Washington D.C. — U.S. Representatives Mike Rogers, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Mike Turner, Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Lisa McClain are urging Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to expedite the Congressional Notification, Foreign Military Sale, and transfer of M1A2 Abrams tanks to Poland.
As Russia continues efforts to destabilize eastern Europe the members made clear the Biden administration must “respond by expeditiously reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank.”
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Secretary Austin:
We write to you today concerning Russian efforts to destabilize eastern Europe and the need to respond by expeditiously reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank. Specifically, and to this end, we urge you to expedite the Congressional Notification, Foreign Military Sale, and transfer of M1A2 Abrams tanks to our steadfast ally Poland. This request has been pending since the summer of 2021 and we believe that it should be accelerated to the maximum extent possible, to help deter Russian aggression.
Additionally, and as you are no doubt aware, language was included in the House Report of the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), stating “Poland has become the anchor of NATO’s deterrence strategy on the Eastern European flank.... (and) spends 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product on defense, 20 percent of which is spent on major equipment.” This is due in no small part to the commitment of the Government of Poland to enhance its defensive capabilities and modernize its armor capabilities through the rapid acquisition of no fewer than 250 M1A2 Abrams tanks. Expediating the provision of this capability, especially as Russia builds-up forces around Ukraine, would send an important message to both NATO and the Kremlin.
Further, helping to equip Poland with the M1A2 tank would serve to displace Soviet-era equipment in the Polish force structure, and thus enhance interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces, while simultaneously strengthening the U.S. industrial base. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter of national security and for your immediate consideration of this appeal.