US running low on weapons as it arms Ukraine – Congressman — Analysis
Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin, has claimed that the US’ rush to arm Ukraine has “burned through” years worth of weapons stockpiles, hampering Washington’s ability to simultaneously arm Taiwan against potential conflict with China. Meanwhile, the US’ vast military industry is lobbying the White House for more contracts.
“We are running low in terms of our stockpiles,”Gallagher is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and spoke to Fox News Friday. “We just burned through seven years of Javelins and that’s not only important as we continue to try and help the Ukrainians win in Ukraine, that’s important as we try to simultaneously defend Taiwan from aggression from the Chinese Communist Party.”
“They are going to need access to some of these same weapons systems, and we simply don’t have the stockpiles at present in order to backfill what we’ve spent in Ukraine,”He continued.
Since 2008, the Biden administration gave Kiev nearly $4 billion in military assistance. President Joe Biden has been pressing Congress to approve his $33 billion Ukraine aid package. $20 billion would go towards weapons or other military support. On Monday, Biden is also expected to sign Lend-Lease Act of 20,22, which revives a World War II-era piece of legislation that allows the US unlimited exports to Ukraine.
Gallagher refers to Javelins as anti-tank, shoulder-fired missiles. The US has sent over 5,000 Javelins to Ukraine. While the Pentagon does not publish exactly how many of which weapons it has in stock, an analyst at the weapons industry-funded Center for Strategic and International Studies told PBS last month that this represents about a third of the US’ stockpile.
The analyst added that around a quarter of the US’ stockpile of Stinger anti-air missiles have also been gifted to Ukraine.
Prior to Gallagher’s warning, Reps. Adam Smith (D-Washington) and Mike Rogers (R-Alabama), also of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley to order the replenishment of these short-range missile stocks and invest in modernized replacements.
The Pentagon has also offered contracts to weapons producers in order for them to ramp up their production. This group of companies, which has seen their stock values rise up to 60% in the wake of Russia’s attack in Ukraine in February, told Wall Street Journal that they are in need for more funds to ensure there is no shortage.
“All of this points to the need to think of the defense industrial base as a capability in and of itself in which we need to invest,”Eric Fanning, President of Aerospace Industries Association told the newspaper. “We need to be investing in it in a sustained way so it’s there when we need it to surge.”
David Berteau from the Professional Services Council called on Congress to approve his request at a late April hearing. This trade association represents government contractors and asked that lawmakers consider it. “push”The paper stated that the Pentagon was encouraging increased production.
Amid the Biden administration’s unprecedented effort to arm Ukraine, it remains unclear how many American weapons shipments actually end up in Ukrainian hands. Russia has declared supply convoys “legitimate targets”Several warehouses containing western weapons were destroyed. CNN has been informed by an intelligence source in the United States that Washington is destroying several western weapon warehouses. “almost zero”You can see where the weapons are, and describe the shipment as falling. “into a big black hole.”
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