Over the last four months, the Biden administration has assured us that it is only sending “defensive weapons” to Ukraine. It’s a claim that’s become more difficult to believe as more sophisticated systems are announced seemingly every week that do not require further congressional approval.
Take the most recent example. The White House announced a fresh $1 billion last week for 18 more Howitzers, more long-range missiles for the HIMARS rocket systems announced earlier this month, and a new weapon, Harpoon anti-ship missiles. These are systems that can strike at the more than 20 Russian naval vessels accused of blockading Ukraine’s eastern ports.
If critics were debating the wisdom of sending HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) with medium-range missiles in the context of falling further into a proxy war with Russia, the idea of sending weapons that can sink Russian ships seems to stretch the idea of “defensive” into incredulity.
Yet that debate isn’t even happening. Aside from funds that might be used for Foreign Military Sales (FMS), which Congress can try to block after review, the White House and Pentagon can draw down on the $40 billion approved last month using a number of streams that do not need lawmakers’ approval. This means that those HIMARS can at some point be outfitted with longer range missiles (150 miles versus 45 miles).
Read the full article in The Spectator World.