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US, NATO scramble to supply arms to Ukraine, refill their emptied arsenals

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This picture shows firefighters working on a burning building targeted in the town of Vyshhorod, near Kiev, Ukraine, November 23, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

The United States and NATO countries have started to speedily restock their own arsenals after efforts to supply Ukraine with arms and ammunition to fight Russia exhausted their own stocks.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that after nine months passing since the Ukraine war kicked off, the West’s fundamental unpreparedness for the conflict has posed a dilemma, whether to supply Ukraine with the weapons it demands or to replenish the US and NATO's emptied stockpiles.

US-led NATO officials complain that the amount of resources used in the Ukraine conflict is dumbfounded.

To gain scope, during the war in Afghanistan NATO forces might have fired even 300 artillery rounds a day and had no real worries about air defense. However, Ukraine can fire thousands of rounds daily while remaining hopeless for air defense against missiles and drones.

“A day in Ukraine is a month or more in Afghanistan,” said Camille Grand, a defense expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, who until recently was NATO’s assistant secretary general for defense investment.

According to the NYT report, both sides of the conflict with burning through arms and ammunition at a pace not seen since World War II.

In the meantime, the suppliers, namely the US and NATO countries, say supplying Ukraine with the unending demands of Kiev emptied their arsenals.

The NYT noted that the challenge of keeping arsenals running has become a focal point that could prove decisive in Ukraine’s war.

In this regard, the United States Army has devised special measures to speed up its weapons acquisition processes to refill its military warehouses emptied due to the huge and constant flow of arms and ammunition shipments to Ukraine in past months.

However, a senior EU official,  who was interviewed by The Politico, reported that the US was the one country that was profiteering the most from Ukraine's war because “they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons.”

EU takes heat over Ukraine while US profits from war: Senior officials

The US Department of Defense Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, Doug Bush, said on Monday that after delivering some $18 billion worth of weapons to Kiev since February, Washington is scrambling to restock its own emptied arsenals.

In addition to the $18 billion worth of arms to Ukraine, the Pentagon also spent more than $2.6 billion between May and October replenishing key weapons stocks, recent contracting data has shown.

The US Army’s acquisition chief said to speed up its acquisition procedure to replenish its emptied warehouses, which could take years, the military was employing faster-contracting methods that were adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic.



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