Kelly and Duckworth NYT Op-ed: ‘We’ve Been on the Front Lines. We Know What Ukraine Needs.’

Today, Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) — both combat veterans and members of the Senate Armed Services Committee — penned an opinion column in the New York Times urging continued support for Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia.     

Kelly and Duckworth highlighted the critical role that U.S. military aid has played for Ukraine’s military and illustrated the importance of adapting U.S. support to match Ukraine’s evolving needs on the battlefield. 

Click here to read the full op-ed. See key excerpts below: 

On the importance of adapting military aid to battlefield conditions:  

We must remain committed to keeping Ukraine supplied with the missiles, artillery shells and other munitions that at this stage in the conflict can be the difference between a commander’s being able to approve an attack or not. And we have to do that while analyzing where new capabilities, like modern fighter jets, can give Ukraine the edge. 

War is dynamic. It requires us to look around the next corner. We heard from President Volodymyr Zelensky and met with other Ukrainian officials, and it was clear to us that Ukraine needs not just guns and ammunition but also other, newer capabilities that can decisively alter the direction of the fast-evolving conflict. 

On the stakes of the war in Ukraine:  

What matters is that the United States continue to lead in backing Kyiv — because even as the war grinds on into its second year, the stakes haven’t lowered an inch. The Ukrainians are now several weeks into their counteroffensive, hoping that with the correct tactics, determination and Western hardware, they can retake their country. Vladimir Putin is conscripting his citizens, seemingly banking on the belief that he can outlast the West and conquer Ukraine, then move on to his next objective. It is vital that he fail. 

On our commitment to Ukraine: 

The two of us know what it means to sacrifice for our country, but even we have never experienced what it is to fight on your own soil, with your own families and neighborhoods in harm’s way, to defend the ability of your children and their children to inherit a free homeland. Now as much as ever, we must remain steadfast in our belief in the Ukrainian people and undeterred in our work to get them the support they need.