Pentagon Weighs New Plan to Ship Weapons to Ukraine Quickly

The Biden administration is considering whether to provide Ukraine with badly needed arms and ammunition from Pentagon stockpiles even though the government has run out of money to replace those munitions, according to two U.S. officials and a senior lawmaker.

Such a move would be a short-term measure to help tide over Ukraine’s armed forces until Congress breaks a monthslong impasse and approves a larger military aid package to the country, the officials said.

But in considering whether to tap into the Pentagon stockpiles again, the administration is weighing both the political risks and questions about American military readiness.

“It’s something that I know is on the table,” Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who leads the Armed Services Committee, said in an interview. Mr. Reed, who recently returned from a trip to Ukraine, said he would support such a stopgap measure in “incremental uses to buy time.”

The United States has provided Ukraine with some $44.2 billion in military aid since Russia launched its full-scale invasion two years ago.

About half that amount has been sent under what is called presidential drawdown authority. That allows the administration to immediately transfer Pentagon stocks to Ukraine instead of waiting the several months or years it can take for defense contractors to manufacture weapons under new contracts. The last shipment was in December.

Related Articles

Back to top button