Wednesday, April 13, 2022

"Historic Arms Express" Into Ukraine

Just in the past several weeks since Russia launched its aggression against Ukraine, the U. S. alone has provided roughly $1.7 billion in arms to Ukraine, ranging from tank-killing Javelin missiles (5,000), to anti-aircraft Stinger missiles (1,400) to ammunition and other supplies. The Biden Administration is rushing an additional $750 million to Ukraine, which may include Humvees, long-range artillery, and anti-ship missiles to attack Russia's Black Sea ships.

The provision of these weapons has allowed the outnumbered Ukrainians to defeat Russian forces, causing them to regroup in the eastern part of the country. It's also a testament to the logistical prowess of the U.S. military to move large amounts of materiel in a short amount of time, despite Russian threats to target the weapons pipeline, as AP reports:

"U.S. officials and analysts offer numerous explanations for why the Russians have had so little success interdicting Western arms moving overland from neighboring countries, including Poland. Among the likely reasons: Russia’s failure to win full control of Ukraine’s skies has limited its use of air power. Also, the Russians have struggled to deliver weapons and supplies to their own troops in Ukraine.

Some say Moscow’s problem begins at home.

The short answer to the question is that they are an epically incompetent army badly led from the very top,” said James Stavridis, a retired U.S. Navy admiral who was the top NATO commander in Europe from 2009 to 2013."  (our emphasis)

As the Russians continue their war crimes by targeting civilian populations in eastern Ukraine, the flow of weapons continues over the country's borders:

“'The scope and speed of our support to meeting Ukraine’s defense needs are unprecedented in modern times,' said John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary. He said the approximately $2.5 billion in weapons and other material that has been offered to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration is equivalent to more than half of Ukraine’s normal defense budget. [snip]

The specific routes used to move the U.S. and other Western materials into Ukraine are secret for security reasons, but the basic process is not. Just this week, two U.S. military cargo planes arrived in Eastern Europe with items ranging from machine guns and small arms ammunition to body armor and grenades, the Pentagon said.

A similar load is due later this week to complete delivery of $800 million in assistance approved by President Joe Biden just one month ago. The weapons and equipment are offloaded, moved onto trucks and driven into Ukraine by Ukrainian soldiers for delivery.

Kirby said the material sometimes reaches troops in the field within 48 hours of entering Ukraine."  (our emphasis)

The Russians are on their heels right now but won't be for long, and their vicious war against humanity will resume. The West needs to provide the defensive and offensive weapons systems to Ukraine to counter it.

(photo: Javelins are loaded onto a cargo plane bound for Ukraine. Brendan Hoffman / NY Times)


No comments: