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Franks: Best way to help Ukraine


I want to believe that Ukrainians in time will push the Russians out of their country. We have a prime example of a nation that did just that back in the 1980s, Afghanistan. I see Ukraine being able to do the same.

But, fighting in this manner, going “toe to toe” with Russia, may not be the best approach. A guerrilla-war approach – “hit but do not get hit” – worked for Afghanistan after nearly ten years of Soviet occupation.

The failure of having accurate information and vital statistics about the amount of financial aid and military support Ukraine is getting from NATO countries, as well as support from countries outside the alliance, would allow us to evaluate the true state of this war. It is concerning that we are lacking this basic information. The piling on of billions of additional U.S. dollars not only to defend Ukraine, but escalate the battle, also warrants serious review.

I never bought Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s argument that if you do not stop Russia in Ukraine, Russia will continue to invade other parts of Europe. That was former President Lyndon Johnson’s argument about Vietnam when he claimed that Communist China would continue to subdue the rest of the region – the so-called “Domino” theory.

Are the Russians getting discouraged or displeased with their leader, President Vladimir Putin, due to their army’s struggles in Ukraine? They have not been able to defeat Ukraine despite the unmerciful pounding they are giving the country.

Will Russia eventually run out of munitions? How high of a price must the Ukrainians pay? It is already astronomically high. Millions of Ukrainians have fled the country and millions more are being asked to do the same before the weather becomes another adversary.

By continuing on this path, Ukraine could be doing more harm to its people than good. Once the power grids and utilities are damaged, destroyed, or rendered not dependable, the country should alter strategy.

It is discouraging to see the U.S. fail to negotiate for the release of two Americans wrongfully detained in Russia. Sanctions against Russia do not appear to have worked.

We may need a third-party negotiator to intervene and usher in a change of direction, hopefully toward the end of this war.

No, this is not because we no longer care for the people of Ukraine. To the contrary, it is because we care deeply for the people of Ukraine.

Gary Franks served three terms as U.S. representative for Connecticut’s 5th District. He was the first Black Republican elected to the House in nearly 60 years and New England’s first Black member of the House. Host: podcast “We Speak Frankly.”  @GaryFranks





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