“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.”  – Ronald Reagan.

The Wisdom of The Gipper

When Vladimir Putin started this war in February, I’m not quite sure if he entirely anticipated the actual cost to his country in blood and treasure. He likely thought his massive army would roll in, squash a Ukrainian attempt at fighting back, and begin flying the Russian flag over Ukraine. Instead, depending on who you ask, the death toll of Russian soldiers in Ukraine is nearing 30,000, and that’s in fewer than four months of combat.

On the other hand, the US is counting our costs in the war thus far in dollars and cents. According to the US Department of Defense, as of writing (June 20, 2022), the cost of weaponry sent is recorded to be about $5.6 billion. In addition, we’ve sent billions more in humanitarian aid. As a note, they refer to the money as “security assistance.”


The guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville fires a Harpoon/Stand-Off Land Attack Missile from its fantail in support of the Valiant Shield exercise in the Philippine Sea, Sept. 23, 2018. The Pentagon plans to provide Ukraine with two Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems. Image Credit: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sarah Myers

The Smaller Stuff

Just because something doesn’t cost millions of dollars doesn’t mean it’s not essential in combat. The US sent over 75,000 sets of body armor and helmets to Ukrainian fighting forces. We have also sent thousands of night vision devices, thermal imagery systems, and other military optics. Don’t forget the tons of medical supplies and equipment we’ve sent along with nuclear, biological, and chemical protective pieces we’ve pulled from our stockpiles.

Then there are the 7,000 or so small arms of various types along with 50 million rounds of ammunition. Then, on top of that, We’ve sent more than a million grenades of different types of mortars and artillery rounds.

Aircraft and Radars

Mi-17 variant. Note the rounded fuselage, large landing gear, and porthole windows. Image Credit: ainonline.com

The US has agreed to send 20 Russian Mi-17 Hip military helicopters. How did we get ahold of 20 Russian military helicopters? Glad you asked. I wrote a piece all about that here. The Hips are transport helicopters than can be armed with cannons and rockets. They are capable of being used in attack or close air support roles.

To help defend against mortars, rockets, and artillery, we’re sending 22 highly mobile AN/TPQ-36 counter artillery radars. For more significant threats from the air, we’ve sent four AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel air surveillance radars capable of identifying approaching hostile aircraft (helicopters, fixed-wing, drones) and missiles. Finally, for good measure, we’ve tossed in some electronic radar jamming equipment.