Britain believes the West is running out of weapons in its headlong rush to supply Ukraine in its war with Russia. This came after years of trimming military stockpiles after the Cold War’s end, but now nations are paying the price for cutting back.
British Armed Forces Minister Jaems Heappey spoke to the Warsaw Security Forum on Tuesday and issued the warning.
He noted that “stockpiles are looking a bit thin” and that some key supplies for the military have “run dry.” His comments were echoed by an unnamed “senior military source” speaking to a British newspaper on the subject of depleted stocks.
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Heappey emphasized that the shortage did not mean Western powers could simply halt shipments to Kyiv.
He said that would be wrong. However, the message was that it is important to make changes in the defense industry and that nations also need to replenish their own thinning stockpiles.
And according to the Daily Telegraph, an anonymous source highly placed in the military confirmed that the Ukraine war has drained the nation’s weaponry.
The source declared, “We’ve given away just about as much as we can afford…We will continue to source equipment to provide for Ukraine, but what they need now is things like air defense assets and artillery ammunition and we’ve run dry on that.”
Likewise, U.S. stockpiles are increasingly low as the war drags through its second year. Retired Marine Col. Mark Cancian is with the Center for Strategic International Studies.
He told CBS News that Ukraine’s forces are using artillery shells at a rate that far outpaces the Pentagon’s ability to produce them. “They’re using about as much in a month as we produced in the year.”
Cancian added that “for a couple of key items, the stockpile is getting low.”
Lockheed Martin is reportedly manufacturing one long-range HIMARS system every ten minutes. U.S. weapons outlays for Ukraine thus far have added up to $30 billion.
Cancian noted that war games conducted earlier this year showed that the U.S. military would run out of a key weapon within the first few days of a battle with China. Supplies of the Long Range Anti Ship Missiles (LRASM) would be quickly depleted.
The war games simulated a Chinese attack on Taiwan and a military response by the U.S.