The Pentagon has warned Congress that it is facing a shortage of funds to replace weapons that have been sent to Ukraine. This has raised concerns about the ability of the United States to adequately resupply its own troops. In a letter sent to congressional leaders, the Pentagon called for additional funding for Ukraine, as the current budget deal did not include the requested funds.
Pentagon Comptroller MIchael McCord expressed the urgent need for funding, stating that the Pentagon has already had to slow down the replenishment of its own forces due to uncertainties in future funding. He emphasized that failure to replenish the military services in a timely manner could harm the readiness of the military. McCord also highlighted that if the funding requests are not met, the Pentagon may be restricted from supplying Ukraine with important weapons, especially as Russia prepares for a possible winter offensive.
According to McCord, there is currently $1.6 billion remaining from the $25.9 billion funding previously approved by Congress for replacing the resources sent to Ukraine. Additionally, the US has approximately $5.4 billion remaining from its own existing stockpiles to provide equipment to Kiev.
It is worth noting that the Pentagon would have run out of funding if it hadn’t been for the realization earlier this year that some equipment sent to Ukraine was overvalued. This allowed for the release of around $6.2 billion, some of which has been used to support Ukraine with weapons and other aid.
US President Joe Biden stressed the importance of uninterrupted support for Ukraine and expressed a sense of urgency in addressing the issue. However, Democratic efforts to continue funding the Ukrainian military have faced resistance from some Republican hardliners. This suggests a growing shift towards a more isolationist position among certain members of the GOP.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who played a key role in preventing a government shutdown with his budget legislation, voiced his support for Ukraine in its fight against Moscow. However, he also stated that issues closer to home, such as the security of the southern border of the United States, are more pressing concerns.
The Pentagon’s warning about inadequate funding for Ukraine raises concerns about the US military’s ability to effectively support both Ukraine and its own forces. It remains to be seen how Congress will respond to the need for additional funding and whether there will be bipartisan support for continuing assistance to Ukraine. The situation highlights the delicate balance between military commitments abroad and domestic security priorities, which policymakers must navigate.