Does the shipment of large amounts of a variety of sophisticated weapons to Ukraine carry a high risk for the senders?
A couple of things come to mind:
- Similarity to Afghanistan.
We send weapons to Ukraine because the government is a friend of the West. But the population is ambivalent at best, with most families having members on both sides of the border with Russia. Thus, we just can’t say for sure on which side the next Ukrainian government will be (not even mentioning other possibilities like a coup). If the next government is against us, all the nice weaponry and technology might suddenly be in the wrong hands. Aren’t we afraid of an Afghanistan repeat?
- Russia’s reaction to a significant damage caused by an offensive weapon delivered by the West.
During the Falklands War, the Brits were very upset when one of their ships was sunk by a French-built Exocet missile. If an ally was so upset by that event, what could an adversary’s reaction be, especially in case the damage is caused by the Ukraine, which initiates a war (to recover Crimea, for instance) and sinks a Russian ship with an anti-ship missile delivered by the UK? Wouldn’t such an event put all British ships in the Black Sea (and elsewhere) at risk of, say, a one-for-one retaliation with a fairly strong justification?