GOP hostility to Ukraine is hurting American arms production

The war in Ukraine has revealed that the U.S. needs deeper reserves in everything from artillery to long-range fires. And it is a strategic gift to learn this lesson before U.S. troops are dying in a war.



October 6, 2023 - 3:18 PM

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, walks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Sept. 21, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)

Tuesday’s ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was a spectacular exercise in Republican masochism, and some in the party are increasingly confused about national defense too. To wit, since when do Republicans oppose shoring up U.S. weapons stocks?

The stopgap government funding measure Congress passed over the weekend didn’t include aid for Ukraine, which President Biden has requested. More than 100 Republicans voted last week to strip $300 million for Ukraine from a spending bill. The Pentagon said Tuesday that it could continue to offer aid to Ukraine for “a little bit longer,” with roughly $5 billion left to draw down U.S. stocks.

But the account that lets the Pentagon backfill U.S. military weapons that have been donated to Ukraine is down to $1.6 billion. “We have already been forced to slow down the replenishment of our own forces to hedge against an uncertain funding future,” the Pentagon’s comptroller said in a letter to Congress.

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