U.S.-Ukraine Military Relations and the Value of Interoperability

  • December 01, 2004
  • Mr Leonid I Polyakov

Ukraine's destiny is critical to the security of the entire post-Soviet zone. It long has been the stated goal of Ukrainian defense policy to integrate with Euro-Atlantic structures like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and this goal has been one of the chief objectives of the United States, as well. However, to move from rhetoric to implementation is particularly difficult where the defense reform of a post-Soviet state has been concerned, and Ukraine is no exception. Ukraine has begun to make remarkable progress towards its self-professed goal of defense integration with Western structures. This monograph provides a comprehensive account of Ukrainian-American defense relations and of Ukraine's defense reforms over the period since Ukraine became independent in 1991. It clearly points out both the obstacles and the successes that both partners have encountered in building a cooperation mechanism, in practical peacetime engagement, and in accomplishing missions together, as well as outlining the challenges ahead. Given that Ukraine is a major contributor to the stabilization forces in Iraq and a key player in any European and Eurasian security order, this monograph has real policy relevance, especially as the United States seeks to work with its allies and partners in other post-Soviet states to foster their defense and political integration with the West.