Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. warned on Thursday that the “next step of Ukraine War escalation” is stationing United States military advisers on the ground.
He flagged a recent article by Foreign Affairs titled “Why America Should Send Military Advisers to Ukraine: On-the-Ground Help Will Bolster Kyiv Without Risking Escalation.”
He posted on X: “Establishment journal Foreign Affairs signals the next step of Ukraine War escalation: stationing U.S. military advisors on the ground. Have they forgotten how we got embroiled in Vietnam?”
Establishment journal Foreign Affairs signals the next step of Ukraine War escalation: stationing U.S. military advisors on the ground. Have they forgotten how we got embroiled in Vietnam?https://t.co/1waziqtGf1
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) September 27, 2023
The article, written by Alexandra Chinchilla, an assistant professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, and Sam Rosenberg, a Ph.D. candidate at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, argued that Western training for Ukraine troops could reach more troops if it took place within the country.
Although Western instruction has reached many Ukrainian soldiers, it has missed the overwhelming majority. That is because Western training has been administered outside Ukraine, from locations across Europe. This distance has limited how many Ukrainians can access instruction and how customized the training can be to the terrain of Ukraine and the specialized tactics needed there. It also limits the extent to which the United States can catalyze enduring transformations in Ukraine’s defense establishment.
Washington should therefore lift the strict restrictions on the number of U.S. government personnel allowed in Ukraine and begin stationing military advisers within the country and across its defense apparatus. Sending advisers would increase the number of Ukrainian soldiers who receive top-of-the-line training. It would enhance Washington’s understanding of Kyiv’s material needs, allowing U.S. policymakers to fine-tune the aid they already provide and offer psychological assurance to Ukraine. Positioning U.S. advisers inside Ukraine would let Washington better champion crucial defense reforms that could pave Ukraine’s path toward NATO and EU membership. Advisers would give the United States an added layer of oversight, as well, ensuring that aid is both optimized and employed responsibly. And, critically, deploying advisers would deliver these results at a reasonable cost.
Chinchilla and Rosenberg argued that on-the-ground training and advising would “send a powerful message of reassurance to Kyiv.”
“The United States would have ‘skin in the game’ by sending its own service members, signaling to the Ukrainians that Washington is truly dedicated to helping them win. In a long-term war of attrition, such psychological support may prove decisive in helping Kyiv outlast Putin,” they argued.