US likely to send Kiev long-range missiles capable of striking Russia
The ATACMS might be included in the next US military package to Ukraine.
The United States is likely to provide Kiev long-range missiles with a range of up to 300km, making them able to target deep into Russia's territory, ABC News reported on Friday.
A large number of prominent Western diplomats and military officials repeatedly warned of such a move, citing fears that striking deep inside Russia might drag US-led NATO into direct clash with Russian forces and expand the war beyond Ukraine's border.
"I think specific targets [for long-range missiles] in Crimea would be command and control, logistics hubs -- especially ammunition facilities -- and air bases," said Mick Mulroy, an ABC News contributor who served as a CIA officer and deputy assistant secretary of defense.
"They are coming," one official informed on US security assistance plans told the American broadcaster.
Sending Kiev Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) ballistic missiles are "on the table" and are likely to be part of the next military package, another official said, but noted that the final decision has not been made yet and that it could take months before delivering the missiles.
US 'prepared to take risk'
In July of 2022, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington was "prepared to take risk" on supplying Kiev with this technology, but hinted at concerns that might lead to direct conflict with Russia.
"There are certain capabilities the president has said he is not prepared to provide. One of them is long-range missiles, ATACMS, that have a range of 300 kilometers, because he does believe that while a key goal of the United States is to do the needful to support and defend Ukraine, another key goal is to ensure that we do not end up in a circumstance where we are heading down the road towards a third world war," he said at the Aspen Security Forum.
But addressing the same event this year, Sullivan toned down his definitive statement.
"Whether or not we ultimately give ATACMS will be a decision for the president. He has spoken with President Zelenskyy about it. They continue to have that conversation," he said in July.
Invitation to disaster
Addressing concerns that the war in Ukraine and the continued Western weapons assistance will lead to WW3, Former advisor to Pentagon chief and retired US Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor criticized roles played by some Western NATO members, and accused them of escalating the fight through their actions.
In an a YouTube interview hosted by Anders Abjorn, Macgregor raised the alarm on Kiev's possible intentions to draw the West into war with Russia, explaining that this is plausible, given the difficult situation Ukraine is in.
He warned that if Kiev received these missiles, "they are going to launch them at all possible locations," referring to the targeting of Russian soil, in attempts to "provoke a response that will drag the United States and the rest of NATO into a war with Russia."
"Giving this man [Zelenskyy] and his government such weapons" is an invitation to disaster.