Intel Lawmakers Urge Biden to Allow Ukraine to Strike Russia with U.S.-Provided Weapons

Ukrainian military fires from a multiple rocket launcher at Russian positions in the Khark
AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

House Intelligence Committee leaders and members on Monday called for the Biden administration to allow Ukraine to strike Russia with American provided weapons under certain conditions.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Michael Turner (R-OH), Ranking Member Jim Himes (D-CT), Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA), and other committee lawmakers wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, urging the Biden administration to convey their “strong support” for the Ukrainians’ request during their protracted conflict with Russia.

Most notably, the intelligence committee lawmakers want Biden to allow Ukraine to strike Russia with American provided weapons:

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 want 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 the other congressmen 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,” the lawmakers added.

They concluded in their letter to Austin:

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 getting closer to sending troops into Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces, the New York Times reported in May.

Gen. Charles Q Brown Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that NATO deployment of trainers to Ukraine will happen eventually. Zelensky has also said that NATO planes should shoot down Russian missiles in Ukrainian airspace.

Even though Secretary of State Antony Blinken has waxed poetic about securing “Democracy” at a mid-May speech in Ukraine, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky has continued to stay in power despite his term in office expired on May 20.

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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