Ukraine After the Orange Revolution: Can It Complete Military Transformation and Join the U.S.-Led War on Terrorism?

  • October 01, 2006
  • Dr Deborah Sanders

Ukraine can make two important contributions to the U.S.-led war on terror. It can consolidate its democracy and thereby be a force for peace and stability in the Eurasian region, and, second, through its military transformation, it can provide peacekeeping forces to zones of instability. In order to be an effective contributor to peacekeeping operations and to consolidate its democracy, Ukraine needs to engage in comprehensive military transformation. This will necessitate the reform of all security stakeholders--all those organizations responsible for the provision of security. Effective military transformation in Ukraine also will be dependent on the development of military professionalism, democratic political control, and democratic professionalism. Ukraine has made some notable progress in all these areas, though much remains to be done. Paradoxically, military transformation will make Ukrainian peacekeeping forces more deployable, but democratic consolidation is likely to place severe limits on how these forces are used in the future. In addition, Ukraine’s desire for Euro-Atlantic integration also will speed up and add a qualitative element to Ukraine’s military transformation, but this could damage relations with its largest neighbor, the Russian Federation, which could lead to the reemphasis of traditional definitions of defense rather than the development of niche capabilities.