Small Wars Journal

Ukraine Needs Large Scale Artillery, Soon, or the War Could be Lost

Sun, 07/03/2022 - 9:37am

Ukraine Needs Large Scale Artillery, Soon, or the War Could be Lost


By Dan Rice, MSeD


Wars, by their nature, are incredibly complicated.   

The war in Ukraine is actually much simpler than most of the wars of the past 75 years. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, Vietnam, Bosnia, and many others were very complicated, with a lot of “gray areas.”  Most of these were civil wars, with warring factions, sectarian violence, and competing internal ideologies.  

The war in Ukraine is much simpler.  It is more 'black and white' than all the other wars since World War II.  It is “good vs evil”.  It is one horrible Army invading a sovereign neighbor and committed atrocities on an industrial scale against an entire civilian population.  It is the world vs. Russia. And it is why NATO was formed in 1949, to counter Russia. 


And it is a ‘just war”.   

The war really boils down to math.  Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, where the population was divided along religious, tribal, sectarian segments, this is a united population.  They have the will to fight.  They are not asking the NATO or the US to commit combat troops.  They are only asking for weapons to kill the common enemy of Russia.  

98% of the population of Ukraine supports the Ukrainian military.   

The majority of the world supports Ukraine against the Russians.   

Ukraine defeated the much larger and superior Russian force in the Battle of Kyiv in one of the greatest upsets in military history.   

Ukraine prior to the war had a GDP of $155 billion, and that has been destroyed.   Russia had a GDP of $1.5 trillion.  The EU had an economy of $17 trillion and the US had an economy of $20 billion.  


Ukraine therefore cannot possibly compete economically with Russia.  Ukraine cannot afford to buy enough weapons to defeat Russia.  The smaller country, illegally invaded by Russia, needs US and NATO support or it will be destroyed forever.  

This is obvious.  But what is the solution?  

Ukraine is way outgunned financially and militarily by the much larger Russia. But Russia is way outgunned financially and militarily by the much larger US and EU economies and militaries.  

The war has now boiled down to an artillery duel.  The Russians have 10X the artillery that Ukraine possesses.   The PRIMARY need is artillery.  

If the west does not act, Ukraine will likely eventually collapse under the weight of the much larger Russian artillery and army.  

The cost of Russia winning this war and destroying Ukrainian culture will be enormous.  Food security. Inflation.  Precedent for China and other aggressors. The rest of Europe will be at risk.  This war is like a tax on the American economy to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.  

On the other hand, a victory of Ukraine over Russia will have the opposite effect.  Peace, security, stability will likely reduce global uncertainty.  Inflation will decline and fuel prices will likely decline.  This will be like a tax break to the American economy.  

Globally the cost of energy should decrease.  Inflation will likely decrease.  The world will likely see an economic boom.  

What is the cost required to obtain this victory?   The world has already given or pledged $50 billion.  


We have given 126 M777 Howitzers.  

We have given 4 MLRS launchers to Ukraine and pledged 4.  The UK has pledged 3 and Germany 3.  Poland alone, has ordered itself 500 MLRS launchers. 
This is the scale that is needed in Ukraine.  

The world is giving a lot of money, but it isn’t always going to the weapons that are needed by Ukraine. We often give them the items that WE want to give them, that a particular member of Congress wants built in their district, such as 18 Navy boats. 

The battle is a land battle out east and in the south.

An MLRS launcher is $5 million.  Ukraine needs 300, or around $1.5 billion.  

A M777 Howitzer is $700,000.  300 Howitzers is $210 million.  Of course ammo plus maintenance is additional.  But these are small numbers relative to what has been given. 

But this is what is the primary need of Ukraine. And we aren’t giving them what they need, and if we do not, the war will be lost.   The US has given $54 billion.   
With the stroke of one pen, enough artillery aid can go to Ukraine to win this war.  

Let’s send them what they need, artillery, in massive numbers, immediately.   


Daniel Rice receives no compensation nor reimbursement from Ukraine and is advocating for Ukraine for philanthropic purposes. 

About the Author(s)

Dan is the President American University Kyiv and Co-President Thayer Leadership and a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  He served his commitment as an Airborne-Ranger qualified Field Artillery officer. In 2004, he voluntarily re-commissioned in the Infantry to serve in Iraq for 13 months.  He has been awarded the Purple Heart, Ranger Tab, Airborne Badge and cited for ‘courage on the field of battle” by his Brigade Commander. 


Dan has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Small Wars Journal, and Chief Executive magazine. In 2013, he published and co-authored his first book, West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage, which features 200 of West Point graduates who have helped shape our nation, including the authorized biographies of over 100 living graduates.. The book received 3 literary awards from the Independent Book Publishers Association plus an award from the Military Society Writers of America (MSWA). Dan has appeared frequently on various news networks including CNN, FOX News, FOX & Friends, Bloomberg TV, NBC, MSNBC, and The Today Show.


Ed.D., ABD, Leadership, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education (graduation expected 2023)

MS.Ed., Leadership & Learning, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education, 2020

M.S., Integrated Marketing Communications, Medill Graduate School, Northwestern University, 2018

M.B.A., Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, 2000

B.S., National Security, United States Military Academy, 1988

Full bio here: