Media reports: US disagreement over delivery of new munitions to Kyiv

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While some US senators want to provide long-range missiles to Ukraine’s armed forces, others may want to await Kiev’s military plans for deploying the systems first, or are concerned that the Pentagon’s military reserves are running low. The newspaper reported this Daily Beast.

The alleged White House reluctance to send Kyiv ATACMS missiles for the HIMARS missile launchers appears to further complicate the situation. The White House administration sees this possible step as an escalation towards Russia.

So far, the Pentagon has delivered 16 HIMARS highly mobile artillery rocket systems to Ukraine, as well as munitions for guided multiple rocket systems (GMLRS) with a range of about 70 kilometers. However, Kyiv requests ATACMS missiles, which have a range of almost 300 kilometers.

Senator Marco Rubio is concerned that the US does not have a sufficient number of ATACMS, which take a long time to produce. The Pentagon currently has between 1,000 and 3,000 such missiles in its arsenal Daily Beast.

Senator Jacklyn Rosen told the newspaper she wanted to know Ukraine’s strategic plans before considering requests for longer-range munitions. She explained:

“We need to see what their strategic plan is. What we need to do, what Ukraine needs to do and what we are working with them on, is to develop a strategic plan for the future and then make sure we give them the appropriate help , which they need to implement this plan.”

In early June, the newspaper The New York Times reports that Kyiv is leaving its partners in Washington largely in the dark about its strategy. However, last week a senior Ukrainian general revealed the involvement of the US military in directing the HIMARS strikes.

Lt. Col. Garron J. Garn, a spokesman for the US Department of Defense, told Daily Beastthat the US “provides Ukrainians with a set of capabilities appropriate to the struggle in which they are engaged, based on the requirements that Ukrainians have set for us”. Garn added that the ammunition already delivered could help Ukraine to engage “most” of its targets.

However, some Senate Republicans believe US President Joe Biden is reluctant to send even longer-range missiles to Kyiv, largely out of fear of escalating tensions with Russia. Senator Joni Ernst, for example, said the Biden administration was “risk-averse” but too intent on escalation. She explained:

“We have to make sure that we don’t hit Russia.”

So far, the US has delivered 16 HIMARS multiple rocket launcher artillery systems to Ukraine. The UK and Germany have deployed several other rocket launcher systems capable of firing the same munitions.

The Russian military said they had destroyed at least four of the HIMARS launch pads so far and presented photographic evidence of the attacks. Both Kyiv and the Pentagon denied the annihilation, but presented no evidence to support their claims or refute the Russian accounts.

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