Pentagon Warns Congress Money is Low 10/03 06:15
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon is warning Congress that it is running low
on money to replace weapons the U.S. has sent to Ukraine and has already been
forced to slow down resupplying some troops, according to a letter sent to
The letter, obtained by The Associated Press, urges Congress to replenish
funding for Ukraine. Congress averted a government shutdown by passing a
short-term funding bill over the weekend, but the measure dropped all
assistance for Ukraine in the battle against Russia.
Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord told House and Senate leaders there is
$1.6 billion left of the $25.9 billion Congress provided to replenish U.S.
military stocks that have been flowing to Ukraine. The weapons include millions
of rounds of artillery, rockets and missiles critical to Ukraine's
counteroffensive aimed at taking back territory gained by Russia in the war.
In addition, the U.S. has about $5.4 billion left to provide weapons and
equipment from its stockpiles. The U.S. would have already run out of that
funding if the Pentagon hadn't realized earlier this year that it had
overvalued the equipment it had already sent, freeing up about $6.2 billion.
Some of that has been sent in recent months.
McCord said the U.S. has completely run out of long-term funding for Kyiv
through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which providesmoney to
contract for future weapons.
"We have already been forced to slow down the replenishment of our own
forces to hedge against an uncertain funding future," McCord said in the
letter. "Failure to replenish our military services on a timely basis could
harm our military's readiness."
He added that without additional funding now, the U.S. will have to delay or
curtail air defense weapons, ammunition, drones and demolition and breaching
equipment that are "critical and urgent now as Russia prepares to conduct a
President Joe Biden said Sunday that while the aid will keep flowing for
now, time is running out.
"We cannot under any circumstances allow America's support for Ukraine to be
interrupted," Biden said. "We have time, not much time, and there's an
overwhelming sense of urgency."
Mark Cancian, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies, said if the aid doesn't keep flowing, Ukrainian resistance will begin
"If there's no new money, they're going to start feeling it by
Thanksgiving," he said.
The short-term funding bill passed by Congress lasts only until
mid-November. And McCord said it would be too risky for the Defense Department
to divert money from that temporary funding bill to pay for more aid to Ukraine.
Many lawmakers acknowledge that winning approval for Ukraine assistance in
Congress is growing more difficult as the war grinds on and resistance to the
aid from the Republican hard-right flank gains momentum.