Former Pentagon official: Javelin missile systems will deter Russian tanks but only reforms will change the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The former assistant to the deputy head of the Pentagon on Ukraine and Eurasia, Michael Carpenter approved of the transfer of American Javelin anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine. "On a moral, political, tactical and strategic level, this is the right decision and it will help Ukraine defend against Russia's unyielding war of aggression, which has claimed over 10,000 lives," he wrote on Twitter.

He noted that "Javelins are useful weapons that will have a limited deterrent effect but they won't fundamentally change the war-fighting capabilities of the Ukrainian military."

"Far more important is the military's command structure, which desperately needs to be reformed according to NATO standards, and the training and readiness of Ukraine's troops, which both need urgent attention." Carpenter added that "it's important to remember that Ukraine is paying for these missiles."

Carpenter concluded that Ukraine stood to reap long-term gains if it reformed its defense industry by making it more transparent and less susceptible to corruption. That would allow the industry to produce its own anti-tank weapons instead of relying on foreign technology.

The US State Department approved the sale of Javelin anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine for $47 million. In January, the Chief of the General Staff ordered the Armed Forces of Ukraine to prepare for the adoption of Javelins.

  Javelin, Armed Forces of Ukraine