The Pentagon is asking Congress for more funding because it is running low on money to replace the equipment and weapons sent to Ukraine, according to a top budgetary official in the Defense Department.
Emergency military aid to Ukraine is pulled from Pentagon stocks, making those weapons and equipment unavailable to U.S. forces. Congress previously approved around $26 billion to replenish U.S. stocks, but Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord told Congress that only $1.6 billion is left, Stars and Stripes reported.
“We have already been forced to slow down the replenishment of our own forces to hedge against an uncertain funding future,” McCord warned in the letter. “Failure to replenish our military services on a timely basis could harm our military’s readiness.”
McCord also expressed “deep concern” over the “absence of [new] security assistance funding for Ukraine.”
“[We are] anxious to avoid a lapse in appropriations, but it is important that a [continuing resolution] protect our security interests and uphold our commitments and our values,” he said.
“Without additional funding now, we would have to delay or curtail assistance to meet Ukraine’s urgent requirements, including for air defense and ammunition that are critical and urgent now as Russia prepares to conduct a winter offensive and continues its bombardment of Ukrainian cities,” McCord added. “For example, a lack of USAI funding now will delay contracting actions that could negatively impact the department’s ability to purchase essential additional 155 mm artillery and critical munitions essential to the success of Ukraine’s armed forces.”
McCord noted that delays in funding to Ukraine could be seen as “a sign of wavering U.S. support and likely as a betrayal of our previous commitments.”
“It is crucial that the U.S. continues to lead [the] global coalition, and we need the resources to underwrite our leadership role,” he said.
Since the war between Russia and Ukraine started last year, President Joe Biden’s administration has sent more than $75 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded assistance to Ukraine, according to PBS.
A new “60 Minutes” report on CBS News recently revealed that in addition to providing billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, the United States is subsidizing small businesses, purchasing seeds and fertilizer for farmers and covering the salaries of 57,000 first responders in Ukraine.