The Defense Department’s goal in relation to Ukraine is to ensure a free, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine that can defend itself and deter further Russian aggression, said Laura K. Cooper, assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, who testified at a House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee hearing on evaluating US policy towards Europe and NATO.
“Ukraine is trying to liberate its territory from Russian occupation or control, including in the latest counteroffensive. Ukraine is well-prepared and equipped. Although the course of the war is dynamic and unpredictable, we have great confidence in the training and readiness capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces,” she stated.
The security assistance that the United States, its allies and partners have provided is substantial. Those resources reflect the shared interests and values at stake, she said.
“Russia’s war of aggression is a clear and present danger not only to Ukraine but to the security of Europe and to the basic principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that underpin global stability,” Cooper said.
He said that the group of some 50 nations that make up the Ukraine Defense Contact Group have collectively addressed Ukraine’s priority needs and requests, both for the immediate fight and in the longer term.
More than $28 billion in security assistance commitments have been provided by allies and partners, including in top-priority areas of air defense armor and artillery. He added that nine European countries have contributed more than $1 billion each.
Security aid to Ukraine as a percentage of gross domestic product ranks the United States 12th in the world. More than half of all tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, 155mm artillery systems and anti-drone aerial systems and about half of Stinger and Javelin missiles supplied to Ukraine come from non-US allies and partners, Cooper said.
He added that the allies have trained more than three times as many Ukrainian soldiers as the United States.
Germany and Poland are collaborating and providing Ukraine with Leopard main battle tanks and training, maintenance and support for these tanks. The Netherlands and Denmark are collaborating on training Ukrainian pilots so that they can fly fourth-generation aircraft.
In addition, allies are starting to make longer-term commitments. Germany has authorized some $13 billion in aid to Ukraine over the next 9 to 10 years, Norway has committed more than $7 billion and Denmark recently announced $3.2 billion, she said.
He said there is growing collaboration between the United States and its partners in industrial production to support Ukraine and replenish Defense Department stocks.
He said that the Department recognizes the importance of prioritizing accountability for security assistance to Ukraine. “To date, we have seen no credible evidence of the illicit diversion of advanced conventional weapons provided by the United States, although Russia continues to spread disinformation to the contrary.”
The Department of Defense continues to use surveillance measures in Ukraine to track sensitive US weapons systems and to prevent weapons proliferation proactively, it added.
US Department of Defense