The new $625 million package is being provided through the presidential drawdown authority, which allows Biden to send arms to Ukraine directly from US military stockpiles. A stopgap funding bill President Biden signed into law last week included $3.7 billion for this authority. It also included $12.3 billion for other military and economic aid for Ukraine, bringing total US spending on the war to about $67.5 billion, a number that’s higher than Russia’s entire military budget for 2021.
The HIMARS that the US has been sending to Ukraine are equipped with missiles that have a range of about 50 miles. But that can change, and Kyiv is requesting Army Tactical Missile Systems, which have a range of 190 miles, but Washington has been hesitant to send the longer-range missiles. Russia has warned that providing such arms would cross a “red line.”
In the U.S. weapons industry, the normal production level for artillery rounds for the 155 millimeter howitzer — a long-range heavy artillery weapon currently used on the battlefields of Ukraine — is about 30,000 rounds per year in peacetime.
The Ukrainian soldiers fighting invading Russian forces go through that amount in roughly two weeks.
Is the U.S. ability to defend itself at risk?
The short answer: no.
The U.S. has essentially run out of the 155 mm howitzers [M777?] to give to Ukraine; to send any more, it would have to dip into its own stocks reserved for U.S. military units that use them for training and readiness. But that’s a no-go for the Pentagon, military analysts say, meaning the supplies reserved for U.S. operations are highly unlikely to be affected.
Arms makers are licking their chops as defense officials worry about shortfalls in weapons stockpiles.Pentagon stockpiles ‘uncomfortably low’ due to Ukraine arms transfers: DoD
In recent weeks, the level of 155 mm combat rounds in U.S. military storage have become “uncomfortably low,” one defense official said. The levels aren’t yet critical because the U.S. isn’t engaged in any major military conflict, the official added. “It is not at the level we would like to go into combat,” the defense official said.
In the U.S., it takes 13 to 18 months from the time orders are placed for munitions to be manufactured, according to an industry official. Replenishing stockpiles of more sophisticated weaponry such as missiles and drones can take much longer.
Speaking on an earnings call July 19, Jim Taiclet, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Corp., said the Pentagon has yet to put the contracts in place or coordinate with industry to buy more supplies, a process that often takes two to three years.
Washington really wants the Ukrainian conflict to drag on, a Navy veteran has told NewsweekUS military expert backs Putin’s claims
H/T: Unorthodox Truth
By Prof. Oliver Boyd-Barrett, Substack, 8/14/22
Yes, it would be simpler and less messy all around if we just transferred the money directly from our bank accounts to Raytheon, Lockheed and the rest of them.
Should Ukraine simply sign over sovereignty to Russia? Well, Ukraine already signed over sovereignty, but to the USA, in 2014. The current war serves Washington interests, not Ukrainian.Oliver Boyd: From Our Taxes, Windfall Profits for “Defense” Industry. What Ukraine is mainly about
by Eva Karene Bartlett
Another attack from Kiev has hit central Donetsk, targeting a funeral and a hotel where numerous reporters stay and work.Today, Ukraine Bombed a Donetsk Hotel Full of Journalists
Video via this_is_my_country
SATURDAY, 18 JUNE 2022 — MOON OF ALABAMA
This morning I watched an hour long discussion (vid) by ‘experts’ at the Center for Strategic & International Studies about assessing Russia’s war in Ukraine. I have to say that these folks know nothing that is relevant. They seem to have never heard of Sun Tsu’s dictum ‘Know your enemy’:
Sun Tzu says, “To know your enemy, you must become your enemy,” but how do you become your enemy? You need to put yourself in the place of your enemy so you can predict his actions.Ukraine – The West’s Response As It Meets With Reality
The U.S. will provide Ukraine with more advanced rocket systems and precision-guided munitions that will give them an edge on the battlefield, President Joe Biden wrote in an opinion article in the New York Times published Tuesday.
But Kyiv has given the United States assurances that the new weapons will be used in Ukraine and not against targets in Russia, senior administration officials told reporters after Biden’s op-ed was published.
The HIMARS and its munitions are part of a new $700 million aid package for Ukraine, which will be announced on Wednesday, the officials said. The package also includes counterfire radars, a number of air surveillance radars, additional Javelin anti-tank missiles, anti-armor weapons, additional artillery rounds, helicopters, additional tactical vehicles and spare parts, the second official said.
Senior Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, have pleaded in recent weeks for the US and its allies to provide the Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS. The US-made weapon systems can fire a barrage of rockets hundreds of kilometers — much farther than any of the systems Ukraine already has — which the Ukrainians argue could be a gamechanger in their war against Russia.
The Biden administration waivered for weeks, however, on whether to send the systems, amid concerns raised within the National Security Council that Ukraine could use the systems to carry out offensive attacks inside Russia, officials said.
The issue was at the top of the agenda at last week’s two meetings at the White House where deputy Cabinet members convened to discuss national security policy, officials said. At the heart of the matter was the same concern the administration has grappled with since the start of the war– whether sending increasingly heavy weaponry to Ukraine will be viewed by Russia as a provocation that could trigger some kind of retaliation against the US.
Ukraine is already believed to have carried out numerous cross-border strikes inside Russia, which Ukrainian officials neither confirm nor deny. Russian officials have said publicly that any threat to their homeland would constitute a major escalation and have said that western countries are making themselves a legitimate target in the war by continuing to arm the Ukrainians.
Another major concern inside the Biden administration had been whether the US could afford to give away so many high-end weapons drawn from the military’s stockpiles, the sources said.
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