US' continuing military aid to Ukraine doomed to end in vain while causing long-lasting harm to region: expert
The US Department of Defense announced on Wednesday local time a new security assistance package valued at up to $175 million for Ukraine, including depleted uranium ammunition for previously committed Abrams tanks, with experts believing that US assistance will all be futile, as it will not turn the tide of the war and only cause enormous and long-term harm to the region.
According to the Pentagon, the military aid would also include anti-armor systems, tactical air navigation systems and additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Ukraine's capital and met with President Volodmyr Zelensky on Wednesday, during which Blinken announced new aid to Ukraine totaling more than $1 billion, which includes the $175 million package. It also included over $665 million in new military and civilian security assistance and millions of dollars in support for Ukraine's air defenses and other areas, Reuters reported.
Although depleted uranium munitions are not considered weapons of mass destruction, they are capable of causing great harm, especially to people and the environment, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday.
The reason why there are no restrictions on depleted uranium ammunitions in international treaties is because the US-led hegemonic states do not allow the establishment of treaties specifically targeting depleted uranium ammunition. However, the international community generally believes that the weapon should be banned, said Song.
The US military used depleted uranium munitions and depleted uranium-enhanced armor during the Gulf War in 1991 against Iraq, as well as in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and in Serbia and in Kosovo.
According to media reports, US troops suspect some of their current ailments may have been caused by inhaling or exposure to debris from ammunition fired or tanks hit, damaging the uranium-reinforced armor.
This would be the first US shipment of controversial armor-piercing munitions to Kiev, after Britain sent depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine earlier, as reported by media.
The depleted uranium ammunition provided by the UK were reportedly about to expire and would have been better off using them on the Russian-Ukrainian battlefield rather than destroying them, expert said.
Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine last February, the US government has provided more than $43 billion in equipment to Ukraine, including weaponry, training and other military and law enforcement aid, according to media reports.
However, Song noted that no matter how much assistance the US or the West provide [to Ukraine], it will all be in vain and will not reverse the course of the war. Instead, it will cause long-lasting and enormous damage to human health and the environment.
The gap in military strength between Ukraine and Russia is too vast for Ukraine to defeat Russia on its own as long as the US or NATO is not willing to participate in the war themselves, Song said. "Although the US and NATO continue to provide assistance, it is indirect support rather than direct action. As a result, there is a limit to the increase in capacity that can be made available to the Ukrainian side," he said.
Despite receiving a large amount of weapons and equipment, it is the lack of personnel that is the most troublesome issue for Ukraine. Therefore, it is difficult for Western countries to serve their interests in the proxy war, where they provide funds and military assistance while expecting Ukraine itself to provide personnel, experts noted.
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