Wall Street Journal Editorial Highlights Portman Speech on Need to Provide Long-Range Artillery Weapons to Ukraine

June 20, 2022 | Portman Difference

Wall Street Journal Editorial Highlights Portman Speech on Need to Provide Long-Range Artillery Weapons to Ukraine


WASHINGTON, D.C.  In an editorial this weekend, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board highlighted Senator Portman’s recent remarks on the Senate floor regarding the need for the U.S. to provide more and better artillery rocket systems to Ukraine.

The Journal specifically pointed to Portman’s speech on the Senate floor last week where he discussed the issue. During that speech, Portman noted the progress Russia is making in eastern Ukraine and said it is imperative that the United States step up to provide more and better capability to Ukraine to blunt Russia’s offensive.

Excerpts from the editorial are below. Click here to read the entire editorial.

“But the U.S. hasn’t provided nearly enough launchers to blunt the Russian equipment advantage. Ohio Republican Rob Portman, who is co-chairman of the Senate Ukraine caucus, on the Senate floor this week offered a blunt assessment of the facts on the ground: Brutal fighting continues in Severodonetsk, where the Russians are making grinding progress, and the Luhansk region could fall within weeks if the Ukrainians can’t get longer-range artillery.

“‘Because the Russians have more artillery than the Ukrainians and their weapons have longer ranges,’ the Senator explained, ‘the Russian forces concentrate massive firepower on Ukrainian positions at distances, which the Ukrainian forces cannot reach.’ Then the Russians ‘move in. They destroy territory. They occupy it.’ The ‘disparity in the quality and quantity of artillery’ has put Ukraine at ‘a distinct disadvantage.’

“How many rocket systems do our friends need? A Ukrainian military adviser told the Guardian earlier this month: ‘If we get 60’ systems ‘then the Russians will lose all ability to advance anywhere, they will be stopped dead in their tracks…’

“As Sen. Portman noted, the U.S. is also withholding rockets with the longest range. The ostensible reason is that the Biden Team worries about Ukrainians striking into Russian territory. But the Ukrainians have promised only to defend their sovereign land, and withholding the weapons suggests we don’t trust them.

“The stakes are high, and not only for Ukraine. If the Russian military mops up the Donbas, Vladimir Putin will have grabbed more land that he can sell at home as a victory. He can then regroup and push southwest toward Odessa, robbing the Ukrainians of their coast line and building a bridge to Transnistria in Moldova. Europe will be less secure, and Mr. Biden will bear some responsibility.

“Skeptics of U.S. aid to Ukraine like to say we can’t support the country forever. But that’s all the more reason to get Kyiv the right weapons sooner and in enough numbers so Ukraine can stop and then roll back Russian advances. That’s the only way to get Mr. Putin to the negotiating table with any hope of a cease-fire on Ukrainian terms favorable to NATO.”