremlin increased its hostility towards Ukraine anyway.
The reason why the Pentagon’s request for Javelin missiles makes sense is because it will blunt Russia’s ability to carry out large scale offensive operations designed to capture more population centres. The residents of Mariupol and Avdiyivka (where fighting also rages every day) will be safer in the knowledge that they will not suffer the same fate as their compatriots in Debaltseve and Ilovaisk.
The key to ending the war in eastern Ukraine has always been to increase the costs to Russia for their actions. There are many ways to do this, and providing Ukraine with fearsome tank destroying capabilities is an excellent way to start."