Title: President Biden Considers Sending ATACMS Missiles to Ukraine Ahead of Turtle Bay Conference
U.S. officials are currently faced with a time constraint as they deliberate whether President Biden should authorize the transfer of ATACMS missiles to Ukraine before the upcoming Turtle Bay conference. The White House, however, has not ruled out the possibility of providing Ukraine with these advanced missiles, according to Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer.
If approved, the ATACMS missiles would grant Ukraine the capability to strike well beyond Russian defensive positions, potentially reaching deep into Russian territory. Although Ukraine has already received long-range missiles, including the Storm Shadow missiles, generously donated by the United Kingdom, the ATACMS missiles would offer even greater flexibility and increased range.
Ukraine’s focus in the ongoing conflict has primarily been on targeting Russian logistics and transportation hubs. With the potential acquisition of ATACMS missiles, this strategy would be significantly enhanced, further strengthening Ukraine’s position in the conflict.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine plans to discuss the matter with President Biden, harboring hopes to receive the missiles in the autumn. While the U.S. administration has been wary in the past of escalating the conflict by providing ATACMS missiles, officials have expressed a newfound willingness to take risks and offer support to Ukraine, mirroring the examples set by the United Kingdom and France.
Prior concerns from key figures within the administration, such as national security adviser Jake Sullivan, expressed the need to avoid actions that may lead to a major war. Nevertheless, the current administration appears to be more open to providing aid to Ukraine in its struggle against Russia.
In terms of logistics, the Pentagon has faced limitations due to the limited availability of ATACMS missiles within the U.S. inventory. However, the Army’s transition to a new missile system, known as the Precision Strike Missile, which boasts a greater range than the ATACMS, may potentially free up more ATACMS missiles for possible transfer to Ukraine or other nations in need.
As President Biden weighs this crucial decision, the eyes of the international community remain fixed on the outcome. The extent of U.S. support for Ukraine, particularly the potential transfer of ATACMS missiles, could have far-reaching implications for the ongoing conflict in the region.
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