US weapon supplies 'uncomfortably low' due to Ukraine aid - WSJ
The US weapons packages to Kiev have depleted weapons storage for the US military and the latter has been hesitant to replenish its stockpiles.
The war in Ukraine has reduced US military inventories of certain types of ammunition, as the US continues to supply Kiev with billions of dollars worth of weaponry, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). In turn, the US Department of Defense has been hesitant to replenish its arsenal, raising fears among US officials that the shortfall might undermine military readiness.
According to the WSJ, citing defense sources, the US has armed Ukraine with 16 HIMARS rocket launchers, hundreds of drones, missiles, and other weapons during the previous six months, a large portion of which, including the ammunition, has come directly from US inventories, depleting supplies intended for unforeseen threats.
Howitzers, of which Kiev received 806,000 rounds of ammunition, can accurately strike targets dozens of kilometers away with 155mm ammunition weighing nearly 100 pounds each, are among the deadliest weapons the Pentagon has delivered, said the WSJ.
At that time, the newspaper reported citing a US defense official, the quantity of 155mm combat ammunition in US military storage has dropped to "uncomfortably low" levels in recent weeks. The official added that the US has not been involved in significant military confrontation, as such the levels are not currently critical, noting that "It is not at the point where we would wish to engage in battle."
Last week, the US occupation in Syria launched a howitzer attack targeting Syrian territory and residents in violation of its sovereignty. This shows that the US does use such weaponry in its ongoing confrontations.
Last week, US President #JoeBiden claimed that his aggression on #Syria, a country oceans and continents away from the #UnitedStates, is in "defense of US citizens at home." pic.twitter.com/qQsCBNEVwh— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) August 29, 2022
The US army claimed that in order to help Ukraine while safeguarding "our own supply needs," the military is now undertaking "an ammunitions industrial base deep dive." The Army said it also requested $500 million in annual upgrades for its munitions factories from Capitol Hill. According to military officials, as per the WSJ report, the military is relying on existing contracts to enhance ammunition output but hasn't signed new ones to cover the greater sums it will need to replace its inventories.
Citing US military sources, the WSJ revealed that Army Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been reviewing the military arsenal on a monthly basis to see if the readiness levels are still suitable given the demand for ammunition in Ukraine. According to the authorities, the US last week sent Ukraine 105mm howitzer ammunition as a result of worries over its stockpiles of 155mm ammunition.
This week, Washington stated that it was allocating over $3 billion for long-term aid meant to be sent to Ukraine, increasing the country's total expenditure on weapons to $14 billion knowing that, according to the WSJ report, US President Joe Biden has requested a $773 billion Pentagon budget for the following year.