• Nearly 20 former US generals, ambassadors, and officials signed an op-ed urging Biden to send more weaponry to Ukraine.
  • They wrote Ukraine needs longer-range munitions if it is to stand a chance at defeating Russia.
  • Delaying important weapons deliveries to avoid confrontation will only lead to a more difficult situation later, they said. 

A collection of former US ambassadors and generals, as well as former officials from the State Department and the Pentagon, urged the Biden administration to immediately send more advanced weaponry to Ukraine, arguing that delays risk a more difficult and dangerous situation with Russia later if it is left unchecked.

In a Wednesday op-ed published in The Hill, nearly 20 former senior officers and officials wrote that Ukraine needs more long-range weaponry to fend off Russian advancements and disrupt the military's ammunition storage, fuel sources, and supplies. 

The signatories, which includes former ambassadors to Ukraine and top US generals in Europe, said that the Biden administration should send Ukraine ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System). These missiles can strike targets almost 200 miles away and be fired from the US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), which have already been used to great effect in Ukraine.

The much-celebrated HIMARS currently in Ukrainian hands fire precision-guided missiles that can strike targets 50 miles away. Former generals and officials argue that Ukraine needs longer-range missiles to strike Russian targets in Crimea — the annexed peninsula behind frontlines where Ukrainian forces appear to have attacked Russian positions in the rear multiple times in August. 

Ukraine also needs a consistent resupply of ammunition, spare parts for artillery platforms, and short- and medium-range air defense systems to fight Russian missile and air strikes, wrote the signatories, among which were two former generals who served as Supreme Allied Commander Europe. 

If the West doesn't deliver the necessary weapons to Ukraine, they wrote, the world risks a more dangerous Russia down the road. 

"We should not fool ourselves," they wrote. "We may think that each day we delay providing Ukraine the weapons it needs to win, we are avoiding a confrontation with the Kremlin."

"To the contrary," they continued, "we are merely increasing the probability that we will face that danger on less favorable grounds. The smart and prudent move is to stop Putin's aggressive designs in Ukraine, and to do so now, when it will make a difference."  

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