The war in Ukraine has counterintuitively affected the country’s defense strategy. In the face of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and fomented uprisings in eastern provinces, Ukraine has accelerated its defense strategy with the help of western and NATO-donated weaponry. This has enabled Ukrainian forces to conduct an effective counterattack reconquering roughly 3700 square kilometers of territory. Additionally, Ukrainian leaders have experimented with innovative technology to gain a military edge, such as deploying drones and cyberwarfare tactics. As a result, Ukraine is now better equipped to protect itself against further Russian aggression.

As for the US, the 2022 National Defense Strategy used to be unmistakably clear: China is the core goal. Nevertheless, as the Russia-Ukraine war continues and the Defense Department maintains its investment in the cause, the unexpected outcome of the war in Ukraine gives the Defense Department a better chance of surpassing its primary strategic rival, China.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused upheaval in Europe that has global repercussions, impacting US interests. President Zelenskyy of Ukraine has stated that the US security aid to the country is an “investment.” This is due to the Biden administration’s defense of democracy from authoritarian aggression and their assistance in eliminating the Russian military. However, the impact of US assistance goes beyond that.

The Department of Defense’s current initiatives regarding Ukraine encourage the growth of capability and organizational adaptation that will be essential to stave off a potential future war between China and Taiwan. By providing arms and intelligence to a nation presently in conflict, the US military is honing its skills to do the same for Taiwan. Thus, the Pentagon must maintain this momentum and formalize these changes instead of disregarding them. Ultimately, the advantages of supporting Ukraine will exceed the expenses even when exclusively considering the ramifications of the war upon Taiwan.