The US informs Ukraine that it will not supply long-range missiles as it has few spares.

Date:

One U.S. official, who like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss delicate military calculations, said the Pentagon is reluctant to send the ATACMS because it wants to keep a specific level of bombs in U.S. stocks.
Kyiv is getting ready for a spring and summer offensive in response to Moscow's attacks in the Donbas and its use of missiles and drones against civilian targets.
According to a source close to the Ukrainian government, Kyiv doesn't expect any additional weapons to be included in the aid package Austin will unveil this week.
Even with the U.S. package and other promises by alliance members, Ukraine wants more privacy when these states say they will help.
During the EU meeting on Thursday, Zelenskyy asked in a formal way for some of Slovakia's MiG-29 fighter planes to be sent to Ukraine

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Tuesday, February 14, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • One U.S. official, who like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss delicate military calculations, said the Pentagon is reluctant to send the ATACMS because it wants to keep a specific level of bombs in U.S. stocks.

  • Kyiv is getting ready for a spring and summer offensive in response to Moscow’s attacks in the Donbas and its use of missiles and drones against civilian targets.

  • According to a source close to the Ukrainian government, Kyiv doesn’t expect any additional weapons to be included in the aid package Austin will unveil this week.

  • Even with the U.S. package and other promises by alliance members, Ukraine wants more privacy when these states say they will help.

  • During the EU meeting on Thursday, Zelenskyy asked in a formal way for some of Slovakia’s MiG-29 fighter planes to be sent to Ukraine.

When figuring out how many weapons and bullets they have, the Pentagon looks at how many planners think they might need to fight an enemy. Since the conflict in Ukraine started, these plans haven’t changed much. They also don’t consider the stocks the US might need in reserve to deal with a weaker Russia or the fact that Ukraine is already in conflict with Russia.

One U.S. official, who like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss delicate military calculations, said the Pentagon is reluctant to send the ATACMS because it wants to keep a specific level of bombs in U.S. stocks.

“With every package, we always think about our own readiness and stockpiles while giving Ukraine what it needs on the battlefield,” a top DoD official said. There are more methods to give Ukraine the tools it needs to hit its targets.

“With every single capability that we provide, whether you’re talking, you know, about HIMARS or you’re taking a particular kind of missile or ammunition, we’re always looking at the availability of our stocks and production considerations, and so that’s true of every capability, and we make decisions accordingly,” said Laura Cooper, the Pentagon’s top policy official for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia issues, in a recent interview.

Over the past 20 years, Lockheed Martin has produced around 4,000 ATACMS in various versions. Some of those missiles were sold to allies, who purchased them for their multiple rocket launcher systems. During the Iraq War and the Persian Gulf War, US soldiers fired about 600 rounds.

One of the people involved in the talks said that one solution Kyiv is thinking about is asking Washington for permission before buying ATACMS from an ally that uses the weapon with money from the US military. South Korea, Poland, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Qatar, and Bahrain are among the countries that use ATACMS.

The other issue with sending ATACMS—that Biden’s team was being too aggressive—remains. However, identical arguments have been made concerning other weaponry, only for the Biden administration to change its mind and send artillery, missile defences, and tanks instead.

Despite Washington’s objections, Ukraine continues to press for more cutting-edge weapons, with ATACMS usually at the top of the list.

In a January video message to the Ukrainian people, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared, “Ukraine needs long-range missiles to deny the occupation the chance to position its missile launchers somewhere far from the front line and target Ukrainian cities.”

The ninth meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a monthly gathering of 50 nations to explore what new military support they might offer Ukraine, will be held in Brussels on Tuesday at a meeting hosted by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley. Kyiv is getting ready for a spring and summer offensive in response to Moscow’s attacks in the Donbas and its use of missiles and drones against civilian targets.

According to a source close to the Ukrainian government, Kyiv doesn’t expect any additional weapons to be included in the aid package Austin will unveil this week. ATACMS or F-16 warplanes will not be included in the drawdowns from existing inventories or contracts for new weapons; instead, the emphasis will be on ammunition, munitions, air defence, and spare parts.

Even with the U.S. package and other promises by alliance members, Ukraine wants more privacy when these states say they will help.

According to one of the people, officials in Kyiv are growing worried that some of the more detailed lists coming out of Washington and other places could run the risk of giving too much information to their Russian adversaries, who can prepare defences or countermeasures if they know what they’ll be up against.

When Zelenskyy met with European Union leaders on Thursday in Brussels to discuss what he needs this year and beyond, he referred to those rising worries.

Zelenskyy just got back from a successful trip to London, where he met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who promised to help train Ukrainian pilots to fly NATO fighter jets. Zelenskyy stated, “We have moved towards solutions concerning the long-range missiles and the movement of our pilots… Additionally, some beneficial agreements are kept private. Our state will know when these things happen, but I don’t want to warn the Russian Federation.

For a long time, the United States and its partners kept some aspects of the capabilities they delivered to Ukraine a secret, hiding some military assistance behind ambiguous catch-all terms like “rocket artillery” or “drones” that might refer to a wide range of different things.

But as the Biden administration works to demonstrate its commitment to Kyiv, the United States has also gone above and beyond what most governments have done in terms of disclosing the size and type of its donations and planned defence contracts with Ukraine.

Others, like Finland, Sweden, Spain, and Canada, are less clear and usually won’t say what tools, weapons, and ammunition they give.

Some countries that want to show they support Ukraine may find the need for more secrecy hard to deal with, mainly since American military money may be used to replace stocks in later years. During the EU meeting on Thursday, Zelenskyy asked in a formal way for some of Slovakia’s MiG-29 fighter planes to be sent to Ukraine.

Heger declared he was prepared to begin discussing the potential trade on Friday. “To deliver the MiGs, the Ukrainian president asked me. The process of discussions may now begin because this official request has been made, Heger said.

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