Biden Administration Announces New $2.2 Billion Aid Package to Ukraine
The White House authorized a $2.2 billion military aid package to Ukraine that includes funds to purchase the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) rockets, sophisticated new weaponry with a range of nearly 100 miles.
Pentagon press secretary Brigadier General Patrick S. Ryder noted the new weaponry would help the Ukrainian military “conduct operations in defense of their country, and to take back their sovereign territory in Russian-occupied areas.”
The new rockets may significantly change the balance of power on the battlefield with Russia. Up until this point, the Ukrainian army has been reliant on American-made HIMARS launchers with roughly half the range.
President Joe Biden has faced increasing pressure to ratchet up support for Ukraine and transfer increasingly advanced weaponry. Russia’s “special military operation” is set to hit its one-year mark later this February.
“GLSBD should have been approved last fall,” the House Armed Services chairman Mike Rogers (R., Ala.) noted in a recent statement. “Every day it’s not approved is a day it’s delayed getting it into the hands of a Ukrainian ready to kill a Russia.”
Despite the new military aid package, the Biden administration has refused to transfer the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), with a range of almost 200 miles, to Ukraine despite several requests.
“Ukraine needs long-range missiles to prevent (the Russian) occupiers from placing their missile launchers somewhere far from the front line and destroying Ukrainian cities with them,” Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky during a speech in late January.
“We will do everything we can to ensure that our partners open up this vital supply, including the delivery of ATACMS and other similar weapons,”
Still, the White House has remained firm, ruling out providing Ukraine with either ATACMS or F-16 fighter jets in the latest aid package.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, America has sent approximately $27 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine, according to Reuters.