One of the “major asks” from the Ukrainians was more SA-10 and SA-11 air defence systems to ward off Russian drones and planes, Hecker said, at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group conference this month at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
It is up to Europe’s allies to get the missiles to Kyiv since the United States neither manufactures nor employs them.
The American-built F-16 fighter plane, which Hecker stated wouldn’t arrive for two to three years after any political decision was made to send them due to training and logistical obstacles, is one thing that is unlikely to make it to Ukraine anytime soon. Although the general stated “people are starting to look more long term” about how to prepare Ukraine for a war that will likely last years, not months, he would not bet on sending F-16s out. According to POLITICO’s report from last week, policymakers are in the early stages of debating whether to dispatch the jets and Patriot missile batteries to Ukraine.
However, all of the assistance depends on the decisions made by politicians in Washington and other European capitals, which causes delays in some of the weapons that the Ukrainians have insisted are essential for their survival for months. Germany is under increasing pressure to allow other nations to supply artillery systems and Leopard tanks to Ukraine, something Berlin has so far refused to do.
Supplies to Ukraine May Be Too Limited To Be Effective
Similar apprehension can be found within the White House, which has decided against sending longer-range missiles for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems out of concern that Ukraine would start targeting targets inside Russia. The maximum range of current missiles is roughly 50 miles, as opposed to the 180 miles of the weapons Ukraine has been demanding.
These self-imposed restrictions on supplies have angered Kyiv and others who want Ukraine to be fully and promptly equipped to take on Russian forces more forcefully. At the very least, according to Hecker, “Ukraine has what they need to survive and fight and try to protect its sovereign country without turning this into World War III.”
However, he stressed that Americans are not choosing targets for Ukraine. The general did confirm that the U.S. is giving Ukraine “time-sensitive” intelligence.
Hecker added that the U.S. specifically provided information on the locations of Russian supply depots and logistics centres within Ukraine. He explained that it was up to them to decide whether or not to target it after letting them know where some of this equipment was.
Those objectives were behind the front lines and out of Ukrainian troops’ artillery’s range in the early stages of the conflict, making it difficult for them to hit them. He added, “But then they got HIMARS.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network