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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Giving guns never works

With the increase in violence within Ukraine, President Obama is considering supplying weapons to ?Ukrainian government troops.

This would be a jump in our current status of supplying warfare items such as night vision goggles. The increase in violence is seen as giving credence to accusations of Russia supplying the pro-Russian rebels within the country.

Though many Americans are calling for the president to fight back against Russian expansion, I’m a little wary of jumping on the “let’s kill us some Russians” bandwagon.

First off, arming countries has never worked out for us in the long run. While there have been many, many instances of this tactic blowing up in our face, the best example would be Operation Cyclone.

A 10-year campaign beginning in 1979, Operation Cyclone worked to arm and train tens of thousands of Islamist Mujahideen to fight against Soviet Troops in Afghanistan. This campaign was so successful the Afghanis were able to reverse the slaughtering of ?their people.

Though this is all well and good, when the war was finished America shifted her attention elsewhere, as she usually does.

But guns don’t just disappear after you give them to someone, and training isn’t instantly forgotten when the trainers don’t need you to have it anymore.

This is exactly what happened to the Islamist groups we armed in Afghanistan. Many of these “freedom fighters” would go on to form the Taliban, the group we would eventually fight with during the occupation of ?Afghanistan in 2002.

Oops. Guess we didn’t see that one coming.

This is only focusing on the negative effects from Ukraine. The backlash of arming Ukrainian nationalists against Russian-backed rebels would be huge. We have absolutely no idea how Russia would react.

Now, would Putin instantly run to his bunker to launch a nuclear attack on America if we armed Ukraine? Of course not. He has just as much to lose from a nuclear war as we do. But that doesn’t mean Russia isn’t a country on edge right now.

Remember how the news was talking about the plummeting of the Russian ruble a while back?

Yeah, it still hasn’t gotten any better. The Russian Ruble now has the buying power of around 0.015 U.S. dollars. Think about that for a second. Think about how little you can do with one and a half pennies. Now think about what it’d be like if that dollar in your pocket was worth that much. Wouldn’t you be a little on edge?

So with all this, the question remains as to what to do about the Ukrainian problem. The answer, I think, is to supply humanitarian needs.

With no end in sight for the fighting, general supplies are going to continue to plummet.

The Ukrainian people are going to need food and clean water, and I think this is what we should be supplying.

Will giving the Ukrainian fighters food anger Russia? Sure it will, but they can’t honestly get on the world stage and demand we stop feeding starving people.

It may seem like a half measure, but at a certain point America needs to realize playing God has a funny way of not ?working out for us.

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