DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Blinken Pushes to Allow Ukraine to Strike Russian Territory with US Weapons

Blinken Pushes to Allow Ukraine to Strike Russian Territory with US Weapons

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is leading an effort within the Biden administration to permit Ukraine to use US-provided missile systems and other weapons to target Russian territory, according to a report by The New York Times on Wednesday.

The report describes a "vigorous debate" within the administration following Russia’s new offensive in Kharkiv, launched from over the border in Russia’s Belgorod oblast.

While it’s unclear how many high-level officials share Blinken's stance, there is increasing pressure on President Biden to lift the prohibition on Ukraine using US weapons on Russian soil—a ban aimed at “avoiding World War III,” per the Times.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and numerous other members of Congress are also advocating for lifting the ban. Victoria Nuland, a former State Department official known for her hawkish views, appeared on ABC News this week to argue that Ukraine should be allowed to extend its use of US weapons to Russian territory.

“I think there’s also a question of whether we, the United States and our allies, ought to give them more help in hitting Russian bases, which heretofore we have not been willing to do,” Nuland said. “I think if the attacks are coming directly from over the line in Russia, those bases ought to be fair game, whether they are where missiles are being launched from or where troops are being supplied from.”

Moscow recently warned the UK that if Ukraine used British weapons on Russian territory, Russian forces would target UK military sites in Ukraine “and beyond.” This warning followed British Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s statement that Ukraine had the “right” to use British arms in attacks on Russia.

In response to provocative rhetoric from Western officials about sending troops to Ukraine, Russia has initiated tactical nuclear drills. The Times report mentioned that the US was considering deploying troops for training, although Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown stated there were “no plans” to do so at the moment.

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