November 28, 2023

US intelligence officials and leaders from other countries agree that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has entered a long phase, with no end in sight. And as Biden administration officials continue to support sending more aid to Ukraine, as each successive round of U.S. aid to Ukraine is announced, Top US officials and lawmakers are starting to raise concerns About how much and for how long the US will continue to bill Ukraine.

The US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Michael Carpenter, told The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview that the Biden administration is trying to urge allies to increase their aid to Ukraine.

“There is also concern, and there should be, rightly, about burden-sharing. We are certainly trying very hard to get our allies and partners to step up,” Carpenter told The Daily Beast. “Some countries that may not have done much militarily, we will certainly look to for reconstruction assistance, macro-financial assistance and other forms of support.”

The United States has contributed the most so far to helping Ukraine defend itself since the beginning of the year, according to A Kiel Institute for Global Economic Analysis. But as the reality is settling on policymakers and lawmakers that this war won’t end anytime soon, he’s starting to feel uneasy about how much the United States is funding aid.

Gestures of “goodwill” mean a lack of clarity when Russian forces appear ready to drill.

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) warned in the coming weeks, European countries should do more to contribute aid to Ukraine, especially given that this is their continent and will be next if Ukraine does not hold up.

“The Europeans have to realize that this is their backyard and that they need to escalate the situation,” Cornyn said during his visit to NATO this week. Politico. “And they can’t continue to rely on Uncle Sam to keep writing checks.”

Senator Jan Shaheen (D-NH), co-chair of the Senate Observer Group, told The Daily Beast that the future of democracy hangs in the balance, and everyone must step in to help Ukraine.

“We know how dire the situation on the ground is, and the United States and our allies must continue to do everything in our power to ensure that Ukrainians have what they need to save lives and defend themselves from a Russian invasion,” said Shaheen, who is currently working. Leading a bipartisan Congressional delegation to the NATO summit. Putin’s deadly war in Ukraine isn’t just about Ukraine or even Europe — it’s about the fate of democracies around the world in the fight against authoritarianism. It is imperative that we listen to the requests for assistance made by our Ukrainian partners and ensure that assistance is delivered quickly to save Ukrainian lives.”

Concerns had been simmering for months about whether the United States could adequately bolster Ukraine’s military defenses while also keeping adequate stockpiles at home. There were other conflicts that would erupt—say, with China, North Korea, or Iran—that the Biden administration might need to address. .

The United States has already committed to Ukraine about a third of its stockpile of Javelin missiles, about 6,500, and more than 1,400 of its Stinger missiles in the country. Congress has passed an $8.7 billion package to try to make up for the losses already, but more may be needed.

Concerns are beginning to circulate in the defense industrial base about stocks, too. Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes told investors in the latest quarterly call that his company faces “extremely limited stocks of materials needed to produce the sting” and that production may not be able to increase until 2023 or 2024.

Some of the numbers are likely to start worrying the services, according to Mark Kansian, the former head of the Office of Management and Budget Division of Force Structure and Investment, where he worked on Pentagon budget strategy and war finance.

“We probably sent as much as we easily send at this point,” he said.

Cancian told the Daily Beast. “The limitation is that American war plans have certain requirements for munitions, and I understand we’re hitting those limits on spears and tanks.”

But the Biden administration did not hesitate to provide more aid to Ukraine. Only twice last week the White House announced that the Department of Defense would send additional batches of aid to Ukraine. Last week, the US administration announced $450 million in aid, including multiple launch rocket systems and artillery ammunition. On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would send $800 million in additional arms aid to Ukraine. The second package will include air defense systems and artillery support.

But even Biden’s words on the matter appeared to be watered down. While he said that in the previous weeks Russia will never win On Ukraine and that the United States won’t stop helping Ukraine until Ukraine wins, this week his tone is hedging his bets a bit more and dependent on NATO.

“We will stick to Ukraine — and all allies will stick to Ukraine — as long as it takes, in fact, to make sure that they are not defeated … in Ukraine by Russia,” Biden said.

President Joe Biden speaks to reporters during his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Madrid, Spain.

Dennis Doyle/Getty Images

While the ambivalence about who pays for what grows is growing, Ukrainian forces need reinforcements now. Ukrainian Brigadier General Volodymyr Karpenko It was estimated earlier this month that some units of the Ukrainian armed forces suffered equipment losses of nearly 50 percent. As of this week, Ukraine needs help with tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery systems, according to a Wednesday assessment from Congressional Research Service.

And they can’t do it alone.

The report notes that “the Ukrainian defense industry is likely unable to produce complex systems in sufficient quantities to meet its current combat needs.”

Meanwhile, the war is set to continue, as Russian and Ukrainian forces continue to fight over cities in eastern and southern Ukraine. Russian forces withdrew from the disputed Snake Island, or Zmini Island, on Thursday, unconvincingly claiming it was a “goodwill” gesture to show they were not really trying to disrupt food exports. But the brutality of Putin’s army continued: Russian forces fired missiles at civilian targets, striking Kyiv last weekend and a shopping center on Monday, causing many casualties.

Signs of “goodwill” mean instability when Russian forces seem ready to drill and keep trying to hit the Ukrainians until they are broken. Ambassador Carpenter shared with The Daily Beast that the current US assessment is that Putin still has plans to take over all of Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken said this week at an Atlantic Council event on the sidelines of NATO that Putin is showing no signs of interest in negotiating or backing down.

“We haven’t seen any interest on the part of Vladimir Putin to take part in any kind of meaningful diplomatic initiatives,” Blinken said.

Although they have been resisting the Russian advance for months, Ukrainian forces are suffering significant losses in personnel and equipment, a possible sign that the balance of assistance that has guided Ukraine’s path may be critical to the future of Ukraine’s ability to continue to resist the Russians more than ever .

The Congressional Research Service warned this week that “the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) continue to face disadvantages in their quest to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity against Russian military forces.” On the one hand, since the renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the UAF has successfully defended against Russian forces, and in some areas pushed back Russian forces. On the other hand, this resistance came with losses in personnel and equipment, and the general forecast for the war remains uncertain. ”

Some lawmakers believe that more burden-sharing could begin to emerge now that Finland and Sweden have joined NATO. Their accession may help relieve some pressure on the United States to foot the bill for Ukraine, according to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) after visiting Sweden and Finland last month.

McConnell said after the trip, along with Senators Cornyn and Collins (right) and Barrasso -). Sweden and Finland already have long track records as two of the most capable friends and partners of the United States and NATO, even from outside the alliance.

The group of senators cited defensive industrial bases in Finland and Sweden, and their well-equipped armed forces as reasons to believe burden-sharing would now rebound.

But so far, the two countries’ contributions to Ukrainian aid since the start of the war have fared poorly compared to the United States — like most Western European countries — according to the Kiel Institute for World Economics.

Many believe that to give Ukraine a fighting chance, that must change.

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