this post was submitted on 23 May 2024
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  • US officials are considering letting Ukraine strike Russia with US weapons, The New York Times reports.
  • Ukraine says it's necessary to fight cross-border attacks. 
  • But fears of crossing Russia's red lines have long made the US hesitate.

The US has barred Ukraine from striking targets in Russian territory with its arsenal of US weapons.

But that may be about to change. The New York Times on Thursday reported that US officials were debating rolling back the rule, which Ukraine has argued severely hampers its ability to defend itself.

The proposed U-turn came after Russia placed weapons across the border from northeastern Ukraine and directed them at Kharkiv, the Times reported, noting that Ukraine would be able to use only non-American drones to hit back.

The Times reported that the proposal was still being debated and had yet to be formally proposed to President Joe Biden.

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[–] Ekybio 93 points 4 weeks ago (1 children)
[–] AdamEatsAss 16 points 4 weeks ago (7 children)

Why wouldn't Biden allow it?

[–] [email protected] 54 points 4 weeks ago (3 children)

The same reason most of NATO have been very hesitant and the like:

Supporting a defensive war is one thing. Supporting an offensive war, against a nuclear power that threatens to nuke people on days ending in 'y', is another. And while it is incredibly unlikely that putin would actually attack anyone (since they can't even handle a Ukraine with one arm tied behind its back), it will still lead to political turmoil as people insist the world is about to end.

But now? This is a REAL good way to distract people from the other, much less defensive, war that we are financing.

[–] [email protected] 32 points 4 weeks ago (1 children)

I never understand this logic. The war is still defensive regardless where the targets are.

[–] [email protected] 15 points 4 weeks ago

That is the same kind of mess that made the no fly zone so untenable.

But to the eyes of a public who are not sure if they are more afraid of World War 3 or Iraq War 3? Having that line of "We are only helping Ukraine to defend themselves, not to escalate this war" "works".

And if it sounds like we don't actually care about the Ukrainian people and just view them as a tool to keep Russia busy?

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[–] [email protected] 59 points 4 weeks ago (3 children)

As an American, and therefore a potential target, this is a risk I am willing to take. I think Putin is better at talking shit than actually carrying out his threats.

It’s tragic that this war is still going on. Putin needs to be stopped. Now.

[–] partial_accumen 36 points 4 weeks ago (2 children)

As an American, and therefore a potential target, this is a risk I am willing to take. I think Putin is better at talking shit than actually carrying out his threats.

Same.

Further, even if Putin is serious about carrying out his threats, when do we stop capitulating? If Russia had Ukraine, then invaded Latvia? Then? After Russia rolls into Warsaw? Then? How about with Russian troops in Munich? Then? How about Anchorage?

If Putin is willing to attack when his other invasion of a sovereign country is threatened then the time to push back is RIGHT NOW when a free and sovereign Ukraine is still the future.

[–] Blackbeard 15 points 4 weeks ago (1 children)

He's already changing borders in the Baltics. If anyone thinks he's stopping with Ukraine they're an imbecile. After the Baltics are strategically surrounded, Georgia will be next. The northeast border of the Black Sea will be his next major fortification against NATO, all the way from Romania to Turkey.

[–] [email protected] 6 points 4 weeks ago* (last edited 4 weeks ago)

Fortification against NATO? If NATO wanted to attack Russia they would do it now. Prigozhin was able to march in Moscow with something NATO might sneeze out and forget about.

Kremlin propaganda says that Putin is invading Ukraine as a defensive measure, and that's horse shit. It's a war of brutal and barbaric conquest against a peaceful country.

[–] khannie 9 points 4 weeks ago* (last edited 4 weeks ago) (5 children)

when do we stop capitulating? If Russia had Ukraine, then invaded Latvia? Then? After Russia rolls into Warsaw? Then? How about with Russian troops in Munich? Then? How about Anchorage?

There's a great British comedy skit describing exactly this scenario that someone on here recently introduced me to. Short watch.

Salami tactics.

[–] Bernie_Sandals 7 points 4 weeks ago

Salami Slicing Tactics are actually a very real thing.

It's basically what Russia and China have been doing for decades

[–] partial_accumen 5 points 4 weeks ago

That is very very good, and depressingly accurate. The only difference today is that the fall of the Soviet Union in the 90s pushed back the border to Russia farther away from Europe. However the inclusion of the Baltic countries pushed it slightly closer, and then Russia pushed it closer from their side by invading Crimea then Luhansk and Donetsk. Then Russian pushed again invading Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Kharkiv. Then NATO moved closer with the induction of Finland and Sweden. So we're nearly back to the situation in that video skit.

[–] [email protected] 3 points 4 weeks ago

Here is an alternative Piped link(s):

Salami tactics

Piped is a privacy-respecting open-source alternative frontend to YouTube.

I'm open-source; check me out at GitHub.

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[–] [email protected] 5 points 4 weeks ago

Punishing attackers makes future attack less likely. I’m an American and I’m all for allowing Ukraine to actually HURT Russia, but I don’t actually think that would make the world more dangerous.

I think striking attackers where they are vulnerable makes peace more likely, not less.

Also when you give someone a gift it’s not yours any more. It’s now their thing. Ukraine has the right to defend itself, and retaliation is the only workable defense against something like military action since straight up blocking attacks with a huge wall or the like isn’t feasible.

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[–] ilinamorato 30 points 4 weeks ago (2 children)

Why are we less concerned about provoking Putin than we are about provoking Netanyahu?

[–] Gigan 40 points 4 weeks ago* (last edited 4 weeks ago)

Well yeah, only half our politicians work for Putin, but 100% work for Netanyahu.

[–] [email protected] 18 points 4 weeks ago (5 children)

Putin is already irritated at us and there's no advantage to preventing further irritation short of actually engaging in direct combat with NATO forces, and a general principle of not letting others control your escalation (We want to control when US weapons are used against Russia because it impacts our diplomatic stance, even if Ukraine is the one firing them).
There is advantage to us for Ukraine winning, particularly if it's with our weapons and support. It reassures our allies, it drives interest in closer alliances with us, and generally reinforces the "aligning with the US brings trade, wealth, safety and protection" message we like to use to spread influence. See also: Finland and Sweden.

Israel on the other hand is a historical ally in a region of significance and contested influence.
Israel's genocidal actions against the Palestinians is unacceptable. Full stop.
From a political standpoint, the actions Hamas took that precipitated the current military campaign make it difficult to condemn the response without undermining the message that US allies get US support when they're attacked. It's why all the wording and messaging gets so verbose: how do you say "of course you can defend yourself and we'll help" while also saying "maybe not the big guns, and stop with the civilian killings".
If the region weren't contested, weren't important, we had significantly moreallies in the area, and it wasn't important for domestic political reasons, it would be a different story.

[–] ilinamorato 4 points 4 weeks ago (1 children)

Thank you for providing some nuance. Ugh, this situation is so complicated. I do wonder, however, how much it's worth that we have such strong values surrounding the way we support our allies if we are willing to countenance the evil things they do and still call them allies.

[–] [email protected] 4 points 4 weeks ago (4 children)

I'm unfortunately not sure how much of it's "values" and how much is "utility".
People have values, nations don't. Nations only exemplify their national values because the citizens will be outraged if they're breached too far. Otherwise a nations foreign policy is better looked at through a lens of detached utilitarianism.

Usually our value of "supporting our friends" and the self image of being the hero (I think WW2 was America's highschool football) lines up nicely with the utility it provides.
We get a lot of advantages out of our allies, not least of which is fat piles of sweet, sweet trade goods. We would never precondition military training exercises, intelligence sharing or sensitive service export regulation exemptions on getting a favorable trade deal on mangoes, but we do tend to reserve those things for our close allies, and trade agreements are a very efficient way to develop those bonds.
Waterway access lets us send our navy everywhere which massively reduces piracy, to the benefit of all, but to our benefit the most, as the leading consumer of oceanic transport goods.
A military base will get you very strong support, and furthers our security interests of global force projection.

Israel is very useful to us. The give us a naval port in the Mediterranean, military staging areas, and a regional toehold that would otherwise be significantly weaker. We also, again, get a lot of trade value from their medical supplies and electronics, and we get to sell them a lot of services.
Combined with the previously mentioned points about signaling strong resolve and unwavering support if you've earned it, it would be very costly for us to abandon Israel.

It's why our politicians with constituents who care about human rights are trying very hard to walk the tightrope of supporting Israel against Hamas while opposing killing civilians. (The messaging is not going well).
The Palestinians, unfortunately, do not possess strategic value. Their "value" comes from internal political pressure to not allow or support evil, which is tempered by the opposing political view being to make the evil worse, which explains a relatively subdued response.

With goods, sales, power, influence and PR worth tens of billions one one side, and internal political pressure towards an ethical stance that might endanger some fraction of that value on the other, it's a question of how much value we stand to loose by listening to that pressure, and exactly how strong that pressure is.

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[–] Chainweasel 26 points 4 weeks ago (2 children)

Why the hell are we concerned with Putin's feelings on the subject?
I'm sure it also enrages him that we're helping Ukraine at all, so what's the point?
In fact, we should be going out of our way to purposefully piss him off.
He's 71 and possibly has cancer, inducing a coronary might be the quickest way to get this war over with.

[–] LemmyRefugee 4 points 4 weeks ago (4 children)

The europeans are very worried about the war crossing countries. For the Americans it’s easier to say that because war is not at your door.
I don’t have a clear view of what’s better, but obviously we can’t let Russia win that war in the sense of conquering Ukraine.
I suppose at the end it will calm, and it will be more like a South Corea / North Corea cold war.

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[–] [email protected] 3 points 4 weeks ago* (last edited 4 weeks ago) (1 children)

Hard to swallow pills: Putin dying is not a positive outcome for the world - yet. There’s no groomed successor or lieutenant in the wings, when he leaves the scene it will be knives out inside the Kremlin (and outside it), which will lead to a fractured Moscow with Balkanization of the fringes like Georgia and Chechnya, or an even more brutal dictator, likely coming from the military sphere rather than civil.

There is no moderate off-ramp for Russia currently, and after Prigozin nobody in Russia is going to be permitted to collect power that can even think of challenging Putin.

[–] [email protected] 22 points 4 weeks ago (2 children)

None of what you said makes me think the situation would be worse than having Putin in charge. It's a stretch to say Putin came from the civil sphere, and he assassinates his enemies in foreign countries using nerve agents and throws people out of windows at home.

[–] [email protected] 6 points 4 weeks ago* (last edited 4 weeks ago)

Putin took the civilian route and “won elections” before the leapfrogging the presidency with Medevev and eventual solidification of his autocracy. He is a dictator in autocrats’ dress, faux elections and rivals aplenty, but not a general or warlord. Accordingly he insulates himself from meaningful challenge, which (like Xi and the CCP’s leadership) requires culling anyone competent immediately below you, or keeping them distracted with intra-competition for favor instead of seeking the top role.

A crumbling Muscovy regime, a fractured society with war fatigue, an arsenal of nuclear weapons that are scattered in Russia and in client states like Belarus, an ocean of conventional arms and equipment, Russia set up in a war economy, and then add a power vacuum are NOT positives for Ukraine, Europe, or the world.

During the fall of the Soviet Union, there were a lot of CIA agents and friends running around trying to secure and round up those nukes, lest they enter the black market or the local warlord/strongman decides “that’s OURS now” and another nuclear actor is on the chessboard.

Though the deconfliction hotlines are broken, non-proliferation treaties not renewed, and hypersonics changing the viability of ‘first-strike’ strategy, Russia still is a known actor. Someone like Prigozin is not, and that’s my point. Putin will play ‘the game’ of great power competition. A blowhard populist with an insecure power base and multiple rivals has a very different incentive structure, and may do the unthinkable if it means solidifying their hold on power.

[–] [email protected] 3 points 4 weeks ago

Yeah but he’s not launching nuclear weapons. It can be a lot worse.

[–] Delonix 24 points 4 weeks ago

Do it already!

[–] [email protected] 20 points 4 weeks ago (3 children)

"The US is thinking about..."

This means literally nothing. This is not news. This is a trash headline for a trash article.

[–] [email protected] 6 points 4 weeks ago

It's turns out to be a soft launch of a real policy fairly often.

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[–] StaySquared 17 points 4 weeks ago (2 children)

They let Israel do it. What's stopping them from... not caring that Ukraine does it too?

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[–] [email protected] 13 points 4 weeks ago

Pretty sure the UK has given green light to use its weapons on Russian soil. Macron keeps the option open to deploy French troops. US weapons are approved for use against unarmed civilians in Palestine.

🤷‍♀️

[–] [email protected] 12 points 4 weeks ago (1 children)

Putin's red lines mean nothing, fuck him and his broke-ass country.

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[–] [email protected] 10 points 4 weeks ago

The UK openly said Ukraine could use British-supplied weapons on Russian territory a few weeks ago. We're much closer to the Russian heartlands and have a much less scary military than America, but Russia hasn't done shit about it

[–] [email protected] 10 points 4 weeks ago (1 children)

They could have... you know ...done it 2 years ago. Maybe that would have been a little more helpful.

[–] UnderpantsWeevil 12 points 4 weeks ago (1 children)

Escalations escalate. And Europeans (nevermind Saudis, Africans, or East Asians) aren't at all interested in Total War.

"Maybe we should have just nuked Moscow on day one" is the sort of thing you only get to say when you can fall back on a save file if you don't like the results.

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[–] [email protected] 8 points 4 weeks ago (1 children)

So does this mean we’re blaming the gun manufacturers if their weapons are used inappropriately? (Honestly don’t know whether to put a /s or not)

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[–] Sam_Bass 8 points 4 weeks ago

Fuck puthead. Hes been asking for a while now

[–] EvilEyedPanda 8 points 4 weeks ago

Putin can Crimea fucking river, stop bombing Ukraine and you won't have to worry about it!

[–] [email protected] 7 points 4 weeks ago (23 children)

Fuck Putin. Send Ukraine the big shit and let them end the war and put Putin's bullshit to an end.

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[–] mechoman444 7 points 4 weeks ago

Lol you mean Putin is calm and collected now?

[–] mlg 7 points 4 weeks ago (2 children)

Kind of annoyed people here still haven't made the connection that NATO doesn't want to support an offensive war because that would cost money and the entire MIC would not be making tech for profit. Hence why most tech given to Ukraine has been 90s surplus.

Nukes don't really mean anything even to Putin. Unless Moscow is under direct invasion, MAD will keep even the most insane at bay.

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[–] BackOnMyBS 6 points 4 weeks ago (1 children)

What a dumb headline. "We're just thinking about it. We're also thinking about going to the beach on Sunday. 🫳🤜"

[–] [email protected] 4 points 4 weeks ago

"felt cute, might delete later" vibes

[–] tired_n_bored 6 points 3 weeks ago

Late as fuck but better than nothing. The airfields used to deploy glide bomb launchers should be obliterated

[–] Bonesince1997 5 points 4 weeks ago
[–] phoneymouse 3 points 4 weeks ago

You cannot tiptoe around dictators, you need to crush them

[–] Fedizen 3 points 4 weeks ago (1 children)

sword missile his car, please

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