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The US’ military strategy for Ukraine is misaligned with its 2015 National Security Strategy (NSS). Among other objectives outlined in the document, the NSS states that the US will deter Russia, leverage US leadership to “mobilize collective action to address global risks”, and will support emerging democracies. Each of these objectives support national interests and are consistent with US efforts to provide global stability. The NSS also states that the use of force “is not the principal means of US engagement abroad, nor always the most effective for the challenges we face”. Despite this assertion, the US has utilized the military instrument of national power in Ukraine, despite it not being the most effective strategy for the global challenges and opportunities presented as a result of the Ukraine conflict. The current military strategy of providing training and equipment to Ukranian forces is at odds with the NSS; it will prove ineffective at accomplishing the objectives outlined in the NSS. More specifically, it will not deter Russia, fails to mobilize the North Atlantic Treaty Organization members to act on matters vital to its collective security and legitimizes forces with anti-democratic ideals.

This article illustrates these points and provides recommended actions for a more effective way forward.