Arms shipments to Ukraine strain US stockpiles –

Since the beginning of the war, the US government has spent 22 billion francs in military aid to Ukraine. This massive support is emptying the US defense stockpile and worrying Washington.

“The Ukrainians are fighting an age-old battle against aggression and domination. It’s a battle the United States has fought time and time again and we’re going to make sure that Ukrainians are well-equipped to defend themselves,” he said on Wednesday. President Joe Biden announcing the delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

A Ukrainian soldier armed with a Javelin missile, in the Kyiv region, March 2022. [Gleb Garanich - REUTERS]A Ukrainian soldier armed with a Javelin missile, in the Kyiv region, March 2022. [Gleb Garanich – REUTERS]Because of this miracle, the US military-industrial complex today is in a tight state. In one year, the United States delivered 7 years’ worth of Javelin anti-tank missile launchers. The Ukrainian artillery, which was central to this war, fired a million 155 mm shells of American manufacture.

Mackenzie Eaglen, a specialist on military budgets at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank, notes the decline in stocks. “Anxiety is growing month by month. No one is afraid yet, but anxiety reaches the highest level of the hierarchy, which now constantly wonders what level of stock is,” I noted Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Take advantage of stocks in Israel

Faced with Ukrainian demand, the Pentagon intends to increase production of 155mm shells, from 14,400 shells per month before the war to 90,000 by 2025.

In the near future, the United States should rely on its stocks of ammunition stored in Israel to prevent conflicts in the Middle East. “In terms of ammunition and projectiles, we can supply Ukraine indefinitely, through various measures at the end of the chain. But if we enter into conflict in another theater of operations, it becomes a problem,” Mackenzie Egglen analyzes.

Persuading politicians and industrialists

The US arsenal is depleted, but production should increase in the coming months, provided that Congress and industry follow the lead. The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives is demanding public spending cuts and threatening to derail the budget if Joe Biden refuses to negotiate. Then the defense budget will be at risk, in the absence of a bilateral agreement.

As for manufacturers, they will have to open new production lines and increase the capacity of existing ones. It’s a big investment and the Pentagon will have to commit to issuing orders in the long term, when no one can predict the outcome of the war in Ukraine and ammunition needs in the next few years.

Gaspar Cohn / Friend

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