Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02)
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Jared Golden (ME-02), Ted W. Lieu (CA-36), and William R. Keating (MA-09) wrote a letter urging the Biden-Harris Administration to provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to win its war against Russia. In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the Members urged officials to send Ukraine long-range tactical missiles systems to help Ukraine push back on Russian aggression and end the conflict.
The full text of the letter is as follows:
Dear Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin,
Thank you for the Administration’s work in providing Ukraine with the military assistance it needs to defend itself against Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion. We are the authors of H. Res. 488, which called on the Administration to immediately provide Ukraine with the Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS). We are pleased the Administration has now provided Ukraine with the anti-personnel and anti-materiel (APAM) variant of ATACMS. However, these missiles have a shorter range than the unitary-warhead variant of ATACMS, which the Administration has not yet provided. We are writing to request that the Biden Administration swiftly provide Ukraine with these longer-range ATACMS to help Ukraine win this war.Given reports of continued devastating war crimes committed by Russia’s long-range weapons, it’s more important than ever that we send Ukraine the longer-range ATACMS as soon as possible.
In October, Ukrainian forces, allegedly using APAM-variant ATACMS provided by the United States, launched successful attacks on several targets in Berdyansk and Luhansk. Ukraine reportedly destroyed nine helicopters, an anti-aircraft missile launcher, an ammunition warehouse, airfield runways, and other military equipment. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy later stated that these shorter-range ATACMS had “proven themselves,” and even a Russian military blogger admitted that these attacks were “one of the most serious blows of all time…if not the most serious.”
These shorter-range, APAM-variant ATACMS that were sent to Ukraine have a maximum range of approximately 100 miles. However, longer-range, unitary warhead ATACMS can reach a maximum distance of approximately 180 miles. Given the current position of the frontlines in Ukraine, Ukrainian forces could use these longer-range missiles to strike anywhere in Russian-occupied areas, including Crimea, causing meaningful disruption to Russian military operations in Ukraine all without putting Ukrainian troops at grave risk. Even a handful of longer-range ATACMS could cause disruption.
In fact, we have already seen the impact that longer-range missiles can have on the battlefield in Ukraine. Storm Shadow and SCALP missiles, provided to Ukraine by the United Kingdom and France, respectively, have ranges in excess of 150 miles and have proved to be devastating against Russian military targets, including against Russian naval vessels and senior leaders in Crimea. U.S. unitary-warhead ATACMS would complement the efforts of our European allies and bolster Ukraine’s arsenal of long-range strike capabilities.
Providing Ukraine with longer-range, unitary-warheads ATACMS would contribute to a quicker Ukrainian victory, thus preventing further loss of life and reducing the cost of this war on Ukraine, the United States, and Europe. We respectfully request that the Biden Administration send longer-range ATACMS to Ukraine without delay. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.