NewsWill Ukraine run out of missiles? The US's number one priority is Israel

Will Ukraine run out of missiles? The US's number one priority is Israel

Will Ukraine run out of missiles? The US's number one priority is Israel
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ed. MCZ

12:24 PM EDT, October 23, 2023

US President Joe Biden promised to provide weapons for both Ukraine and Israel. In his Thursday address, he made it clear that the United States does not prioritize one war over another. "However, a few hours earlier a Department of Defense official said that the tens of thousands of 155-millimeter artillery shells promised to Ukraine will be redirected to Israel," reported The New York Times.

- You will likely witness a steady inflow of weapons to Israel - said Sabrina Singh, Pentagon spokesperson, last week.

Some of these deliveries may include the same type of artillery and bombs that Ukraine relies on, which has been defending itself against Russia's brutal assault for 20 months.

Ukraine is defending itself, Israel is preparing for an invasion

According to current and former national security officials and members of the US Congress, "for the most part, Ukraine and Israel are engaged in various types of wars and have different capabilities and needs," reports the NYT.

Kyiv warns that in recent months, Ukraine's counteroffensive has met strong resistance from Russia. Meanwhile, Israel is preparing to launch a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip.

Also read: Putin sent a signal to Germany. In German.

- What we give to Israel, and what we give to Ukraine, will overlap to a very small degree - said last week Michael J. Morell, former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Ukraine is to receive about 61 billion dollars in new military aid, which constitutes more than half of the 105 billion dollar extraordinary package, mainly comprising of foreign aid, that Biden wants Congress to approve.

Israel, whose army is significantly better equipped than Ukraine, has reportedly agreed Friday, according to a proposal announced by the White House, to receive approximately 14 billion dollars for air and missile defense.

We are running out of bullets

"Despite this, taking into account that the global stocks of 6.1-inch missiles and other armament systems are already depleted, and manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand, compromises will be necessary in terms of supply to both wars, the longer they last" - wrote in his analysis Mark F. Cancian, a White House armament strategy specialist, and currently a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

The NATO 155 millimeter missiles are of great interest to Tel Aviv and Kiev. Both countries use them against targets within a radius of several dozen miles.

- Since Russia's invasion in February 2022, the United States has sent over two million 6.1-inch caliber shells to Ukraine, and Europe has supplied hundreds of thousands more. However, Western military supplies are currently nearing "the bottom of the barrel" - one NATO official, Admiral Rob Bauer from the Netherlands, stated.

Also read: A gigantic problem for the Russians. "Maximum ammunition conservation"

In January, the Pentagon announced that it would utilize American reserves in Israel and send hundreds of thousands of 6.1 inch shells to Ukraine. "The reserves are in Israel, America's closest ally in the Middle East, in order to quickly deliver weapons throughout the region if needed," explains NYT.

Two types of ammunition for two fronts

Pentagon spokesman, Major Charlie Dietz, declined to discuss the details of any ammunition transfer, but said that the United States' highest priority "is to ensure Israel has the resources it needs at this time".

One of the Department of Defense officials told the NYT that Israel and Ukraine may receive different types of ammunition to avoid overlapping deliveries. Israel would receive precision-guided missiles, which could strike targets in crowded urban areas, while the cluster ammunition sent to Ukraine could be more effective against dispersed positions on the battlefield.

"Manufacturers in the United States and Europe are ramping up ammunition production, but it will likely be years before they can refill the Atlantic alliance's stockpiles and fulfill Ukraine's demands, let alone Israel's" - writes NYT.

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