The US Army cannot keep up with munitions demands and has almost depleted its stocks supporting Ukraine. The Pentagon said it will need to produce 100,000 155mm artillery rounds per month by 2025 – up from a 36,000 per month estimate suggested last year. Military sources say even the revised assessment is not enough.
Col. Mark Cancian of the Center for Strategic and International Studies said Ukraine fires 150,000 to 300,000 rounds monthly. “If the war continued, even if we got up to that level, we still wouldn’t have enough,” he warned.
America supplies most of the 6,000 rounds fired daily by Ukraine, and even with European nations increasing their supply, US officials are worried that American defense capabilities will continue to be affected. “We give away weapons systems to Ukraine, which is great, and ammunition, but not from full warehouses,” said Adm. Bob Bauer of NATO.
UK Armed Forces Minister James Heappey echoed Bauer’s concerns and said the Western world must move faster to replenish its stocks. Similarly, Air Force General James Hecker said America’s weapons reserve is “dangerously low.”
Meanwhile, President Biden has reassured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the US remains committed to defending Ukraine despite growing resistance from the GOP. John Kirby of the National Security Council sought to ease Republican worries, saying there is “No indication of widespread corruption or misuse of US resources in Ukraine.”
A Republican split was evident at the end of September when a Congressional vote on an aid package showed opposition was increasing. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to quell GOP objection and told colleagues that aid to Ukraine was not charity, but is in America’s interests. “If we fail to help Ukraine stop Russia in its tracks, there is every reason to believe Russia and China will both be emboldened,” he argued.
GOP primary frontrunner Donald Trump has called for an end to aid and accused Joe Biden of placing Ukraine’s interests above America’s.