LIMA — Just a day after filing his petition for the Democratic nomination to the Senate, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland, cast politics aside and joined Republican Rep. Dave Joyce in urging President Joseph R. Biden to increase production of the M1A2 tank.
This recent occasion of bipartisanship came about after Russian aggression toward Poland, a staunch U.S. ally in that partthat is part of NATO. Prominent members of Congress asked the Department of Defense to fast-track sales and delivery of some-250 Abrams tanks to Poland to provide the NATO ally with armaments to thwart further Russian aggression in the region.
Ryan and Joyce jointly penned a letter addressed to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken Tuesday.
In the letter, the congressmen mention Russia amassing more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, and the dire consequences non-action may bring to a critical American partner that region.
“As a productive member of the NATO Alliance, Poland represents the Eastern Flank in protecting U.S. national security from continued Russian hostility,” the letter reads.
In an exclusive email interview with The Lima News Tuesday afternoon before releasing the letter, Ryan emphasized immediate action as the best deterrent to further escalation at the Ukrainian border already overwhelmed by Russian troops.
Ryan described the far superior Lima-built Abrams tank as a neutralizer to modern Russian tanks if the United States delivers on an order of 250 tanks, despite the Russians having more tanks in the region.
“As Russia continues its aggression against Ukraine, we must do everything to ensure our key NATO allies have the resources to defend the region and protect the United States national security interests,” Ryan said.
The congressman also said providing Poland with the Abrams tank maximizes the United States’ multi-national battlegroups’ deterrence effect by, “providing superior precision fires, greater maneuverability and combat capabilities,” Ryan said.
“As Russia continues its aggression against Ukraine, we must do everything in our power to ensure our key NATO allies have the resources they need to defend the region and protect U. S. national security interests,”
Ryan finished the discussion with The Lima News with a robust final plea to the White House that encapsulates what he believes Biden must do to mend a fractured reputation abroad and to rebuild trust among the country’s allies.
“The Biden Administration must move faster to supply Poland with Abrams tanks to counter further aggression and demonstrate our commitment to NATO allies,” Ryan stated.
Reach Joe Gilroy on Twitter @TLNJoeGilroy