Washington is frantically seeking to provide Kiev with more conventional 155 MM artillery ammunition. Ukrainian forces are firing more rounds than the US can produce, and American weapons stockpiles have reached red-line levels.
According to the Financial Times, the White House is struggling to acquire more artillery shells to send to Kiev. A US official told the outlet that Washington has inked deals with South Korea and Bulgaria for 155 MM rounds and hopes Japan will make a similar agreement soon.
Recently, American officials have admitted that Washington has sent Ukraine all the rounds the Pentagon is willing to part with. President Joe Biden authorized sending 155 MM cluster rounds to Kiev to cover the shortfall.
Biden is violating American law by sending cluster munitions to Ukraine. Cluster bombs drop submunitions that often do not explode until years after the conflict ends. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and injured by bomblets left behind from America’s bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War.
The Financial Times reports that Ukrainian forces are currently using about 8,000 artillery rounds per day. Currently, the US can only produce about 24,000 shells per month. NATO military leaders have chastised the Ukrainian officers for relying too heavily on artillery. Ukrainian leaders complain that Western leaders pushed them into a counteroffensive without having airpower, leading to Kiev relying on other tactics.
High-ranking American officials have repeatedly claimed that Ukrainian forces have been given everything they need. “Ukraine is well prepared and well trained to be successful,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last week.
However, the Wall Street Journal reported last month that Western officials knew Kiev lacked the military capability to retake territory Russia has captured. Still, NATO pushed Ukrainian forces to launch a counteroffensive. “When Ukraine launched its big counteroffensive this spring, Western military officials knew Kyiv didn’t have all the training or weapons—from shells to warplanes—that it needed to dislodge Russian forces. But they hoped Ukrainian courage and resourcefulness would carry the day. They Haven’t.”