FOUN published its Priority Recommendations for US Assistance to Ukraine 2020 late last year.

FOUN published its Priority Recommendations for US Assistance to Ukraine 2020 late last year.

The Recommendations include specific recommendations from all three current FOUN task forces – National Security, Economic Security and Democracy and Civil Society.

Since publication there has been an on-going effort to present and discuss the Recommendations with the most relevant Members of Congress and certain offices within the Executive Branch.

Beginning last year FOUN began having in-person meetings with Members of Congress and congressional staff to present and discuss the Recommendations. Significant delegations of FOUN task forces met with Chairman William Keating (D-Massachusetts), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Europe, staffers of several committees including the Armed Services Committees, White House staff and, indeed, a few offices deeply engaged in the impeachment exercise.

Among the FOUN members who participated in these in-person meetings have been Anders Aslund, Steven Blank, Debra Cagan, Michael Carpenter, Jaroslav Dutkewych, John Herbst, Jonathan Katz, Orest Deychakiwsky, Bob McConnell, David Rigsby, and Sandy Vershbow.

Most recently the FOUN efforts have faced the Coronavirus realities and face-to-face meetings are being replaced by conference call meetings, mostly with congressional staff working from home offices.

The situation presents logistical challenges including needing to limit the number of FOUN on the calls.  Nevertheless, once coordinated and scheduled our FOUN meetings have been most worthwhile. All those reached have in front of them the full Recommendations and are offered the opportunity to communicate with any task force or task force member not on the particular call.

Just last week we had very productive meetings with The Speaker’s National Security Policy Advisor, Wyndee Parker, Democratic Counsel on the Senate Armed Services Committee; Bill Monahan; Senator Portman’s National Security Policy Advisor Colonel Wayne Jones and Elliot Cofer; and Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services Adam Smith’s Counsel Barron YoungSmith together with his counterpart from the Republican side, Kimberly Lehn.

Among other things FOUN were able to share thoughts on the evolving situation in Ukraine, the on-going legislative process regarding the FY2021 authorization and appropriation bills with obvious focus on the FOUN recommendations.

I believe it worth noting, as has been noted in other forums, we have not seen any diminution of the bipartisan support for Ukraine a great example of that was the call with the House Committee on Armed Services, it was their suggestion to have both “sides” on the call together.

More such telephone conferences are scheduled and being scheduled.

In addition to the FOUN advancing its recommendations to our government there was a significant representation of FOUN at the recent US-Ukraine Security Dialogue XI: Taking Measure of

Ukraine’s Most Pressing Security Requirements.

Steven Blank moderated a panel which included Glenn Howard (both of the Task Force on national Security) on “Preparing for the Most Compelling Threats to the Security of Ukraine (Contemplating a Black Sea Strategy).”

Michael Carpenter (National Security Task Force) made a widely reported presentation of the panel on “Accelerating the Reform of Ukraine’s Security Cadre Development Capabilities & Military-Industrial Complex.”

Jonathan Katz (Democracy & Civil Society Task Force) moderated a panel that included John Herbst (National Security Task Force) on “Optimizing the Outcome of the New Normandy Talks (and preparing for Possible Pitfalls).”

Herman Pirchner (National Security Task Force) moderated a panel on “Developing a Comprehensive Strategy to Counter Russian Information Warfare.”

And Bob McConnell (Coordinator of FOUN outreach) moderated a discussion led Phillip Karber (National Security Task Force) on “Properly Handling Russian ‘State Sponsored Terrorist Activity’ on Ukrainian Soil.”