There have been many suggestions as to potential US/NATO military responses to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Some are quite stupid, or at least premature: for instance, one suggestion is to abrogate the US pledge not to station nuclear weapons in new NATO states like Poland.
By far the most important and effective military measure that the US can undertake is to provide Ukraine with intelligence. Lots of intelligence. Satellite imagery detailing Russian deployments and movements. Intercepts from Russian tactical and command networks.
That’s great. Question: who gets the information that the AWACS produce? Only NATO? Or is it (or at least some of it) being shared with Ukraine?
Might I suggest something more: deployment of JSTARS aircraft, which provide a picture of deployments on the ground similar to what AWACS provides in the air.
Intelligence is a force multiplier. It would permit the Ukrainians to get inside the Russian OODA loop: forewarned is forearmed. And it would help make up for the Ukrainians’ relative weaknesses in armor, infantry, and combat air power. Though the disparities are somewhat overstated by comparing overall Russian and Ukrainian numbers, because there is no way that Russia can possibly deploy the entirety of its forces against Ukraine. Given the advantages of the defense, and Russia’s serious logistical limitations, intelligence could be the difference maker.
Perhaps we are doing this already. I surely hope so. And if we are doing it, keeping it quiet is the right thing to do.