Brown Joins Colleagues in Bipartisan Letter Encouraging Biden Administration to Expedite Sale of Tanks, Military Equipment to Poland



WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 4, 2022 – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), James Risch (R-ID), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Mike Crapo (R-ID) today urged the Biden administration to accelerate the sale of M1A2 SEPv3 tanks and advanced armor packages to Poland. The letter also asks the Biden Administration to engage with additional NATO allies to determine if the Russian Federation’s brutal act of war requires the U.S to develop and execute any additional sales to strengthen the military capabilities of other NATO members.
“Dramatically strengthening Poland’s ground forces will also strengthen NATO’s collective defensive capabilities and serve as a powerful deterrent against the Russian Federation launching additional military incursions in Europe beyond Ukraine,” the Senators wrote. “Vladimir Putin is brutal dictator and thug who seeks to intimidate and bully members of the NATO Alliance, the European Union and all members of the international community that respect the rules-based democratic international system we built after World War II. Now is the time for NATO to demonstrate strength, unity and resolve in the face of Putin’s war of aggression.”
 
The Senators have a strong interest in M1A2 SEPv3 capability because of the roles their respective states play in operating and producing these tanks and training our Polish partners: Illinois National Guardsmen have trained extensively with members of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland, members of the Idaho National Guard have coordinated training with Polish ground forces on the operation of the M1A2 SEPv3 tank and the tanks are produced in Ohio.
 
Full text of the letter is available here and below.
Dear President Biden:
We commend your administration’s recent determination approving the forthcoming foreign military sale (FMS) of 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and related equipment totaling approximately $6 billion to a critical North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally, Poland, and we write to request that you immediately direct the U.S. Departments of State (State) and Defense (DoD) to take any steps they can to accelerate the FMS execution, expediting the delivery of the M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and other equipment to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland to the maximum extent possible.
It is our understanding that Poland has also expressed an interest in acquiring additional platforms to bolster its defense. As such, we also strongly urge you to direct State and DoD to work proactively with the Government of Poland to identify any other outstanding needs and swiftly develop, approve and execute FMS that provides any additional M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams Main Battle Tanks or additional equipment that Poland’s Ministry of National Defence requests to meet the rapidly evolving threat posed by the Russian Federation.
We also want to ensure Poland is receiving the most advanced and best protected equipment possible. Moving forward, we urge careful consideration of close allies’ access to advanced armor packages and support joint investment in future armor package development with these close allies, if the DoD saw it strategically advantageous to do so. Increasing the number of allies that use our systems would create equipment and supply commonality with the U.S., increasing supply resilience and decreasing costs for us all. It would also increase interoperability between U.S. forces and our allies—an important endeavor that the events of the past week should prove is more important than ever. We stand prepared to support these FMS packages to Poland as required.
Illinois National Guardsmen have trained extensively with members of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland through the State Partnership Program. Additionally, members of the Idaho National Guard have done an excellent job coordinating training with Polish ground forces on the operation of the M1A2 SEPv3 tank. We take pride in the skills and resolve of this key ally and the strong relationships that our home states’ servicemembers have formed with their overseas partners. It is vital that we continue to invest in these partnerships and act decisively to bolster the capabilities of Polish ground forces in the face of Vladimir Putin’s unjustified and unprovoked attack on a neighboring sovereign democracy, Ukraine. Dramatically strengthening Poland’s ground forces will also strengthen NATO’s collective defensive capabilities and serve as a powerful deterrent against the Russian Federation launching additional military incursions in Europe beyond Ukraine.
Finally, we ask that you direct State and DoD to engage with additional NATO allies to determine if the Russian Federation’s brutal act of war requires the United States to develop and execute any additional FMS packages necessary to bolster the military capabilities and capacity of NATO members that Vladimir Putin may target. We should take seriously NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s observation that, “The Kremlin’s objectives are not limited to Ukraine.” The United States must demonstrate we are ready to help our NATO allies decisively meet any threat.
Vladimir Putin is brutal dictator and thug who seeks to intimidate and bully members of the NATO Alliance, the European Union and all members of the international community that respect the rules-based democratic international system we built after World War II. Now is the time for NATO to demonstrate strength, unity and resolve in the face of Putin’s war of aggression.
 Sincerely,