Portman, Shaheen, Wicker, Durbin Urge President Biden to Appoint a Ukraine Security Assistance Coordinator

April 14, 2022 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to appoint a Ukraine Security Assistance Coordinator. In light of the continued fighting in Ukraine, as the United States continues to send a historic amount of aid to assist Ukraine in their defense, the senators believe a coordinator would help synchronize efforts within our government and improve our response time in sending aid to Europe.

“Even after their initial defeat, Russia’s ongoing military operations are an urgent call to re-assess how the United States can quickly and creatively provide Ukraine with the defense articles it needs to defend itself. The Ukraine Security Assistance Coordinator’s primary mission would be to lead the interagency effort in assessing Ukraine’s defense needs while de-conflicting overlapping areas of jurisdiction between the Department of State and the Department of Defense. This person would also serve as the chief liaison between the United States Government and our allies and partners abroad in matters relating to the transfer of existing stocks and assessment of partner capabilities, such as aircraft, heavy tanks, and sophisticated weapons that could be made available to Ukraine,” wrote the senators.

The full letter can be read here or below.

Dear President Biden:

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its seventh week after Ukraine’s armed forces successfully repelled the initial Russian campaign targeting Kyiv with the goal of overthrowing President Zelenskyy’s government. Recent reports of Russian Federation troops repositioning to the Donbas indicate this conflict is not over and there will likely be much more fighting in the future, which will require our continued support to the Ukrainian armed forces. In order to reinforce Ukraine’s battlefield victories and help it decisively defeat the Russian aggressors we need to focus on improving how we synchronize our whole of government approach to arming Ukraine. This effort requires one individual to coordinate our efforts and we urge you to immediately appoint a Ukraine Security Assistance Coordinator for this purpose.

Even after their initial defeat, Russia’s ongoing military operations are an urgent call to re-assess how the United States can quickly and creatively provide Ukraine with the defense articles it needs to defend itself. The Ukraine Security Assistance Coordinator’s primary mission would be to lead the interagency effort in assessing Ukraine’s defense needs while de-conflicting overlapping areas of jurisdiction between the Department of State and the Department of Defense. This person would also serve as the chief liaison between the United States Government and our allies and partners abroad in matters relating to the transfer of existing stocks and assessment of partner capabilities, such as aircraft, heavy tanks, and sophisticated weapons that could be made available to Ukraine.

Additionally, this coordinator would be able to serve as a liaison to our domestic industry partners that are being called on to not only ensure the steady flow of defense articles to Ukraine but also to replenish United States and allied stockpiles. Finally, the Ukraine Security Assistance Coordinator would develop and execute a whole of government response regarding the capability and capacity requirements of the armed forces of Ukraine, including any necessary updates to the resource plan for security assistance as required in Section 1236 of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 116-283).

We commend your administration thus far in providing historic levels of support to Ukraine and working to ensure that these needs are met promptly. We also recognize that more can be done, and appointing a Ukraine Security Assistance Coordinator would streamline the overall effort while increasing transparency. It is imperative that we continue to provide our Ukrainian partners with the defense materiel they need to successfully defend their freedom and their homeland from Russia’s invasion.

We appreciate your consideration of this request and look forward to continued engagement to ensure Ukraine has the tools and resources to win this war decisively.

Sincerely,

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