On Wednesday President Joe Biden approved $1.1 billion more in military aid for Ukraine, marking the 22nd such installment, and as the US is warning Russia against following through with annexation of four territories which wrapped a 5-day referendum on joining the Russian Federation.
According to the White House Press Secretary, this latest defense package consists of “18 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, as well as munitions for those systems, 150 armored multipurpose vehicles, 150 tactical vehicles to tow weapons, 40 trucks and 80 trailers to transport heavy equipment, two radars for unmanned aerial systems, 20 multi-mission radars as well as secure communication systems and body armor.”
The report continues, “Unlike a presidential drawdown authority, which pulls weapons directly from U.S. stockpiles, the latest security assistance package is authorized through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, or USAI, which uses funds appropriated by Congress.”
In total this brings US commitment of security assistance to more than $16.2 billion since February, when the Russian invasion began. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in announcing the fresh defense aid, “We will not be deterred from supporting Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, the West in general is likely about to hit some significant practical limitations concerning this vow of “not being deterred” – as Dave Des Roches, an associate professor and senior military fellow at the U.S. National Defense University, explained to CNBC:
“I’m greatly concerned. Unless we have new production, which takes months to ramp up, we’re not going to have the ability to supply the Ukrainians,” Des Roches told CNBC.
Europe is running low, too. “The military stocks of most [European NATO] member states have been, I wouldn’t say exhausted, but depleted in a high proportion, because we have been providing a lot of capacity to the Ukrainians,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said earlier this month.
The WH announces they're taking another $1.1 billion from American taxpayers to prolong the war in Ukraine: "We will not be deterred from supporting Ukraine" pic.twitter.com/eTDmetIsbb
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 28, 2022
Karine Jean-Pierre vowed further in the Wednesday briefing that the Biden administration will “provide them [Ukrainians] with the security assistance they need to defend themselves, for as long as it takes.” On this question of timeline, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl weeks ago explained that these deliveries could take months of even years based on the defense contracting process.