From almost nothing, Ukraine has become a major recipient of US weapons

Date:

From almost nothing, Ukraine has become a major recipient of US weapons

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Friday, October 14, 2022.
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Until this week, the US had given Ukraine approximately $17.5 billion in armaments and military support.

  • Saudi Arabia accounted for 23.4% of all US arms shipments between 2017 and 2021, followed by Australia (9.4%), South Korea (6.8%), Japan (6.7%), and Qatar (5.4%) as the top five arms importers from the US. According to the most recent numbers provided by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the figure for Ukraine during the same period was 0.1 percent (SIPRI). But with the steady flow of American weapons, this pitiful number is predicted to soar in 2022. According to a delegation of power from the President, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on October 4, “I am approving our 22nd drawdown of U.S. armaments and equipment for Ukraine since August 2021.”He stated that the additional weapons, ammunition, and equipment from the U.S. Department of Defense inventory are part of the $625 million drawdown.

  • President Biden reiterated at the UN General Assembly last month that the US will continue to help the Ukrainian people as long as necessary.

  • He claimed that conversations had already taken place regarding the potential delivery of tanks, combat aircraft, and other enormous armaments to Ukraine.

  • And if it does, Ukraine will move up the list of countries that receive US weapons.

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 14 – Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the war-torn nation has received an endless supply of munitions, making it one of the leading receivers of US weapons and American security aid.

Until this week, the US had given Ukraine approximately $17.5 billion in armaments and military support.

Saudi Arabia accounted for 23.4% of all US arms shipments between 2017 and 2021, followed by Australia (9.4%), South Korea (6.8%), Japan (6.7%), and Qatar (5.4%) as the top five arms importers from the US.

According to the most recent numbers provided by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the figure for Ukraine during the same period was 0.1 percent (SIPRI).

But with the steady flow of American weapons, this pitiful number is predicted to soar in 2022.

According to a delegation of power from the President, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on October 4, “I am approving our 22nd drawdown of U.S. armaments and equipment for Ukraine since August 2021.”

He stated that the additional weapons, ammunition, and equipment from the U.S. Department of Defense inventory are part of the $625 million drawdown.

With this reduction, the amount of military aid provided by the United States to Ukraine since the Biden Administration’s start in January 2021 will equal more than $17.5 billion.

According to Pieter Wezeman, Senior Researcher, Armaments Transfers Programme at SIPRI, Ukraine received significantly fewer US arms than the top 15 recipients.

This will alter in 2022 as Ukraine receives significant weapon systems from the US, including radars, 142 M-777 towed guns, close to 1000 older model light armoured vehicles, and 20 HIMARS long-range rocket launchers.

“These are the most valuable systems that Ukraine has received from the US per item, but the numbers involved and the military or financial value of these weapons are minor compared to what some other nations have acquired in significant systems in recent years,” the author writes.

He emphasised that Ukraine hasn’t gotten any further supplies that are particularly important or expensive per unit, such as contemporary tanks, combat planes, large ships, or long-range air defence systems.

Dr Natalie J. Goldring, a visiting professor of the practice at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, told IPS that there are several dangers associated with these transfers of weaponry.

The possibility that Russian forces may seize the weapons and use them against American soldiers is a serious risk. She also cautioned that firearms still present after a fight would be moved to other fronts of hostilities.

She cited the worst-case scenario of US weaponry being deployed against the US military. It is more challenging to establish accountability and prevent weapon diversion when massive amounts of weapons are transferred in a short amount of time.

She cited that “Russian President Vladimir Putin may not accept the claim that these weapons are simply being delivered to assist Ukraine to defend itself, especially if we’re giving weaponry that can attack targets inside Russia” as the most significant risk.

This might escalate the crisis further and result in more threats of using nuclear weapons than President Putin has already made, she said.

Dr Goldring, who also represents the Acronym Institute at the UN on conventional weapons and arms trade problems, stated that escalating threats raise the possibility of the actual deployment of nuclear weapons, whether on purpose or by mistake or accident.

She asserted that in the end, the military contractors triumph regardless of how the fight turns out. For some of the weapons delivered to Ukraine, the Defense Department has already begun ordering replacements. What looks to be an ongoing commitment to providing Ukrainian soldiers is profitable for US arms producers.

Supply line issues could make it difficult to promptly replace the weapons delivered to Ukraine, even for weapons still in development. This begs the question of how long the US military can continue to receive these shipments without jeopardising the readiness of the US army, she continued.

The security aid package for Ukraine that was revealed on 4 October 2022 is the 22nd withdrawal from US stocks in less than a year, according to the US Department of Defense.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stated, “The capabilities we are delivering are carefully calibrated to make the most difference on the battlefield and strengthen Ukraine’s hand at the negotiating table when the time is right,” in the press release announcing the additional drawdown authority on October 4, 2022.

However, the seemingly endless flow of weaponry from the US is likely to continue. US defence companies will likely continue to expand their profits without any sign of when actual peace negotiations will take place. But at the same time, as the number of weapons moved grows, so do the associated risks, she said.

Blinken defended US arms sales by declaring: “We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine as they courageously and resolutely assert their freedom and independence. When the moment is perfect, the capabilities we are delivering will boost Ukraine’s leverage at the bargaining table and make the most significant difference on the battlefield. With Ukraine, we are unified.

President Biden reiterated at the UN General Assembly last month that the US will continue to help the Ukrainian people as long as necessary.

According to Blinken, “recent developments from Russia’s fake referendums and attempted annexation to discoveries of cruelty against citizens in Ukrainian area once under Russian authority only increases our determination.”

“We are supplying the guns and equipment that Ukraine’s forces are using so effectively today in a successful counter-offensive to take back their territory stolen unlawfully by Russia,” he said. “United with our Allies and partners from 50 nations.”

According to Wezeman, most US military assistance to Ukraine consists of massive quantities of anti-tank missiles, such as around 8,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles, over a million rounds of heavy artillery, and likely thousands of very advanced guided rockets for the HIMARS systems.

He claimed that such quantities of ammunition were significantly beyond the typical annual imports of ammunition by any recipient of US armaments.

Wezeman added that even though tens of thousands of rounds of such ammunition would be required to equal the price of one new F-15SA combat aircraft, the infrastructure, training, spare parts for munitions, etc., the numbers are so significant that they do matter.

He claimed that conversations had already taken place regarding the potential delivery of tanks, combat aircraft, and other enormous armaments to Ukraine. And if it does, Ukraine will move up the list of countries that receive US weapons.

Former Director of Foreign Military Markets at Defense Marketing Services, Senior Defense Analyst at Forecast International, and Middle East/Africa Military Editor at Jane’s Information Group in the US, Thalif Deen, has a background in all three of these fields. Additionally, he is the author of the recently published book “No Comment and Doesn’t Quote me on That” about the United Nations, which is available on Amazon.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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