Ukraine War, June 14, 2023: Could ATACMS join Ukrainian counter-offensive?

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1) Alfred Hackensberger, “Jetzt hat Kiew Waffen aus dem Westen und benutzt sie nicht. Warum?, Die Welt, den 14. Juni 2023;

2) Alfred Hackensberger, “Now Kiev has weapons from the West and does not use them. Why?” Die Welt p, June 14, 2023;

Alfred Hackensberger is Die Welt’s Correspondent for war and crisis areas


History and historical clues are often to be fount in the details, A writer with a good historian’s eye is always on the look-out for suchbdetails.

In a review of Ukraine’ use of Western-supplied weapons to date and in its current counter-offensive, Hackensberger mentions in passing one tantalizing rumored detail. He writes:

The counter-offensive as a cat-and-mouse game? A surprising element would fit well with this. A momentum, as Ukraine had already conjured out of its hat in Kharkiv. It is still completely unclear what Kiev is planning. Perhaps Washington will finally give the green light to use the long-range missiles ATACMS, which, according to rumors, are already stored in Ukrainian depots.

It would make great sense to have the ATACMS already stored in depots, together with unmodified HIMARS artillery units capable of firing them–or, alternately, quietly to undo the modifications Biden originally ordered to limit their range when providing them.

That would mean the ATACMS and HIMARS capable of launching them could be quickly integrated into the combine armed forces counter-attack of Ukraine. This would give Ukraine an enormous advantage, with the capability of striking targets up to 180 mikes (300 km) away. That means Ukraine could strike any Russian target in the Crimea, as well as the Kerch Strait Bridge.

The world, and perhaps the future course of the war, awaits a green light from President Joe Biden.

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James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.