JD Vance has been one of the most vocal opponents of Ukraine aid within the Republican Party.

Like much of the MAGA caucus, JD has cited concerns of corruption and escalation with Russia alongside the increasingly bizarre argument that the easiest way to save Ukrainian lives would be to cease all support.

Having failed to prevent Congress from passing the Ukraine aid package, JD has pivoted to arguing that providing military aid to Ukraine is useless because the United States cannot match Russia’s military-industrial output. Essentially, JD believes that Kyiv is doomed because the material and numeric disparities between the Ukrainian and Russian militaries cannot be overcome with American assistance.

This argument would make sense if Ukraine was planning on fighting Russia’s large, Soviet-style military with a smaller Soviet-style military. JD is convinced that no one in the Ukrainian government was aware of the size of Russia’s military and that no strategies have been developed to address this in the decade following the annexation of Crimea.I would argue that Kyiv’s campaign of asymmetric warfare has shown the limits of Russia’s military capabilities and the effectiveness of a small, motivated, well-trained military fighting a defensive war.


The Russian Navy effectively had unchallenged control over the Black Sea, yet was pushed out of its headquarters and had multiple vessels sunk by Ukraine’s fleet of aerial and aquatic drones.

Despite maintaining an absolute advantage over Ukraine in total volume of artillery, the Russian military is limited to making small, incremental territorial gains over a period of several weeks – all while Ukrainian drones and projectiles continue to strike refineries and industrial infrastructure deep within Russian territory.The purpose of our military aid and the increases in shell production is to ease the shortage of ammunition seen along the front line and minimize the gap between Ukrainian and Russian volume of artillery fire.


However, our goal is not to have Ukraine recreate Russia’s unwieldy and blunt strategies (like human wave attacks), but rather enable Kyiv to inflict strikes of strategic value and reconstitute forces for an eventual future counteroffensive.The United States War of Independence should be seen as an example of how a small, determined military may overcome a larger adversary by using asymmetric warfare strategies and leveraging support from international partners (this past autumn has already been referred to as Ukraine’s Valley Forge moment).

Rather than assuming that larger numbers guarantee victory, let’s think about how Ukraine can learn from the United States and incorporate best practices from us and our allies.


Reprinted from the author’s blog Why It Matters. See the original here

The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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