- The US is likely to send Ukraine long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems, also known as ATACMS, according to officials who spoke to ABC News.1
- The report comes as the US has gradually increased the lethality of weapons it has committed to providing Ukraine, having approved the transfer of controversial cluster munitions, F-16 fighter jets, and, most recently, armor-piercing depleted uranium shells.2
- Ukraine has consistently called for ATACMS, but was repeatedly rebuffed by the Biden admin. In July 2022, Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, said Pres. Joe Biden isn't prepared to send the weapon 'to ensure that we do not end up in a circumstance where we are heading down the road towards a third world war.'1
- Another reason provided was due to the shortage of ATACMS in America's own stockpiles, possibly leaving it vulnerable, but as time went on, the language around sending Ukraine the weapon has softened. In May, Biden said the option was 'still in play.'3
- Now, while a decision has yet to be finalized, it appears that a policy reversal is on the way. 'They are coming,' one US official told ABC News. They are 'on the table' and likely to be included in the next security assistance package, a second official said.1
- ATACMS, similar to the Storm Shadow missiles that France and Britain sent Ukraine earlier in the year, have a range of up to 190 miles. They are produced by the US arms firm Lockheed Martin.1
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Atlantic. The US' reluctance to provide ATACMS has come out of a mistaken fear that it would lead to an escalation of the conflict — France and Britain provided similar weapons without a major Russian reaction. Fortunately, Biden seems to be noticing that and will soon reverse course.
- Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Tass. Despite Russia's warnings, the US keeps on provoking by sending more and more advanced weaponry with expanded capabilities. Talk of sending ATACMS weapons is deeply disturbing and could lead to disastrous and unpredictable consequences.