The West has a moral obligation to help defeat Russia

Soldiers fold a Ukrainian flag on the coffin of a colleague killed by Russian troops in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Soldiers fold a Ukrainian flag on the coffin of a colleague killed by Russian troops in Kyiv, Ukraine.Credit:access point

The Ukrainians, if they are going to conduct offensive operations to recapture their territory, will also need armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles. Like the Russians, they have suffered significant losses to their fleet of armored vehicles in the last five months. Donations of 14 at a time from countries like Australia are a small help. But the reality is that the Ukrainians need hundreds, and potentially thousands, if they want to successfully drive out the Russians.

Counter-autonomy systems to destroy Russian and Iranian drones will be vital. Ukraine needs more of these anti-drone systems to degrade Russian targets for artillery, as well as to deny them the use of suicide drones.

At the same time, NATO must work on a more standardized set of equipment (especially artillery and armored vehicles). The Ukrainians have some of all types of Western artillery systems; this will be an increasing commercial and logistics burden. If NATO can agree on a single system, producing them (and their munitions) quickly, that would help a lot. It could provide a timely boost for the defense industry in the West.

Finally, the West must honor its commitments to support Ukraine. Falling back on military assistance commitments, or on political support as inflation rises, may be convenient for some. But in the end, it will only help Putin and encourage other authoritarian regimes who already doubt the commitment of democracies to defend democracy.

Charging

in the tv series Brothers bandthe ninth episode was called Why we fight. The centerpiece of the episode was the American soldiers who discovered a small Nazi concentration camp. The message was that despite the Allies’ sacrifices, it had all been worth destroying a regime capable of such behavior. The horror of these camps and the desire to prevent the systemic way in which Germany carried out the attempted extermination of Jews and other groups has shaped European politics ever since.

The war in Ukraine provides the West with the clearest example since the end of World War II of a war of good against evil. The heinous, systemic and disgusting acts of the Russian military, clearly sanctioned by a Russian government that awarded medals to the unit accused of the Bucha atrocities, should be a wake-up call to Western nations.

We have a moral obligation to help Ukraine win this war as soon as possible. If we are not willing to go to any lengths to help Ukraine defeat Russia and end these large-scale violations of international law and human decency, what are we willing to stand for?

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