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As Russia pushes into a second year of war with Ukraine, the Biden administration has continuously committed to sending more and more financial and military aid to Kyiv. Biden has even gone so far as to say that the U.S. will support Ukraine indefinitely as the war continues with no end in sight. Meanwhile, at home, U.S. arms manufacturers are struggling to meet the heightened demand, and arms and ammunition for American forces are at dangerously low levels.
As top officials in the Biden administration seem to announce new aid packages for Ukraine weekly, Americans are beginning to wonder when Washington will realize that U.S. national security is at risk due to the administration’s blind aid agreements.
Not only is Biden sending arms and munitions to Ukraine faster than American manufacturers can produce them, but Ukrainian troops have been burning through the supply at such an alarming rate that the U.S. military has had to train Ukrainian forces on different fighting tactics that use less artillery.
To date, Biden has sent approximately one-third of U.S. stockpiles of both Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Kyiv. Meanwhile, U.S. arms manufacturers typically produce between 1,000 and 2,100 Javelins a year. Now, the Army is struggling to get the produces to manufacture up to 4,000 a year, and it’s unlikely to happen.
According to some estimates, the Ukrainians are using 6,000 to 7,000 155 mm artillery shells a day, a rate that could deplete the entirety of Britain’s stockpile of NATO-standard 155 mm shells in a mere 8 days. Ukrainian troops are also burning through ammo for U.S.-manufactured HIMARS (high-mobility artillery rocket system) and other types of munitions just as quickly.
The picture of the situation gets even bleaker if one factors in the possibility of the U.S. defending Taiwan should China attack the island. Should the U.S. defend Taiwan if China decides to attack, the U.S. could run out of ammunition, like missiles, artillery shells, etc., in one week.
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The ammunition problems are compounded by supply chain issues. In many cases, manufacturers are having to wait months, in some cases over a year, to receive some of the necessary components.
Other concerns include being able to accurately estimate the amount of arms and munitions that are needed. With the war in Ukraine continuing with no sort of timeline to work off of and rising tensions between Beijing, Washington, and Taipei, it’s challenging for the military to accurately assess how many munitions need to be produced.
According to Secretary of the Army Douglas Bush, “The long-term challenge will be how much of that capacity can we sustain over time, post-conflict.”
“We don’t know how long the conflict will last. We don’t know how low our stocks will be,” Bush added.
Meanwhile, many Americans have expressed concern that the Biden administration is putting its support of Ukraine ahead of U.S. national security and is setting the U.S. up for catastrophe should the country get further involved with Ukraine due to Russian provocation, or come to the aid of Taiwan if China decides to attack.
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