U.S. not providing ATACMS missiles to Ukraine right now - General Milley

U.S. not providing ATACMS missiles to Ukraine right now - General Milley

The United States has so far refrained from providing ATACMS long-range missiles to Ukraine, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Friday.

That's according to Defense One, Ukrinform reports.

"Well, there's a policy decision to date not to, so far. And I would never predict anything on the table, off the table, for the future. But from a military standpoint, we have relatively few ATACMS, we do have to make sure that we maintain our own munitions inventories, as well," Milley said.

At the same time, according to him, the range of the weapon is "a little bit of overstating of what an ATACMS can do and can't do." Whereas the GMLRS fires six shots, and ATACMS fires one, he said. Other weapons, such as drones, can also be used for long-range strikes, he added.

Read also: ATACMS to require no additional training for Ukrainians – CinC’s special advisor Rice

Milley noted that it would take the U.S. defense industry "probably several years" to backfill all that has been spent and ramp up production to meet what the Pentagon needs.

Milley warned the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, March 29, that the Ukraine conflict has revealed "the incredible consumption rates of conventional munitions" in wartime.

At the same time, according to Defense One, retired general Ben Hodges, who led U.S. Army Europe from 2014 to 2017, criticized Milley's position, believing that Ukraine would quickly liberate Crimea if it had long-range weapons. According to him, the Biden administration has been reluctant to send ATACMS to Ukraine based on continued fears of escalating the conflict.

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