Ukraine War, June 29, 2023: The Telegraph reports that the U.S. is close to approving long-range ATACMS rockets for HIMARS in Ukraine

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1) Nick Allen, “US ‘close to’ approving longest range missiles yet to Ukraine; Ukraine has been pushing for ATACMS missiles which could strike at the heart of Russia’s fragile supply lines,” The Telegraph, June 29,2023 (9:12 pm);


The recent headlines have focused on Yevgeny Prgozhin’s rebellion and turmoil in Russian leadership circles.

Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine grinds on.

Nonetheless, a major strategic development–U.S. supply of the long-range (180 mikes or 300 km) ATACMS rockets launched by the HIMARS artillery units–is reported by The Telegraph to be close to receiving a green light from President Joe Biden.

The supply of the ATACMS to Ukraine, together with undoing the modifications the U.S. made to the HIMARS artillery units it has supplied to Ukraine–limiting the range of HIMARS rockets to 50 miles–could be a game-changer in the ground war in Ukraine.

Biden is reportedly responding to intense pressures from allies.

If the ATACMS are released to Ukraine along with any restrictions which may exist on their use in the Crimea, the Ukrainian counter-offensive could achieve a sudden and decisive new momentum.

Much will depend on how quickly the ATACMS can be deployed to the front lines in Ukraine, and how quickly the previous modifications limiting tbe range of the HIMARS artillery units can be undone.

Speed is required.  In the past, the U.S. and some NATO allies have moved at a desultory pace, which has probably cost thousands of Ukrainian lives. Hopefully, this strategic error will not be repeated with the ATACMS.

The other major strategic decision that is required if Ukraine is to successfully expel the Russian invaders is to release Ukraine from any commitments it was obliged to make (to receive weapons from the West) which prohibit their use against targets in Russia.

As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, Ukraine is authorized under international law and Article 51 of the U.N. Charter to strike military targets in Russia from which missiles and drones are being launched against its territory, and to attack supply lines and facilities in Russia which are supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

If Ukraine and the West are to succeed in expelling Russian forces frm allof Ukraine, i.e., from within its internationally-recognized borders of 1991, Ukraine must be allowed to defend itself without one hand tied behind its back.

Ukraine should be permitted by the U.S. and other countries to use all the arms supplied to it by the West in full exercise of its right of self-defense under international law and Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.  That includes striking targets in Russia and naval vessels in or aircraft over Russia, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, and anywhere else from where they are attacking Ukraine.

The Trenchant Observer


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