National Security Task Force


The Kremlin’s war on Ukraine is well into its sixth year. Scores of shelling incidents across the line of contact in the Donbas occur daily and Ukraine suffers casualties and fatalities weekly, despite repeated efforts to establish a lasting ceasefire. Moscow’s harassment of shipping in the Sea of Azov and its use of Russian forces to seize Ukrainian ships last November at the Kerch Strait, in contravention of international law, represent dangerous escalation. Moreover, Moscow’s offer of Russian passports to residents of the occupied Donbas further exacerbates tensions. Moscow has yet to respond to the gesture by new Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to establish ease of movement of the local population in both directions across the line of contact, as a step
toward reintegration of the occupied territories in accordance with the Minsk agreements. As President Putin seems to have no interest in ceasing Russia’s aggression against its neighbor, we see the need to bolster further Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

• The overall objective is to strengthen Ukraine’s deterrence by raising the costs of further Russian aggression.
• Military assistance should be grounded in Ukrainian national strategic planning — defending forward and fighting.
• It should enhance Ukraine’s own capability to produce the required equipment.
• It should be based on the most rapid time to field, taking into account training requirements, translations of manuals, support tail required, etc.
• It should avoid creating a concentration of high-value targets — headquarters units, armor, etc.
• It should assume enemy air superiority at all points.
• All assistance should include a continued commitment to training and maintenance as well as a supply of spare parts.

• Air defense artillery

• Coastal defense systems — surveillance, detection, artillery anti-ship missile systems, electronic warfare

• Territorial sea protection — small, high speed, well-armed craft with low cost

• The United States should provide excess air defense equipment like the Avenger system and the Hawk system and NATO allies should consider providing the Roland system.
• The United States should provide at least six, and as many as twelve, Mark V PT boats, which carry torpedoes as well as the capacity to be equipped with at least fifty, and as many as 100, Hellfire missiles.
• The United States should provide gratis the 1970s Harpoon anti-ship missiles currently sitting in storage.
• The United States should provide the radar and intelligence systems necessary to track the Russian Navy in the Sea of Azov.
• The Administration and Congress should identify funding mechanisms for the long term.

• The United States, NATO, and other Western allies should strongly condemn Russian actions.
• The United States should act bilaterally and through NATO to integrate Ukraine into the NATO/Georgia com-mon maritime picture.
• The United States and NATO should leverage the growing U.S. military presence in Poland to intensify exercises with the Ukrainian military in western Ukraine.
• The United States should work with other allies to facilitate Ukrainian acquisition of unmanned maritime surveillance systems, which would enhance its anti-submarine warfare (ASW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programs (ISR), mine-clearance, and anti-ship capabilities.
• The United States and NATO should make clear that any further illegal seizure of Ukrainian ships or denial of Ukrainian access to the Sea of Azov will be met with additional, more robust sanctions
banning access to U.S./European ports by Russian ships from Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Don River ports.
• NATO and the EU should send a joint fact-finding mission to the Sea of Azov and bolster the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission along the Sea of Azov coast.
• NATO should increase the frequency of maritime patrols in the eastern Black Sea and establish a permanent command element in the Black Sea.
• The United States, United Kingdom, and France should convene the UN Security Council and, if Russia blocks UNSC action, the General Assembly to affirm the right of Ukrainian ships to use the Kerch Strait and Azov Sea without interference from any nation.


Amb. John Herbst, Chair (Atlantic Council)

Nadia K. McConnell, Vice Chair (US-Ukraine Foundation)

Robert A. McConnell, Vice Chair (McConnell and Associates)

Stephen Blank (American Foreign Policy Council)

Gen. Phillip M. Breedlove (USAF [Ret] Former SACEUR)

Ian Brzezinski (Former Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense)

Debra Cagan (Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense)

Michael Carpenter (Former Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense, Penn Biden Center)

Gen. Wesley Clark (USA ([Ret], former SACEUR)

Peter Doran (Center for European Policy Analysis)

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges (Center for European Policy Analysis)

Glen Howard (Jamestown Foundation)

Donald Jensen (Center for European Policy Analysis)

Dr. Phillip Karber (Potomac Foundation)

Herman Pirchner (American Foreign Policy Council)

Amb. Alexander Vershbow (Former NATO Deputy Secretary General)



• Increase U.S. political and diplomatic engagement with Ukrainian government and civil society and
international partners to support implementation of reforms in Ukraine.
• Support and encourage the new president’s and government’s efforts to implement and carry out critical anti-corruption and democratic reforms.
• Deepen political, development and economic cooperation among the U.S., European Union and other international partners of Ukraine to strengthen Ukraine’s democracy, resiliency, fight against corruption
and Russian aggression.
• Urge the U.S. Congress to hold hearings on Ukraine’s democratic reform efforts and play a role in determining conditionality on U.S. assistance and support for Ukraine.
• Utilize the political capital and other relevant resources of the three bilateral working groups (on Security and Countering Russian Aggression, Rule of Law and Humanitarian Issues, and Economy and Energy)
created in November 2018 in the framework of the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Commission.
• Provide robust U.S. government support for Ukraine’s democratic development, including an independent judiciary, strengthened rule of law, human rights and law enforcement.
• Maintain, and, as necessary, increase, U.S. government funding to strengthen Ukraine’s election processes to ensure that elections meet international democratic standards and are free, fair, open and
• Consider providing additional funding to help Ukraine defend its election infrastructure against cyberattacks from Russia and other malign actors.
• Intensify diplomatic and political support for Ukraine’s civil society to strengthen their efforts to combat corruption, monitor government and hold it accountable, and eliminate any attempts to curtail
activists’ lawful activities, cease attacks and pressure on them.
• Maintain, and increase, where appropriate, current levels of U.S. government funding and technical assistance to further develop and strengthen civil society organizations, with a focus on their institutional
development and capacity building.
• Maintain, and increase, where appropriate, support for reform-oriented national political parties.
• Where appropriate, the United States should apply targeted conditionality to both development and new macroeconomic assistance support focused on the passage and implementation of key democratic
and rule of law reforms, including independent and impartial courts, as well as comprehensive reform of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).
• Increase or maintain current levels of U.S. government funding for academic, professional, and people-to-people exchanges through existing — and new — exchange programs with Ukraine.
• Increase or maintain current levels of U.S. government funding for the development of independent and investigative media in Ukraine.
• Continue to fund the Ukrainian Services of the Voice of America and Radio Liberty at levels that enable them to vigorously respond to Russian disinformation as well as the informational shortcomings and
biases of oligarch-controlled media in Ukraine.
• Continue U.S. assistance in support of decentralization in Ukraine, empowering local governments and communities as purveyors and implementers of reforms and more responsive governance.
• Target assistance for programs to improve trust and confidence and reconciliation between citizens and government in eastern Ukraine.


• Build and improve upon the election code passed in July 2019, including electoral framework and administration, campaign conduct and financing, the information environment, and participation.
• Revise laws governing campaign financing to ensure greater transparency and accountability.
• Facilitate voting by IDPs, other internal migrants and citizens registered in Russian-occupied Crimea and the Donbas.
• Implement elections-related recommendations of the OSCE and other international organizations such as the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI), as well as the
roadmap for progress outlined by International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Ukrainian civil society organizations OPORA, Centre UA (particularly the Chesno NGO) and Reanimation Package
of Reforms (RPR).
• Continue to make concrete progress implementing reforms and in strengthening the rule of law, promoting further reform of the judicial system and of law enforcement structures, and more resolutely
combat corruption.
• Strengthen the rule of law by reshuffling tainted judicial self-governance bodies, ensure a transparent and competitive selection process for the court apparatus and take other measures recommended
by civil society and international experts to improve judicial independence, integrity, professionalism and accountability.
• Support efforts to develop the High Anti-Corruption Court and help ensure anti-corruption institutions work together in fostering rule of law, and transparent and accountable government.
• Encourage Ukraine’s pro-reform forces and judiciary system to undertake and implement reforms that would better hold corrupt officials to account.
• Encourage systemic reforms that would reduce opportunities for government officials to engage in corrupt activities.
• Shore up efforts to safeguard the effectiveness of anti-corruption legal tools and institutions, including final passage of the law on illegal enrichment.
• Remove or amend legislation that unduly and unfairly hampers the work of civil society and refrain from further attempts to limit the space for its operation.
• Thoroughly and impartially investigate and punish all instances of killings and other attacks on civil society activists, journalists, and members of minority groups, including Roma.
• Support and do not undermine the work of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), equip it with the ne cessary tools for its effective activity, safeguard existing anticorruption legislation from being
watered down.
• Ensure the transparency, effectiveness and political independence of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO).