By: Jy Hung Ong
Last Saturday, the Biden administration continued to refuse to give Ukraine ATACMs, which are 190-mile range missiles. The United States has a limited supply of ATACMs, and the Pentagon believes that giving Ukraine enough missiles would decrease America’s readiness for other wars.
Based on the public’s disappointment about Ukraine’s slow conflict against Russia and Biden’s newly ambiguous voice, many believe the U.S. may give in and provide Ukraine the long-range missiles.
In late May, Biden supposedly changed his answer of “no”, for the first time saying that the decision was “still in play.” Two weeks later, Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, said that he and Biden had met and spoken about the missiles at the NATO summit in Lithuania. However, no change was made.
Ukraine said that the ATACMs are crucial in removing command posts and other important areas way beyond the Russian front lines. For example, they could be used to destroy the 12-mile Kerch Bridge and the Russian naval base Sevastopol.
“Without long-range weapons, it is difficult not only to carry out an offensive mission but also to conduct a defensive operation,” Zelensky said.
Kyiv, specifically, asks for hundreds of ATACMs. Ukraine appealed to supporters in Congress — many having visited the country and met Zelensky and other government officials — and U.S. lawmakers are making louder and louder demands for the Biden administration to give Ukraine the missiles.
“Last month, the House Armed Services Committee included funds to send ATACMS to Ukraine in its draft of the defense budget, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a bipartisan resolution calling for the United States to ‘immediately’ provide the missiles,” said the authors of an article for the Washington Post.
“There’s no reason to give Ukraine just enough to bleed but not enough to win. If we’re going to be helping them, either go all in or get out,” Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Foreign Affair Committee, said. However, the U.S. government is scared to provide the ATACMs, as it could result in World War III.
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