Lawmakers Urge U.S. to Let Ukraine Hit Russia with American Weapons


Leaders and members of the House Intelligence Committee have urged the Biden administration to permit Ukraine to strike Russia using weapons provided by the U.S. under specific conditions.

Notably, these lawmakers want President Biden to grant Ukraine permission to target Russia with American-provided weaponry:

Our Ukrainian allies are requesting permission to use certain weapons provided by the United States to conduct operations on strategic targets inside Russian and Russian-controlled territory. According to a May 14th report by Politico, the Biden Administration’s current policy is handcuffing Ukraine’s ability to push back on Russian forces near Kharkiv with U.S.-origin weapons. Ukrainian officials have watched for weeks as Russian troops have attacked Ukrainian communities from Russian territory with impunity. Ukrainians have been unable to defend themselves due to the Administration’s current policy. It is essential the Biden Administration allows Ukraine’s military leaders an ability to conduct a full spectrum of operations necessary to respond to Russia’s unprovoked attack on their sovereign land. [Emphasis added]

The lawmakers also urge the Biden administration to train more F-16 pilots to “replace Ukraine’s aging and declining fleet of MiG-29s, Su-24s, and Su-25s.”

“According to the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. is on track to graduate only 12 pilots from F-16 training by the end of 2024. Graduating 12 Ukrainian pilots is simply insufficient. Ukraine is at war and slots for Ukraine must be prioritized over other foreign countries,” Turner, Himes, and other members wrote.

“To meet this continued and unrelenting threat, our allies have requested upwards of seven (7) additional Patriot batteries to protect large urban areas in Ukraine,” they added.

They summarized their letter to Austin with the following statement:

The Ukrainian people continue to demonstrate a strong willingness to resist Russian efforts to take sovereign Ukrainian territory by force. Recent reports indicate that aid to Ukraine is not arriving in sufficient quantities and in a timely manner, exacerbating the dire situation on the ground. Ukrainian officials have expressed grave concerns, stating that the situation is worse than ever. We ask that you work with us to expedite resources as our friends in Ukraine continue to defend their territory against Russia’s brutal assault and aggression.

NATO allies are moving closer to deploying troops into Ukraine for the purpose of training Ukrainian forces, the New York Times reported in May.

Gen. Charles Q Brown Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicated that NATO deployment of trainers to Ukraine will eventually happen. Zelensky has also asserted that NATO aircraft should intercept Russian missiles within Ukrainian airspace.

Despite Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks on securing “Democracy” during a mid-May speech in Ukraine, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky has remained in power despite his term in office expiring on May 20.

Sean Moran
Sean Moran
Policy/Congressional Reporter focusing on health care, energy, and tech.

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