avatarDylan Combellick


Decision Point for the Western Democracies and Ukraine;

Living in a Real World

By Vincent Foulk, COL, USA Ret.

This article is not by Dylan. Published here at the request of the author.

For two years, the war between Ukraine and Russia has raged on. Any even casually familiar with Russian military history can recognize the pattern: a consistent policy of expansion with a near-regular failed experimental approach at the outset, followed by a tenacious bludgeoning of opponents through relentless superior numbers and firepower. Russia is on the march and has set its eyes on the West.

The one innovation Russia has mastered is not in the battle space but in cyberspace. In a post-mass media world where the spread of information was disseminated through official government and corporations, the internet, coupled with artificial intelligence, has drawn us into a post-truth world. Instead of collapsing the military forces, the modern way of war is to destroy the common reality so that people reject the institutions and leadership so that the real shooters are abandoned. The fight is not just fought on the battlefield but on cell phones and keyboards.

Having more than held its own in the trenches the war Ukraine and its supporters have not so succeeded in the war on truth. When I was in Ukraine last September, I was prepared to see all the indicators of widespread corruption. I saw the same problems all wars create, such as we suffered in World War II, even less corruption than I saw in our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Don’t get me wrong, there were problems, particularly with outsiders and elites preparing for the reconstruction boom expected after the war, but nothing like what I read of or heard from news outlets. And, where corruption was coming to light, it was being directly confronted.

As a result of the relentless assault in cyberspace and thus in the corridors of power, the need for comprehensive aid to Ukraine is urgent. Ukraine is being drown in a sea of lies. Still, wiping away the reality of naked aggression has been too obvious a reality to wash away. Even so, even the cynical can see the value of providing artillery shells and anti-air assets. Beyond the provision of military support, it is imperative to address the myriad challenges the Ukrainian people face, including the necessity to sustain basic governmental functions and mitigate the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region. However, the reluctance of international agencies to operate in forward combat areas, coupled with donor fatigue, has led to a decline in humanitarian assistance, leaving many vulnerable populations without essential aid. The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine continues to deepen, with millions of people in need of assistance.

However, the dwindling support from the international community has left many vulnerable populations without access to essential aid. Humanitarian organizations facing operational challenges and security risks have been forced to scale back their operations or withdraw altogether, further exacerbating the suffering of those affected by the conflict.

The conflict has exacted a heavy toll on the economy in Ukraine, leading to budget constraints and financial instability. As a result, many public servants, including teachers, healthcare workers, and civil servants, struggle to receive their salaries on time. This has dire consequences for both individuals and communities, jeopardizing the delivery of essential services and exacerbating the already precarious living conditions for millions of Ukrainians. With the aid of the democracies, Russia can’t kill off the Ukrainian’s will to fight for their freedom. Without non-lethal support, Russia can make the lives of the families of the fighters a living hell.

Midjourney imagines

In Eastern Ukraine, families are struggling to survive amidst the violence and instability. They rely on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs, with limited access to food, clean water, and healthcare, they rely on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs. A teacher from Donetsk, who has dedicated her life to educating the youth of her community, will risk shelling and show up for work every day, determined to provide her students with a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos. However, her salary delayed for months will make it impossible to make ends meet. A farmer harvesting the wheat crop that feeds the country cannot bring bread to the table without the fuel to run the tractor. The health care worker, the common policeman, the train conductor, the building inspector, and numerous other routine functions that every society needs to function can be supported only by the Ukrainian government.

In the corridors of Western power, the debate continues about what support should be given to Ukraine. It should be recalled that following the great struggle with fascism, it took more than a military alliance to confront Stalin; it took a Marshal Plan. Ukraine needs more than guns to survive, and Russia needs to fear more than guns to stay at bay. A complete package of support needs to be provided to secure peace.

Vincent Foulk is a practicing Criminal Attorney in Ohio. He served as a Civil Affairs Officer in the US Army in Bosnia, Kosovo, Honduras, and Iraq. He served as an anti-corruption advisor for the US State Department in Iraq and for the US Department of Defense in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently an advisor to NebulaUSA on fighting corruption.

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