The Biden administration is reportedly handing over so much military equipment to Ukraine for its fight against Russia that it will take several years to replace the depleted U.S. weapons collections.
Some experts have warned that this could bring the U.S. difficulties should it want to protect Taiwan from an attempted invasion by China.
“As the United States transfers massive amounts of weapons, munitions, and supplies to Ukraine, questions arise about the health of U.S. inventories,” Mark Cancian of the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote in a report. “Most inventories, though not all, will take many years to replace. For most items, there are workarounds, but there may be a crisis brewing over artillery ammunition.”
Cancian’s calculations indicate that based on previous production trends, it could take seven years to replenish the country’s collection of 155 mm ammunition, Just The News reports.
He argued this may be “the most serious shortage since artillery constitutes the backbone of ground-based firepower,” and that, “Rebuilding inventories at the current production rate is probably not possible because of routine U.S. training needs.”
The international security senior adviser additionally warned that the situation could evolve into a “crisis” given that artillery is considered to be “the most important combat arm” in Ukraine.
A release by the Defense Department indicated that the U.S. has promised some 8,500 Javelin anti-tank missiles and over 1,600 Stinger antiaircraft missiles to Ukraine.
“We’ve essentially used up 13 years’ worth of Stinger production and five years’ worth of Javelin production,” Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes announced at the Reagan Defense Forum last month.
Some lawmakers have argued that the focus of the U.S. government on Ukraine takes away from more significant issues such as the threat of China against Taiwan.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asserting that the Biden administration’s sweeping monetary aid to Ukraine has taken away from assisting Taiwan’s defenses.
The Missouri representative has spoken out actively against U.S. assistance with Ukraine in the past. Last month, he answered questions by reporters on why he skipped Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech asking congress for more money, saying that the U.S. has “spent $100 billion in blank checks” and that he would not partake in a “photo op.”
Based Josh Hawley Reveals Why He Dipped Out on Zelensky's Speech: "I didn't go to the speech because I didn't want to be part of a photo op asking for more money… I mean, we've spent $100 billion in blank checks…"#ZelenskyWarCriminal #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/7zrqa0jaSk
— Sovereignnews (@SovereignNews) December 23, 2022