President Joe Biden has committed the biggest blunder in the history of modern warfare but the blame is not his alone. The Congress, led by Lindsey Graham, deserves some of it too.
According to multiple media reports, and Biden’s own mouth, we are running out of ammunition because Ukraine is hoovering it all up. Biden is also running the strategic oil reserve low for political reasons but running out of ammo is beyond the pale. And begs the question, what are we getting for our nearly trillion dollar-a-year defense budget?
Russia spends a fraction of what we spend and they are not running out of ammo. “The Ukrainians are running out of ammunition,” Biden told CNN. “This is a war relating to munitions. And they’re running out of that ammunition, and we’re low on it.”
David Sachs said: “According to the AP, it will take the U.S. 5 years to ramp production of 155mm artillery ammo to 85k shells per month. This is up from 14k shells/month pre-war and 20k shells/month at current production levels.
“Why the long ramp time? Obviously artillery shells are more complicated to make than bullets. The Pentagon has to bid vendors who have to scale up production lines and in some cases set up new factories. Presumably one has to proceed with care when a mistake could blow up the entire operation.
“The problem is that even 85k shells/month would comprise less than half of Ukraine’s current usage level, which is 6,000-8,000 shells/day.
“Even at that pace, it is being significantly outgunned by Russia, which is reportedly expending 20k shells per day and as many as 50k on peak days. Zaluzhny confirmed this last week when he told the WashPost that at times the artillery gap is 10-to-1.
“The balance of artillery being so heavily in Russia’s favor was one of the key data points cited by Mearsheimer in explaining why he believes that Russia is winning the war. But rather than facing facts, pro-Ukraine partisans simply smear any dissent from their rosy scenarios as “Putin talking points.”
“Now Biden himself has acknowledged the ammo shortage, which is why he is giving Ukraine cluster bombs. Because remarkably, cluster bombs are the only type of 155mm ammo that the US has left available to give.
“And just to anticipate some of the replies: no, I’m not an Expert™️ on artillery, but I do have the capacity to read and do math, which is all it takes.
“From the AP:
“The Army is spending about $1.5 billion to ramp up production of 155 mm rounds from 14,000 a month before Russia invaded Ukraine to over 85,000 a month by 2028, U.S. Army Undersecretary Gabe Camarillo told a symposium last month.
“Already, the U.S. military has given Ukraine more than 1.5 million rounds of 155 mm ammunition, according to Army figures.
“But even with higher near-term production rates, the U.S. cannot replenish its stockpile or catch up to the usage pace in Ukraine, where officials estimate that the Ukrainian military is firing 6,000 to 8,000 shells per day. In other words, two days’ worth of shells fired by Ukraine equates to the United States’ monthly pre-war production figure.”
“Denialism about the ammunition shortage is silly. The US has been running around the world raiding its own stockpiles and seeking to borrow from allies like South Korea. From WSJ in May:
“The U.S. has provided more than two million 155mm artillery rounds to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in February 2022, and its remaining supply has begun to dry up, forcing the U.S. on a global hunt for ammunition. The Pentagon has raided its own stocks of artillery shells at sites in Germany, Israel, Kuwait and South Korea to make up for the shortfall, U.S. and congressional officials said.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, in an article titled, ‘America Is Running Out of Ammo’:
“The U.S. is ramping up to produce more than 20,000 shells a month this year and more in 2024, the U.S. Army says. But America’s adversaries can do the math and understand the U.S. may struggle to support a long war.
“The Biden crowd has cited limited stocks as a reason to withhold the Army Tactical Missile System, which could help Kyiv strike deep into Russian positions. The Administration is now leaking that it might furnish the missiles as Ukraine’s summer offensive becomes a slog.
Congress’s supplemental cash for Ukraine is helping refill America’s armory, but Mr. Biden has an obligation to make sure the U.S. never goes Winchester, as the saying has it, and not only for Ukraine. The lesson applies to the long-range missiles the U.S. may need if China decides to strike Taiwan,” the WSJ said.
Denialism about the ammunition shortage is silly. The US has been running around the world raiding its own stockpiles and seeking to borrow from allies like South Korea. From WSJ in May:— David Sacks (@DavidSacks) July 10, 2023
“The U.S. has provided more than two million 155mm artillery rounds to Ukraine since the…
THE AMMO SHORTAGE@MarcBodnick asks a good question: “Can’t we make more ammunition? Is this really a crisis?”— David Sacks (@DavidSacks) July 10, 2023
According to the AP, it will take the U.S. 5 years to ramp production of 155mm artillery ammo to 85k shells per month. This is up from 14k shells/month pre-war and 20k… https://t.co/di6QOmSreG