The United States is not only looking at the weapons it will provide to Ukraine for the battlefield right now, but also what they will need for continued deterrence whenever the war ends, a top State Department official said Thursday.
“We're looking at not just what Ukraine is going to need for this immediate fight, but we're also thinking about — with the Ukrainians — the Ukrainian military of the future,” said Victoria Nuland, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs.
She would not speak to specific capabilities that the US might provide in the near future or longer term when asked by CNN if the US would provide jets or Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) anytime soon.
However, Nuland suggested that such types of equipment could be provided to be used for deterrence.
“Some of the things that you were talking about, if you think about a military that we'll need whenever this stops and however it stops, to be able to deter Russia from coming back again, they're going to have to have the sophisticated enduring air defense. They're going to have to have much stronger border defenses and the ability to ensure Russia can't invade again. They're going to have to have better radars and early warning,” she said.
Nuland said that the US is also thinking about ensuring that even if the conflict stops, there isn't a repeat, referencing Putin's invasion of Ukraine in 2014.
“We must never trust as long as Vladimir Putin is in power or somebody like him, that this is truly over,” she said. “So even if there is a just peace, there has to be a long-term plan and a building of the Ukrainian military of the future so that they can be deterring of any future appetite that Putin might have."