US must provide more powerful HIMARS missiles to Ukraine: expert

The United States should send Ukraine a more powerful high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) to help it fight Russia, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman said Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Poutine launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February, its stated goals being to “liberate” the breakaway Donbass region and rid the Ukrainian government of Nazis, a claim that has been dismissed in Ukraine, at least in part because of the president Volodymyr Zelensky to be Jewish.

After the invasion, several Western countries provided Ukraine with military aid as well as humanitarian aid.

US should supply Ukraine with more powerful HIMARS: Vindman
On Monday, retired US Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman called on the United States to send more powerful HIMARS to Ukraine to further bolster its defense efforts against Russia. Above, Vindman is seen outside the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC on October 29, 2019.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Starting in June, the United States began sending HIMARS to this Eastern European country. The rocket system is built by Lockheed Martin and is long-range, mobile, and fires with precision. In particular, the units have a range of about 50 milesnearly double the range of the M777 howitzers, the Western-made weapon Ukraine used before HIMARS.

The rocket system was touted as a game changer for the Ukrainians, who countered the Russian troops more effectively than many experts had originally expected, limiting the fighting to just the easternmost part of Ukraine more than five months after the start of the war .

However, in an essay for the magazine Foreign Affairs published on Monday, Vindman called on the United States to send the Ukrainian military longer-range HIMARS.

“After months of deliberation, the Biden administration finally agreed to transfer high-mobility artillery rocket systems known as HIMARS, but refused to provide the longer-range munitions needed to strike capabilities. long-range strike and military stockpiles of Russia,” he wrote.

Vindman pointed to munitions that have the capability to travel up to 190 miles. He added that the United States was “hesitant” to send medium and long-range surface-to-air missiles that would target Russian aircraft, missiles, “and in the worst case, delivery systems for any possible nuclear weapons. tactical”.

Such missiles could more easily hit Russia itself, a prospect that has prompted warnings from Russian politicians of retaliation against Western countries.

Retired Colonel Vindman said that if Ukraine had longer-range weapons, it would be able to force Russia to the negotiating table faster— and that it would not undermine “funding for worst-case scenario war plans against Russia.”

Vindman was born in what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Republic before immigrating to the United States as a child. He was the White House National Security Council’s top Ukrainian expert before being fired by the former US president. donald trump after testifying against him in an impeachment trial.

Vindman’s comments come about a week after the White House announced its latest $550 million military aid to Ukrainewhich includes more ammunition for HIMARS after Russia said its military destroyed more than 100 American-made missiles during a strike against a Ukrainian ammunition depot. On Friday, Reuters reported that the Biden administration was about to announce another billion dollar package including HIMARS ammunition.

Newsweek contacted the Department of Defense for comment.

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