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Joe Biden Could Run out of Weapons to Send to Ukraine?

155mm like the ones used in Ukraine. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Blasting a 155mm Howitzer round during a gun calibration exercise at Destiny Range, Soldiers from 1-9 Field Artillery make the earth tremble as they fire over 30 rounds from an M109A6 Paladin, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Mosul, Iraq, April 23.

U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro warned this week that the United States could face real difficulty continuing to supply Ukraine with weapons and ammunition at the current pace unless production is ramped up within a matter of months.

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Speaking on Wednesday during the Surface Navy Association conference held in Arlington, Virginia, the U.S. official said that weapon stocks must be replenished through new production within the next six months to a year.

Del Toro also said that, if the U.S. cannot increase production, the White House could be faced with the very real possibility of cutting off Ukraine aid.

“It’s obvious that these companies have a substantial pipeline for the future,” Del Toro explained. “They now need to invest in their workforce, as well as the capital investments that they had to make within their own companies to get their production up.” 

The Navy secretary also stressed that the Navy isn’t quite yet in a position where it may need to choose between arming itself or Ukraine, but warned that another six months of conflict in Ukraine could put severe pressure on supply chains.

 “With regards to deliveries of weapons systems for the fight in Ukraine…Yeah, that’s always a concern for us. And we monitor that very, very closely. I wouldn’t say we’re quite there yet, but if the conflict does go on for another six months, for another year, it certainly continues to stress the supply chain in ways that are challenging,” Del Toro said.

Will the Ukraine War Last Another Six Months?

There is no telling how long the conflict in Ukraine will last.

However, with an expected renewed Russian offensive in the spring and with commitments from the U.S. president and European leaders to continue arming Ukraine for as long as it takes, the war could well last significantly more than another six months.

In September, Ukraine’s military Commander-in-Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi coauthored an article with Lieutenant General Mykhailo Zabrodskyi, arguing that the war will likely continue throughout 2023.

“The only way to radically change the strategic situation, undoubtedly, is to apply several consecutive and, ideally, simultaneous counterattacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the 2023 campaign,” the two Ukrainian officials predicted.

The war is likely to go on, but the dynamics will be dramatically different as the months pass by. Russia is expected to continue deploying reservists, could double down on the Donbas region to save face in areas where Russian forces continue to be pushed back by Ukraine, and by the end of the year, Russia’s weapons and ammunition shortages will be much more severe than they are now.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.