Small Wars Journal

The One Simple Act Congress Can Take to Help Ukraine Win 

Wed, 04/26/2023 - 7:01pm

The One Simple Act Congress Can Take to Help Ukraine Win


by Daniel Rice


As the global community anticipates a Ukrainian counter-offensive as spring sets in, it is imperative that the United States Congress and Department of Defense take decisive action to implement strategic changes that could save thousands of Ukrainian lives. Ukraine is not merely defending its own sovereignty, but also acting on behalf of Europe against a long-feared adversary.


A straightforward yet highly effective action that Congress can and should take is to provide Ukraine with more lethal ammunition for the 155mm Howitzers and HIMARS rocket launchers, two powerful weapons platforms that the United States has already supplied. These systems have played a significant role in inflicting casualties on the Russian forces since their arrival in June.


The process of providing these enhanced munitions would be swift and uncomplicated, requiring no additional training for Ukrainian troops. The ammunition arrives in the same boxes and can be easily exchanged for the current, less lethal rounds. It is crucial to note that the primary obstacle to providing Ukraine with these more effective munitions- is political- rather than military.


By supplying Ukraine with the same ammunition, the United States would provide to NATO forces or even to Taiwan in a similar situation, we can demonstrate our commitment to their defense and send a clear message to both Russia and China. This enhanced ammunition would greatly increase the lethality of both the 155mm Howitzer and the HIMARS systems. For the former, a switch from High Explosive (HE) to DPICM rounds is all that is needed. For HIMARS, the United States can provide ATACMS for deep targets and DPICM rockets for front line troops, both of which are conventional weapons.


It is essential that we cease making excuses for delaying the provision of this lethal aid. While the West has made commendable efforts thus far, these delays continue to cost Ukrainian lives. By hesitating to provide the same weaponry we would offer to our NATO allies, we inadvertently contribute to Putin's war of attrition and risk depleting Ukraine's military resources.


The United States Congress and Department of Defense must take immediate action to provide Ukraine with the appropriate ammunition for the 155mm Howitzers and HIMARS weapons platforms. This support can be deployed to the battlefield within a week, potentially saving thousands of lives. We encourage readers to contact their members of Congress and demand the provision of these critical resources to the Ukrainian forces defending their nation and the security of Europe.

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:


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