Biden needs to step up military aid for Ukraine — fast


Does President Joe Biden truly want to end the war in Ukraine? He sure isn’t acting like it — judging from his refusal Friday to supply Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets and his team’s new warnings that it might take up to two years to send over a mere 31 M1 Abrams tanks.

“None of the options” for the tanks, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said Thursday, involve getting them to Ukraine in “weeks or months,” as the Bidenites promised last month (even then, only after much needless dithering).

Her people are now “exploring” options she “thinks” could take “less than two years.” That’s nuts: In two years, Ukraine might not exist.

Biden then made matters worse the next day, ruling out the F-16s “for now.” How mealy-mouthed.

Ukraine needs both the tanks and the planes now, especially with battlefield action heating up. Soon after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, US factories were turning out an average of 2,000 tanks a month. We can’t get 31 existing tanks to Ukraine in under two years?

And why on Earth would the president be open to sending jets later but not now? And why isn’t he making a clear public case for US support for Ukraine, explaining why it’s plainly in the national interest?

His snail’s-pace, “just trust me” approach only prolongs the war and risks an erosion of US will — though time is not on Ukraine’s (or the West’s) side.

President Biden needs to keep up aid for Ukraine.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

In December, Vladimir Putin began mobilizing Russia’s defense industry to ramp up production for a long conflict. Yet with a far smaller population, Ukraine will have a much harder time than Russia replacing lost soldiers as fighting drags on.

Over time, Russia’s advantage is bound to grow — as will the odds of Putin winning part, if not all, of Ukraine, and strengthening positions from which to continue his aggression and further undermine world order.

The Kremlin needs to be defeated not just quickly but completely: A partial win for Putin only kicks the can down the road and confirms his (and other US enemies’) belief that the West has no staying power.

Putin won’t stand down until he’s convinced he can’t win. What will convince him? Massive, overwhelming aid — tanks, jets and whatever other material Ukraine requests — sent quickly.

Biden plainly fears such support might push Putin to go nuclear. Yet a tactical nuke or two wouldn’t actually turn the war, and anything larger guarantees catastrophic reprisals. (Plus, giving in to nuclear blackmail only guarantees more of it, and not just over Ukraine.)

Biden needs to shift gears: Quit the slow-roll, piecemeal step-ups of aid and give Kyiv what it needs for total victory. Now, not later.

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