Crossing Red Lines

The Biden administration inches the U.S. down 'the road towards a third world war'


Justice Politics

Last week Ukrainian President Zelensky visited the U.S. and Canada seeking more money and weapons. As reported by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos at Responsible Statecraft (Sept. 22), the Biden administration agreed to give Ukraine long-range missiles in the “upcoming weeks.” The warheads in question, called ATACMs, were previously considered to be too escalatory for the conflict, and as they use controversial cluster munitions, they represent the crossing of another old “red line” for the administration.

Readers are encouraged to read Beaucar Vlahos’s article, linked below, but first these highlights:

  • Ukraine “has wanted ATACMs (Army Tactical Missile Systems ) because they have a range of 190 miles which would allow its military to target Russian assets inside Russian territory, including Russia-occupied Crimea. Currently they have American HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems), which have a range of about 50 miles.”
  • Even “HIMARs were once a ‘red line’ for the Biden administration, which feared they would be too escalatory. The weapons were transferred nonetheless starting in June 2022. In July 2022, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters, at the suggestion that ATACMs would be next, that such a transfer would risk putting the U.S. and Russia on ‘the road towards a third world war.’”
  • The list of crossed “red lines” includes the transfer of “Abrams tanks, another red line, and approving the transfer of F-16s, another red line, from European partners to Ukraine.”

The link:

The Responsible Statecraft website is highly recommended.


Barbara E. Rose is Web Editor of the NOR.

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