The US House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a resolution calling on the administration of President Joe Biden to immediately send long-range missiles to Ukraine.
The resolution specifically mentioned Lockheed Martin’s Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), which would allow Kyiv’s forces to strike Russian targets at distances up to 200 miles (321 kilometers).
It also calls for the transfer of weapon systems with long-range capabilities to the war-torn nation, saying failure to do so would only prolong the conflict and inflict more damage.
“ATACMS are critical to Ukraine’s success in the counteroffensive,” committee chairman Michael McCaul said. “It’s been my criticism all along — if we’re going to be helping them, either go all in or get out.”
The Biden administration has long resisted sending long-range weapons to Kyiv over fears that they could be used to attack deep into Russian territory and further escalate the conflict.
The hearing on whether or not to send long-range missiles to Ukraine did not go as smoothly as the committee hoped because of some conservative lawmakers who opposed the move.
Rep. Warren Davidson said he was not in favor of the resolution because there was reportedly no “defined mission” behind the US support for Ukraine.
He also expressed concerns that there might be a “larger goal” in Washington to grind down Moscow and initiate regime change there.
“When you don’t define the mission, no one can be held accountable,” he stressed. “We owe it to the [American] men and women, if we commit to a war — even a proxy war — that we define the mission before we commit to the mission.”
‘A Major Boost’
Military analysts are claiming that long-range rockets could be a strategic asset and “a major boost” for Kyiv in its counteroffensive against Russian forces.
So far, the US-supplied weapon with the longest range in the Ukrainian inventory is the HIMARS rocket, which can hit targets up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) away.
It was also reported before that Washington secretly altered the HIMARS to prevent them from firing long-range projectiles into Russia.
While the US has been adamant about the proposal, France and the UK already confirmed that they are providing the war-torn country with long-range missiles that can strike up to 155 miles (249 kilometers) away.