Nov 28, 2022
The Biden administration is considering an offer from military-industrial complex giant Boeing to supply Ukraine with long-range precision-guided bombs capable of striking targets up to nearly 100 miles away, Reutersreported Monday.
The Pentagon is reviewing Boeing's proposal to send Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB)--manufactured jointly with Sweden's SAAB--to Ukrainian forces, a move that would enable them to hit targets deep behind enemy lines as they fight to repel invading Russian troops.
The GPS-guided GLSDB combines the GBU-39 bomb and the M26 rocket motor, both of which are cheap and relatively abundant. GLSDB is compatible with existing launchers used by Ukrainian forces and could be added to Kyiv's arsenal by early next year.
While Ukrainians and their supporters encouraged the proposed transfer on social media, Bulgarian independent journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva--one of the few online critics of the proposal--tweeted, "This is how the U.S. military-industrial complex (Boeing) is dictating the U.S. foreign policy and profiteering from wars."
The proposal to arm Ukraine with GLSDBs comes as U.S. and some NATO allies, as well as Western weapons manufacturers, are reportedly running low on arms and ammunition to transfer to Kyiv as Ukrainian and Russian forces are locked in fierce combat in the embattled nation's east and as the invaders pound Ukrainian cities, towns, and critical infrastructure with missile and artillery attacks. More than six million Ukrainians are currently without power as daytime high temperatures drop below freezing and nighttime lows are forecast to dip below 20degF in the coming days.
In contrast with its willingness to consider a GLSDB transfer, the Biden administration has so far refused Ukraine's request for longer-range Army Tactical Missile Systems--which have an attack range of up to 185 miles--due to fears they could be used to hit targets in Russia and potentially escalate the war.
Last week, the White House announced an additional $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, including air defense missile systems, machine guns, artillery, ammunition, vehicles, generators, and spare parts. The U.S. has given nearly $40 billion in military assistance to Kyiv since Russian forces invaded in February, with more than $20 billion in additional defense funds proposed, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Politicoreported last week that top European politicians are infuriated by what they described as U.S. war profiteering.
"The fact is," said one unnamed senior European official, "if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons."
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