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house Bill H. Res. 162

Does Ukraine Need Lethal Weaponry From the U.S. to Defend Itself From Russian Aggression?

Argument in favor

Ukraine must have military assistance from the U.S. if it is going to dislodge Russia's separatist militias and reclaim its territory. America has an obligation to stand firmly against this type of aggression.

EricRevell's Opinion
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03/26/2015
Ukraine needs all the help it can get from the West, and at some point it should probably be considered for NATO membership.
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Ronald's Opinion
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04/02/2015
We promised to defend the Ukraine if they agreed to disarm themselves of nuclear weapons twenty years ago. Obviously, we reneged on that promise already, apparently Putin managed to catch our State Department completely off guard, so we should try to salvage something for our purported ally.
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03/25/2015
We should assist Ukraine against puppet "rebels", but we need to be wise to ensure the weapons won't end up in our enemies hands -- like we've seen with ISIS in Iraq.
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Argument opposed

The U.S. should emphasize diplomatic and economic tools like sanctions in its efforts to coax Russia out of Ukraine. Providing military aid could increase Russian assistance to separatist militias.

DanielHaffner's Opinion
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03/24/2015
The US does not need to place more weapons where they can fall into extremist hands.
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Marilyn 's Opinion
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03/24/2015
United States should be concern with issues going on in our on country before trying to fix other countries.
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Tracie's Opinion
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03/24/2015
Actually didn't mean to vote on this one at all, and can't figure out how to undo it.
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What is House Bill H. Res. 162?

This resolution calls for the President to offer Ukraine military assistance to defend its sovereignty and "territorial integrity" from Russian occupation. Lethal defensive weapon systems are the particular The military assistance would come in the form of .


Congress emphasizes that the existence of an independent and democratic Ukraine is in the national interest of the U.S., and that Russia has attempted to undermine Ukraine’s independence through political, economic, and military aggression.


This resolution condemns the aggression that has led to the occupation of Crimea, and the establishment of separatist militias in Eastern Ukraine, which are armed by Russia and serve as its proxies. It also cites comments from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko which encourage the U.S. to provide lethal military aid to Ukraine.


The economic crisis that is affecting Ukraine is also mentioned, and this resolution calls for long-term financial assistance from the U.S. and countries of the European Union.

Impact

People in Ukraine, the Ukraine military, the reach of Congress' influence, U.S. military resources, and the President.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 162

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth:

This resolution references the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, signed into law in December 2014, giving the President additional powers to sanction Russia if it fails to withdraw from Ukrainian territory and cease its support for separatist militias.


The Ukraine Freedom Support Act also gave the President the authorization to give Ukraine military aid — things like anti-armor weapons, ammunition, and drones, plus other types of non-lethal military aid. That authorization makes Congressional action to that end unnecessary. The intent of this resolution is to encourage that aid to proceed to Ukraine as soon as possible.


This resolution also calls for the U.S. to support energy diversification in Ukraine to lessen its reliance on Russia. The House of Representatives recently passed legislation that would expedite the exportation of liquefied natural gas to allies, a bill that could help Ukraine in its diversification efforts.


Of Note:

Russia recently celebrated the first anniversary of its annexation of Crimea and has ruled out giving up Crimea. Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, still keeps the public stance that Crimea is part of the Ukraine, calling its occupation “illegal and shameful.”


In March 2015 the U.S. authorized authorized an additional $75 million in non-lethal military aid for Ukraine. Plans for this aid include first-aid equipment, radios, and surveillance drones.


Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) Press Release

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) Press Release

Bipartisan Letter to President Obama Urging Military Support for Ukraine

ABC News

The Guardian (Context)

The Hill (Context)

Center for Strategic & International Studies (Context)


Summary By Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user mac_ivan)

Official Title

Calling on the President to provide Ukraine with military assistance to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed March 23rd, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 348 Yea / 48 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedMarch 23rd, 2015

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    Ukraine needs all the help it can get from the West, and at some point it should probably be considered for NATO membership.
    Like (20)
    Follow
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    The US does not need to place more weapons where they can fall into extremist hands.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    United States should be concern with issues going on in our on country before trying to fix other countries.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Actually didn't mean to vote on this one at all, and can't figure out how to undo it.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    We promised to defend the Ukraine if they agreed to disarm themselves of nuclear weapons twenty years ago. Obviously, we reneged on that promise already, apparently Putin managed to catch our State Department completely off guard, so we should try to salvage something for our purported ally.
    Like (10)
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    As much as they may need help I think we need to sort out things here first.
    Like (5)
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    More war will make matters worse.
    Like (4)
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    Putin doesn't care and has virtually no respect for Obama, we have an obligation to help Ukraine defend itself
    Like (4)
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    Given that Putin is a bully and the only thing that discourages a bully is force, we should support Ukraine with weapons.
    Like (4)
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    We should be giving them what ever they need to beat the bully,Lets make the fight fair.
    Like (4)
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    We should assist Ukraine against puppet "rebels", but we need to be wise to ensure the weapons won't end up in our enemies hands -- like we've seen with ISIS in Iraq.
    Like (4)
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    Our taxpayers should not be funding wars or weapons in other countries, especially since they can be turned right around and used against our troops later. This practice is dangerous.
    Like (4)
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    Not our circus not our monkeys! We need to stay away from this, Russia is not afraid of us and they have a lunatic for a ruler. Please keep the fight where it is and leave Russia and the Ukraine settle their own issues.
    Like (3)
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    Stop getting into, and exacerbating, wars around the world! Stop being in the pockets of military-industrial criminals
    Like (2)
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    Russia is our equal in military power, and prodding a bear is unwise. Diplomacy is the wiser course, and this is also what caused some terrorist sects to be armed as well as they were. Weapons are the last resort option, and we aren't there yet.
    Like (2)
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    Not our business! When do we stop getting involved in other countries' wars?
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    The U.S. are making things in the Ukraine much worse. This is Russia door step, they have a long history there, the U.S. is merely extending it's empire where it
    Like (1)
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    Providing weapons to Ukraine will simply throw more gasoline on a conflict that has no right side.
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    Russia is clearly making a power grab in a nation which could prove a valuable ally. If we let them get steamrolled by Russian-made tank treads and Russian-trained rebels, it projects an unwillingness to protect our interests abroad
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    Adding weaponry to a civil war will only prolong the conflict in Ukraine and the instability that it creates. If we truly want a stable, democratic Ukraine we should be working towards- 1) the end of fighting in East Ukraine (with autonomy granted to the East), 2) pressuring the Ukrainian government to fight corruption, 3) pressuring the Ukrainian government to protect the rights of the Russian-speaking minority. These 3 things would go far further to creating a stable prosperous state than providing weapons to an army that with or without Western aid has little chance of victory. These 3 items would also address the underlying issues that prevent Ukraine from being a stable, democratic state- corruption chokes private enterprise and economic development, ignoring the rights of a large minority population is one of the reasons for rebellion in the East, an active war drains badly needed resources and prevents the government from moving forward towards building a stable, prosperous Ukraine which could serve as an example of what good governance and economic policies can do in Eastern Europe.
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