- - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

In a little covered news story that could have major ramifications for the geopolitical landscape, the new Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, says the alliance should possibly arm Ukraine in its struggle against pro-Russian separatists in East Ukraine. This is a game changer for the Kremlin and for U.S.-Russian relations.

It’s hard to see the White House supporting these comments so late in the Obama administration after the U.S. has steadfastly refused to arm the Ukrainian military since the conflict started in 2014, except for non-lethal military supplies. But then again, a man at this level of command most likely would not make that kind of statement unless it had been cleared from the National Command Authority.

“I do believe that we should support the Ukrainians with what they need to successfully defend their territory and their sovereignty,” Scaparrotti said, reported the Associated Press. “Now, I’ll take a look at that as the SACEUR, specifically because I need to assess what weapons are best, what capabilities they can use, what capabilities are complementary to their forces today,” Scaparrotti said. “And I’ll make the more refined decision here as I get into this job.”

Ukraine is mired in the twin crisis’ of rooting out corruption and shoring up its finances while at the same time fighting a draining, never-ending, conflict on the Russian border against rebels supported by Moscow. Perhaps the National Security Staff at the White House has gotten tired of the endless killing and escalation, de-escalation perfected by the Kremlin. Or perhaps, General Scaparrotti is simply leading from behind. In either case, the situation requires monitoring.

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