4 Republicans Urge President Biden to Supply Ukraine With Long-Range Missiles

Kos Temenes
By Kos Temenes
September 17, 2023Congress
4 Republicans Urge President Biden to Supply Ukraine With Long-Range Missiles
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) questions U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland as he testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about oversight of the Department of Justice in Washington, on Oct. 27, 2021. (Tasos Katopodis-Pool/Getty Images)

A group of four Senate Republicans urged President Joe Biden to provide Ukraine with long-range missiles to enhance Ukraine’s war efforts against Russia. The request was made to the President in a letter dated Sept. 16.

The letter was compiled by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C).

According to the letter, only a small amount of U.S. military stockpiles would be required to achieve this.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to visit the White House this week. The meeting between President Biden and Mr. Zelenskyy will likely result in more weapons deliveries to Ukraine. It could potentially determine whether the United States would supply Ukraine with Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, that Ukraine has long requested, according to Bloomberg.

However, ATACMS are not on the list of topics for discussion, an unnamed Biden administration official told Bloomberg.

“We urge you to immediately send MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine,” they wrote. “Additional delay will only further undermine U.S. national security interests and extend this conflict,” according to the letter, which was also shared by Mr. Cotton on the X social media platform.

“Ukraine has significantly degraded Russian combat power and only requires a small portion of our stockpiled ATACMS,” the letter goes on to say.

Ukraine’s efforts to regain Russian-occupied territory have been moving at a slow pace.

Nonetheless, providing Ukraine with Lockheed Martin ATACMS could enhance possibilities for a successful counteroffensive and beyond, in light of some recent breakthroughs by Ukraine’s military, according to the senators.

The letter underlines the urgency of the matter, as stated by the senators, as there are reportedly only 30 days left in the typical fighting season.

Since the start of the conflict in February 2022, the United States has provided more than $40 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.

However, the request may be overshadowed by dissenting voices from some House Republicans, who threatened to block negotiations on the Sept. 30 federal budget deadline in the event of the budget including supplying more military aid to Ukraine.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sept. 15 that there is strong bipartisan support among lawmakers with regard to a joint effort to continue to support Ukraine, Bloomberg reported. He added that while support is as strong as it was a year ago, there is a difference between this year’s Congress and last year’s Congress.

“We’ll have to contend with that as we go through the discussions that will continue in the days ahead on how to get Ukraine the resources it needs,” Sullivan said.

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