Pentagon Has Billions Left Over for Ukraine, but Not to Replenish US Weapons Stocks

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The Pentagon still has billions remaining for military assistance to Ukraine after Congress’ stopgap government funding bill omitted any provisions for aid, but concerns remain about the Pentagon’s ability to replenish stockpiles of U.S. weapons, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Defense Department officials.

Officials said they were not sure how much longer the funding would last, but that the $5.2 billion remaining for drawing down from U.S. weapons stockpiles loosely reflects the amount sent over the past six months, according to The Wall Street Journal.

However, an account that provides for replenishment of U.S. stocks has just $1.6 billion left, and officials are concerned it will run out before Congress appropriates more funds.

A separate pot of funding that allows the U.S. to order new equipment from the defense industry for Ukraine, the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, is empty, the Pentagon officials told the Journal.

The Biden administration has devoted a total of $43.9 billion to help Ukraine fight off Russian forces since the invasion in February 2022. The funds remaining are about 12% of that total, which appears to be a significant amount, according to the WSJ.

But aid packages have typically come every two weeks. One more is expected later this week, a U.S. official told Politico.

“There is [a] strong, very strong international coalition behind Ukraine. And if Putin thinks he can outlast us, he’s wrong. He’s wrong,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday in briefing reporters, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “And so we will have another package of aid for Ukraine soon to signal our continued support for the brave people of Ukraine.”

President Joe Biden signed a stopgap spending bill Saturday to avert a government shutdown after the fiscal year ended at midnight. That bill didn’t include additional funding for Ukraine.

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Congress has not passed spending bills for fiscal year 2024, and it’s unclear when these spending bills will reach Biden’s desk.

Biden has sought an additional $24 billion in Ukraine spending.

For now, concern about maintaining security assistance to Ukraine in the short term has not reached crisis levels, The Wall Street Journal reported. U.S. officials say they’re more worried about the signals the stopgap bill sends to Ukraine, U.S. allies, and the Kremlin that American support could wane or disappear entirely.

But the Biden administration is not to the point of changing its expectations for long-term support, even as the anti-interventionist right notched a temporary win in cutting Ukraine funding, the Journal reported.

“Nobody is hitting the panic button over here,” one U.S. official told the Journal.

Officials in Kyiv also downplayed the situation, the newspaper reported.

“We are now working with both sides of Congress so that it does not happen again under any circumstances,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Monday, according to the Journal. “Therefore, we do not believe that U.S. support has faltered.”

The Defense Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

This report originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

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The post Pentagon Has Billions Left Over for Ukraine, but Not to Replenish US Weapons Stocks appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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