The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Pentagon officials are worried that the U.S. ammunition stocks that were given to Ukraine have greatly reduced U.S. stocks, making the U.S. less ready for a war.
According to the Wall Street Journal, most of the more than $13 billion worth of weapons systems and ammunition that the U.S. gave to Ukraine were already in stock. The Department of Defense hasn't said how many rounds of ammunition were in storage at the beginning of 2022, before the war in Ukraine started, and it hasn't done much to replace stocks that are running low. This has made people worry that the U.S. might not have the ammunition it needs to protect itself.
A Pentagon official told the WSJ that the U.S. no longer has enough 155mm combat rounds, which are fired by the howitzer weapons system. As of Aug. 24, the U.S. had sent 806,000 rounds of the 100-pound bombs to Ukraine.
The defense official told the WSJ, "It is not at the level we would like to go into combat." Fox News says that since Ukrainian forces joined the conflict at the end of May, U.S.-made howitzers have been used a lot.
The WSJ says that the U.S. gave Ukraine smaller 105mm rounds for its howitzers last week so that it could keep its own 155mm rounds. The last time howitzers were used by the U.S. military was on Aug. 24, when they hit targets in Syria that were backed by Iran.
"Everyone, from business leaders to the Pentagon, knew" that U.S. weapons would run out. Mackenzie Eaglen, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told the WSJ that it was easy to fix.
Army officials told the WSJ that the Army plans to do a "deep dive" into the "ammunitions industrial base" to figure out the best way to help Ukraine while still getting the supplies the U.S. needs. It has asked for an extra $500 million a year to fix up ammunition factories and raise the limits on production contracts it already has, but it has not signed any new contracts.
Officials also said that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley gave permission for monthly reviews of U.S. weapons stores to check on their readiness. But leaders in the defense industry said that the administration hasn't been clear about how U.S. aid to Ukraine has changed production needs and hasn't increased production capacity to make up for the extra munitions that are needed to replenish stocks.
For 2023, the Biden administration has asked for a record defense budget of $773 billion. Even though more money can help solve part of the problem, the WSJ says that problems with the supply chain can make the months- or years-long manufacturing process even longer.
When the Daily Caller News Foundation asked the Pentagon for a comment, it did not answer right away.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on DAILY CALLER.