Disagreements over supplying Kiev with long-range rockets for the system cut across party lines, the Daily Beast reports
FILE PHOTO: US military personnel stand alongside a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in Saudi Arabia, March 6, 2022. © AFP / Fayez Nureldine
While some US senators want to send long-range missiles to the Ukrainian forces, others would like to see military plans first, or are worried about Pentagon stockpiles running low, the Daily Beast has reported.
The White House’s supposed reluctance to send ATACMS missiles for HIMARS rocket launchers is apparently further complicating matters, because the move might be seen as an escalation by Russia.
So far, the Pentagon has sent Ukraine 16 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), along with Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) munitions with a range of about 70km. Kiev has been asking for Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) projectiles, however, which have a range of almost 300km.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is concerned that the US doesn’t have that many ATACMS, which take a long time to manufacture. The Pentagon currently has between 1,000 and 3,000 such missiles in its inventory, according to the Beast.
Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada) told the outlet she wanted to see Ukraine’s strategic plans before considering requests for longer-range ammunition.
“We have to see what their strategic plan is,” said Rosen. “What we have to do, what Ukraine has to do, and what we’re working with them to do is to develop a strategic plan moving forward and then trying to be sure that we get them the appropriate help that they need in order to execute that plan,” she added.