White House Considers Sending Long-Range Missiles to Ukraine

(RightWing.org) – In February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his country’s military into Ukraine and began the debate among Western nations on what kind of aid to give the defenders including weapons to allow them to go on the offensive in the war. President Joe Biden and his advisors have continually refused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request for longer-range missiles that could potentially penetrate deep enough to be used against targets inside the borders of sovereign Russian territory, for fear of causing an escalation that could end up expanding the regional fighting.

However, reports from the recently concluded G20 summit in New Delhi, India, could signal that the United States is set to reverse that policy.

No Becoming a Yes?

Zelenskyy has continually asked the Pentagon to supply his forces with the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) to give them the ability to deliver a blow well behind the front lines. Now, at least, some administration officials are signaling that Biden may be taking this issue under consideration again and possibly providing the system to Ukraine.

During a September 10 press gaggle aboard Air Force One, Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer was asked by one reporter whether or not Biden had approved the missile system for delivery to Ukraine. Instead of an outright denial, he said that the administration is “not taking anything off the tableā€¦ we will get Ukraine the capabilities that will enable it to succeed on the battlefield.”

Reuters is reporting that three officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, have confirmed that Biden is on the verge of sending the ATACMS that have been requested. According to the specification sheet on the US Army website, the base M39 model has a maximum range of 165 km (~102 miles) and is capable of carrying a payload of 950 bomblets. The intended targets for the missile could include air defense artillery sites, command-and-control complexes, and helicopter forward operating bases, amongst others.

Ukrainian Offensive Movements Are Slow Going

The Ukrainian counteroffensive that was launched in June has developed slowly and Zelenskyy told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that “we waited too long [to get it going].” He implied that the delay was due in part to the fact that promised weapons systems from the United States or the European Union are often delayed far past the splashy headlines announcing them.

The Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) is reporting that several sources have told them that the glacier-like pace of the Ukrainian forces is due to their soldiers tending to be inexperienced and that they’re trying to dislodge a Russian adversary that is “protected by miles of dug-in fortifications and minefields.” They also say that anonymous Pentagon officials spoke of their annoyance over the lack of progress, “and the [Ukrainian] military leadership’s spurning of US strategic and tactical advice.

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