Amidst mounting doubts over the war’s ongoing funding, President Biden allegedly informed Volodymyr Zelensky last week at a White House meeting that the United States will supply Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles.
Along with the $325 million in military help, Biden allegedly promised to send ATACMS missiles to the war-torn country during a meeting with Zelensky this week. The Ukrainian troops would greatly benefit from the long-range missiles, which can strike targets up to 190 miles away. At the moment, they only have missiles that can strike at a range of about 150 miles.
Kyiv has been asking Washington for a long time for the Pentagon to provide ATACMS. However, the government of Joe Biden has been afraid to make the move because they don’t want to make the war with Russia worse. A report from the Wall Street Journal quoting U.S. sources says that the Ukrainians have promised not to utilize the long-range missiles to attack Russian land.
Reports say that the Defense Department was also worried that giving ATACMS to Kyiv could dangerously cut off U.S. sources of the missiles, which could put the military at a serious disadvantage if there is another war in Asia or the Middle East.
The story says that these worries were eased when the Biden administration decided to let cluster bombs be sent to Ukraine. This meant that more ATACMS could be sent to the country since some of them have cluster fixtures already installed. The kind of weapons that explode in the air to rain down on a large area has been outlawed by more than 100 countries because they fail so often and often burst later, putting people in danger.
Reports say that Biden promised Zelensky ATACMS rockets, but neither the White House nor the Pentagon have officially confirmed this yet. From the stories, it’s also not clear when the U.S. is going to begin sending the missiles if the deal is confirmed.
Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, said that the administration was “not ruling it out in the future.” He also said that President Biden is “always talking to his own military, to his counterparts in Europe, as well as to the Ukrainians personally regarding what is required on the battlefield at any given point of the war.”
Sullivan also said that the White House would “make sure that we can meet our own future deterrence and defense needs.”