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US lawmakers ask Biden to provide ATACMS to Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek June 10, 2023 12:50 AM 2 min read
Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) is fired during a joint exercise between the United Staes and South Korea, Oct. 5, 2022. (Photo credit: South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images
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A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is calling on President Joe Biden to provide Ukraine with the long-range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), Politico reported on June 8.

The supply of missiles with a 300-kilometer reach to Kyiv has been a hotly debated topic among U.S. politicians for some time.

In July 2022, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Washington is not ready to provide ATACMS, fearing this move could spiral into World War III.

The White House resolve may be weakening, as Biden said in May this year that ATACMS are "still in play."

The spring of 2023 saw the U.S. agree that its partners can provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. The White House has previously opposed such a move.

Politico cited Jason Crow, the U.S. Representative leading the group, that American officials are growing less concerned that supplying Ukraine with weapons will lead to an escalation in the war.

Retired US General Petraeus: ‘Now it’s inevitable – we should give the ATACMS’
The Kyiv Independent interviewed retired U.S. General David Petraeus on the sidelines of a security conference held by the Cipher Brief in Kyiv on May 31. Petraeus is a four-star U.S. general who has commanded two wars. He has headed multinational forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has

Crow has nevertheless acknowledged that the U.S. has a limited number of missiles but added that the Pentagon plans to eventually move to more advanced weaponry.

Ukraine has been asking the U.S. government to provide ATACMS, most recently when President Volodymyr Zelensky met U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham on May 27 in Kyiv.

Washington has so far refused, but Kyiv managed to acquire Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles with a range of over 250 kilometers from the U.K.

Critics argue that allies’ reluctance to supply ATACMS missiles to Ukraine may prevent Kyiv from liberating the rest of Ukrainian territory. A shortage of long-range weapons may also prolong Russia’s war of aggression and result in thousands of deaths.

Editorial: Arming Ukraine won’t escalate war. Reluctance to do so will
First it was the tanks, now it’s the fighter jets. As Ukraine braces for another possible major Russian offensive in the upcoming weeks, Western leaders are yet again coming up with a variety of excuses why this time, they cannot justify supplying F-16 and F-35 fighter jets to Ukraine.

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