The United States appears on the verge of an economic calamity while at the same time it faces an ever-present and growing risk of becoming embroiled in a military conflict with foreign rivals that pose potentially catastrophic threats to the nation.
Yet, despite that precarious situation, President Joe Biden’s administration just authorized another $775 million military aid package to Ukraine as it continues to defend against the Russian invasion, according to a report from Axios.
This $775 million military aid package comes less than three weeks after the U.S. government authorized a $550 million military aid package to Ukraine earlier in August.
Yet another military aid package for Ukraine
According to a Defense Department release, this latest aid package will include an assortment of heavy weapons systems and armored vehicles, and other equipment for the Ukrainians to use against their Russian foes.
The package includes more ammunition for the advanced High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 16 105mm howitzer artillery pieces and 36,000 rounds of ammunition, 40 MRAP armored vehicles, 50 armored Humvees, 15 unmanned drones, 1,500 anti-tank TOW missiles, 1,000 Javelin anti-tank systems plus 2,000 rounds of ammunition, and a variety of other useful military equipment.
The release noted that this was the “nineteenth drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021” authorized by President Biden and that the U.S. has “committed approximately $10.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration.”
It further stated: “As President Biden has made clear, we will support Ukraine as they defend their democracy for as long as it takes. The United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities to meet Ukraine’s evolving battlefield requirements.”
U.S. military stockpiles depleted, unable to be quickly replenished
All of those weapons systems and armaments provided to Ukraine have created a potentially dire problem for the U.S., according to the Heritage Foundation, as they have been drawn from an increasingly depleted U.S. military stockpile that is in danger of not being replenished any time soon, despite scrambling efforts by Congress, the Defense Department, and defense contractors.
The report noted that at least one-third of the military’s stockpile of Stinger and Javelin missile systems has been given to Ukraine, even as defense contractors like Raytheon and others have warned that it could take several years or more to fully replenish the depleted stockpiles, and the same situation likely holds true for all or most of the other assorted weapons systems that have been dispatched to Ukraine.
That presents two rather critical concerns — first, that the U.S. military could lack sufficient armaments to effectively engage in a conventional conflict with rivals like China or Russia, and second, that our nation’s manufacturing base is woefully unprepared to ramp up necessary military production in an emergency situation, potentially leaving the American people and our allies vulnerable in a near-future conflict.
More than $50 billion in financial and military aid was committed to Ukraine
Meanwhile, U.S. News reported on August 8 that the U.S. government had announced a $5.5 billion aid package for Ukraine — $4.5 billion in financial aid and $1 billion in military aid — and followed similar $1+ billion transfers in June and July.
Thus far, according to U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. has provided more than $8.5 billion in financial aid to Ukraine since the invasion began, with those funds being drawn from a $40 billion pool authorized by Congress in March — meaning the U.S. government has committed more than $50 billion to Ukraine’s defense at a time when millions of American citizens are facing increasingly troublesome financial issues of their own.