WASHINGTON — The White House announced Thursday it has appointed a retired three-star general who previously helped coordinate the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition to manage the steadily increasing influx of military assistance for Ukraine.
A National Security Council spokesperson confirmed to Defense News retired Army Lt. Gen. Terry Wolff will “help coordinate the security assistance the U.S. and our partners are providing to Ukraine, which they are using every day to defend their country.”
A bipartisan group of four high-profile senators in recent days pushed President Joe Biden to appoint a Ukraine aid coordinator to “synchronize our whole of government approach to arming Ukraine.”
“This person would also serve as the chief liaison between the United States government and our allies and partners abroad in matters relating to the transfer of existing stocks and assessment of partner capabilities, such as aircraft, heavy tanks and sophisticated weapons that could be made available to Ukraine,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, wrote in a letter with Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat.
The No. 2 Republican and Democrat on the Armed Services Committee — Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire respectively — also signed the letter.
They noted a coordinator “would be able to serve as a liaison to our domestic industry partners that are being called on to not only ensure the steady flow of defense articles to Ukraine but also to replenish United States and allied stockpiles.”
Wolff became the deputy special presidential envoy for the counter-Islamic State coalition in late 2015, and previously served as the NSC’s Iraq and Afghanistan director.
He retired in 2014, after 34 years of military service, as the Joint Staff’s director of strategic plans and policy. While in uniform, he’d served as U.S. Army Europe’s deputy commander and before that commanded the Army’s 1st Armored Division, based in Germany.
The news comes as Biden announced Thursday he will send $800 million more in military aid to help Ukraine and that he will ask Congress for more authority to send weapons from U.S. military supplies. Including the latest announcement, the U.S. has pledged $3.4 billion in security assistance to Ukrainian forces since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Bryant Harris is the Congress reporter for Defense News. He has covered the intersection of U.S. foreign policy and national security in Washington since 2014. He previously wrote for Foreign Policy, Al-Monitor, Al Jazeera English and IPS News.
Joe Gould is senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry.