Senior Policy Director John Erath spoke with ABC News (Australia) about missile systems the West has provided Ukraine.
“It’s not really about the air defence, it’s not really about the missiles — this is much more of a political thing,” John Erath, senior policy director for the US Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, told the ABC.
Mr Erath said it might be too early to speculate on future weapons supply, but it was clear the US was trying to meet immediate needs and break down Russia’s air-strike strategy.
“I think decisions about assistance going forward are going to be made on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
He said Russia had “weaponised winter” with its recent attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, and was trying to demonstrate to civilians that the cost of resistance was too high to continue.
“Since the initial failure of their effort to topple the government of Ukraine, their strategy has been very consistent,” he said.
“They’re trying to force an end to the war on their terms, meaning someone comes and says, ‘What do we need to offer you to get the fighting to stop?'”
But Ukrainians have shown their willingness to resist, and the air-defence boost from the US will make it harder for Russia to keep up the current momentum.
The Patriot will raise what it costs Russia to take out infrastructure targets. It may have to send four planes to drop bombs rather than two — which in itself is “potentially game changing”, Mr Erath said.
However, Mr Erath said those kinds of threats were common rhetoric.
“They don’t want to have that [air-strike capability] undermined so they are trying to raise the stakes and say, ‘Well, this could be escalatory, this could invite some further widening of the war,'” he said.
“Although it is difficult at this point to imagine, short of nuclear weapons, what more Russia could do to Ukraine to escalate at this point?” Read more