America is running out of weapons according to a warning they sent Congress.
In a crucial development, the Pentagon has issued a stern warning to Congress regarding dwindling finances allocated for replacing weapons dispatched to Ukraine. The urgency of the situation has prompted the Pentagon to slow down resupply efforts to certain troops, heightening concerns over the nation’s military readiness.
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This pressing issue has been highlighted in a letter addressed to congressional leaders, a copy of which has been obtained by The Associated Press.
Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord, in the letter, has underscored the critical need for Congress to allocate additional funding to replenish Ukraine’s military arsenal. Although Congress managed to avert a government shutdown by recently passing a short-term funding bill, it regrettably omitted any provisions for further assistance to Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia.
Notably, out of the $25.9 billion initially provided by Congress to replenish U.S. military supplies directed to Ukraine, a mere $1.6 billion remains available. These supplies encompass millions of rounds of artillery, rockets, and missiles, which are pivotal for Ukraine’s counteroffensive endeavors aimed at reclaiming territory seized by Russia during the ongoing conflict.
Furthermore, the United States retains about $5.4 billion for weapons and equipment within its stockpiles. This funding would have already been exhausted if not for a revelation earlier this year when the Pentagon identified overvaluation of equipment that had already been dispatched, consequently freeing up approximately $6.2 billion. A portion of this funding has been utilized in recent months.
What adds to the urgency of this situation is that the United States has now completely depleted its long-term funding for Kyiv through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which plays a vital role in contracting for future weaponry. McCord has expressed his concern, stating that a failure to secure additional funding promptly could jeopardize the readiness of the U.S. military.
Moreover, McCord has emphasized that without immediate supplementary funding, the United States will be compelled to postpone or scale back the procurement of essential items such as air defense weapons, ammunition, drones, as well as demolition and breaching equipment. These items are considered critical and urgently needed, particularly as Russia prepares for a winter offensive.
President Joe Biden has weighed in on the matter, stressing the urgency of continuous aid flow to Ukraine. While reaffirming ongoing support, he acknowledged that time is of the essence, stating, “We have time, not much time, and there’s an overwhelming sense of urgency.”
Experts, including Mark Cancian, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, have warned that a lapse in aid could have serious repercussions for Ukrainian resistance. Cancian noted that if no new funding is allocated, the impact could be felt as early as Thanksgiving.
The short-term funding bill passed by Congress extends only until mid-November. McCord has expressed reservations about diverting money from this temporary funding to support Ukraine, deeming it too risky for the Defense Department.
Moreover, the situation in Congress appears to be growing increasingly complex, as resistance to Ukraine assistance gains momentum, particularly from the Republican hard-right flank. Against this backdrop, securing crucial funding for Ukraine remains a formidable challenge as the conflict in the region continues to evolve.