Ukrainians have proven to be up to the task – are the rest of us?
The Kyiv Security Forum invited David Kramer to share his vision of Ukraine’s Victory.
David Kramer is the Executive Director at George W. Bush Institute and the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights & Labor (2008-09).
David Kramer also worked as Senior Director for Human Rights and Democracy with The McCain Institute for International Leadership; President of Freedom House; and Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Russia’s re-invasion of Ukraine poses the greatest threat since World War II not only to Ukraine and to Europe but to the global order.
Ukraine first and foremost has suffered a terrible price for Putin’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. But Ukrainians have responded heroically, under the extraordinary leadership of President Zelenskyy. The West has been unified both in applying unprecedented sanctions against the Putin regime and in supporting Ukraine. But it’s not enough.
Western leaders need to think differently: their goal should be to help Ukraine win and defeat Russian forces.
Victory is defined as driving every single Russian invading and occupying force from Ukrainian territory, including, of course, Crimea.
It is not enough to help Ukraine defend itself.
We should be in this to help Ukraine win.
If we think in those terms, we will speed up the decision-making process on weapons systems and other means Ukraine needs to achieve victory.
Ukrainian victory will mean that Putin and his forces are not in a position to threaten his neighbors again.
It will mean China’s Xi will think twice before he might invade Taiwan.
It will be a huge win for democratic forces and a tremendous blow to Putin, Putinism and authoritarianism worldwide.
The stakes are enormous. Ukrainians have proven to be up to the task – are the rest of us?