The Washington PostThe Washington Post

What NATO should do now to help protect Ukraine in the long-term

18 May 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The US and Europe have pledged huge amounts of aid to Ukraine in the past 15 months. But how will the West continue to protect the country in the face of Russian aggression? The Post has the answer.

The United States and its European allies have pledged about $150 billion in military and other aid to Ukraine since Vladimir Putin unleashed his pitiless war there 15 months ago. That staggering commitment, and the unified Western response by President Biden, have been instrumental in Kyiv's valiant self-defense, but they raise a critical longer-term question: How will the West continue to protect Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression that might easily outlast the current war and any negotiated settlement?

Ukraine's answer is direct, and also unrealistic for now - it wants the gold-plated security guarantee of full membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which commits its 31 states, including the United States, to the defense of any member that comes under attack. In fact, Ukraine was promised eventual admission to the NATO club in 2008, at the urging of the George W. Bush administration.

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