Senators Call for U.S. to Give Ukraine F-16s and ATACMS

One intelligence specialist says that besides their accuracy and range, the weapons are useful for the “abject fear it would project into the hearts of Russian battle commanders.”

by Jason Jay Smart | January 27, 2023


A bipartisan trio of senators have called for the U.S. to bolster military support for Ukraine even more by sending ATCAMS long-range artillery systems and F-16 fighter jets.

Welcoming President Biden’s recent announcement about the delivery of Abrams heavy tanks, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Lindsey Graham (R-Tennessee), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said even more advanced weapons systems were still needed to “erode Russia’s capability to continue fighting in Ukraine.”

In a statement released on Friday Jan. 27, they said: “While the tanks represent a tremendous upgrade in Ukraine’s military, we urge the Biden Administration and our allies to send more long range artillery, such as ATACMS, and fighter aircraft such as F-16s and MiG-29s.

“The combination of tanks, fighter aircraft, and ATACMS will help Ukraine confront the upcoming Russian offensive and go on offense in both the East and the South in an attempt to further erode Russia’s capability to continue fighting in Ukraine.

“Let’s give the Ukrainians everything they need to win – now.”

As the months have passed, Washington and European nations appear to have increasingly warmed to the idea of giving Ukraine weapons that could be used for offensive purposes, not merely defensive needs – something that was difficult to imagine earlier.

In 2014, when Russia initially invaded Ukraine, Washington was ambivalent about sending Kyiv Javelin anti-tank missiles, which President Petro Poroshenko had requested when speaking to a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

Today, the conversation has moved to shipping more tanks, missiles, and fighter jets. Immediately following Berlin’s decision to send Kyiv Leopard tanks earlier this week, a number of other countries, including the U.S., Canada, and Poland, announced their intentions to send tanks to Ukraine.

Countries falling into line together to express solidarity with Ukraine is intended as an outward sign, namely to Moscow, that the West’s support for Ukraine will not falter and that the West is ready to work jointly to thwart Russian aggression.

Despite the increasing support for offensive weapons, some of the items topping Ukraine’s wish list have not been sent – including ATACAMS long-range missiles and F-16 fighter jets.

Malcolm Nance, who has worked in military intelligence for nearly 40 years and served in the Foreign Legion in Ukraine, explained that the ATACAMS are vital for Ukraine by comparing them to the HIMARS, which have been widely viewed as a gamechanger in the war. 

He likened the HIMARS or M270 multiple launch system to a surgeon’s scalpel that cuts the life and supply lines of the Russians and eliminates Russian troops with murderous accuracy.

“Many of these missions have killed hundreds of Russians at once,” Nance said. “However, the range of these systems is only about 100 kilometers. With the ATACAMS, the Ukrainians could fire on Russian points with that same amount of precision, but from about 350 kilometers away, plus a lot more fire power. It would open Russian positions to attack in every part of Ukraine.”

The intelligence analyst highlighted that it “will be within Ukraine’s possibility to take out rail lines and bridges leading into Ukraine from Russia. Ukraine’s ability to wipe-out the Kerch Bridge would become realistic with the ATACAMS.”

An intangible benefit of the longer ranges of these weapons systems, is the “abject fear it would project into the hearts of Russian battle commanders. Using Ukraine’s incredible human intelligence and America’s geospatial precision – every Russian commander in Ukraine would become a target.

“It would allow for the rapid destruction of Russia’s fuel and ammo dumps and would completely change this war,” Nance explained.

Jason Jay Smart, Ph.D., is a political adviser who has lived and worked in Ukraine, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and throughout Latin America. Due to his work with the democratic opposition to Pres. Vladimir Putin, Smart was persona non grata, for life, by Russia in 2010; Despite this, his collaboration with the Russian opposition continues to this day. His Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD all relate to political science/international relations in the post-Soviet Space. He regularly gives interviews in English, Russian, Ukrainian, and Spanish. His websites can be found at / / / Twitter: @OfficeJJSmart


    • I wish I had the health, skills, and guts he does, to be able to say I’m done talking about this, I’m joining up to do something about it. But I know we’ve raised awareness here. There are many reputable places to give financially, humanitarian or crowdfunding for military means and needs. However I still have that draw on my soul calling me to the battle.

      • Yes, he’s a very brave man. Well into middle age by the look of him and a black man coming from the US establishment. Since orcs, like all putinazis, are racist degenerates, he would have expected absolutely abhorrent treatment from them if he fell into their filthy hands.

      • Agreed. I went through that in November of 2013 when my wife told me I couldn’t go to the Maidan. She knows I’m extremely violent so, I started blogging. Its definitely not the same but its better than nothing.

        • I’m like you, Red, I can sometimes get easily riled up. 😉💥. I went to the Maidan several times, but each time I got there, it was during a “peaceful” phase. Anyhow, going there was still a captivating endeavor. It was a once in a lifetime experience. It was there that I saw for the first time the determination and burning desire in the eyes of the Ukrainian people to be free from constant oppression, mafia land and its bought and paid for corrupt scum in politics.

      • I know that writing here (and elsewhere) is not the same as fighting, but I think that it is also an important facet of the entire picture that makes this war. I can imagine that we’ve changed a few minds on the need to help Ukraine and to defeat mafia land. We have a global readership. We’ve also encouraged a few to donate money, time and expertise to Ukraine to help the country stem this evil tide. And, believe me when I tell you that the Ukrainian military has more than enough volunteers. Ukraine has difficulty to properly equip and train all those who want to fight. They are being quite choosy. You can take my word for it.
        Sir Bill, your desire to fight for Ukraine honors you very much!

  1. 100% agree and suggest we stress that since the Iranians are arming Russia, this will only level the playing field.

    Note: Strong and mighty Russia should not feel threatened in anyway by such a move. They will exist forever. This would not be an existential threat at all in any way. (Except for those where they legally have no right to be)

    Bi-partisan support! Nice. I will consider both parties next election then.

  2. “Let’s give the Ukrainians everything they need to win – now.”

    This line of thinking should be found in the White House. It should be not only in Ukraine’s interest to win the war, but ours too. And, this as fast as possible.
    I hate it very much when someone is stubbornly scared, especially when this someone has the most powerful military at his disposal that this planet has ever seen.

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