OAN Roy Francis
8:25 AM – Wednesday, July 12, 2023
During a recent interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, President Joe Biden admitted that the United States is “low” on ammunition after sending multiple military aid packages to Ukraine.
During the interview, which aired on Sunday morning, Biden defended his turnaround decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine. While speaking with Zakaria, Biden let slip that the U.S. is running low on 155mm ammunition, which is why the cluster munition was approved to be sent to Ukraine.
“This is a war relating to munitions. And they’re running out of that ammunition, and we’re low on it,” Biden said. “And so, what I finally did, I took the recommendation of the Defense Department to – not permanently – but to allow for this transition period while we get more 155 weapons, these shells, for the Ukrainians.”
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a former U.S. Army officer who now sits on the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, said that Biden had finally acknowledged that his administration did not adequately prepare the country for the prolonged conflict, and the support that he has been sending to Ukraine.
“The president is right,” he said. “His administration hasn’t done enough to prepare the United States for a major conflict, including sufficiently accelerating munitions production.”
Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind.) said that he’s glad Biden finally admitted that there is a problem. However, he went on to explain that due to the amount of ammunition and weapons that were sent to Ukraine, if the U.S. was to enter a major conflict, the country “would run out of key ammunition in less than week.”
“In a hot war with China the U.S. would run out of key ammunition in less than a week,” Banks said. “I’m glad Joe Biden finally acknowledged that’s a problem, but he forgot to mention a main reason for our defenselessness: Democrats took billions in weapons that had been bought by taxpayers over decades and in a year sent them all to Ukraine.”
After the interview, the White House scrambled to walk back the statement given by the president. A White House official said that the country retains a certain amount in reserve and that everything that has been sent to Ukraine was “excess” ammunition.
“The military has specific requirements for the numbers of weapons systems and ammunition we maintain in our reserves in case of contingencies or military conflict,” the White House official said. “Everything we send to Ukraine is in excess of that. So, the U.S. is not running out of ammunition ourselves.”
The White House official also defended the decision to send the cluster munitions for Ukraine.
“We are authorizing cluster munitions to ensure that Ukraine is not left defenseless while we wait for our own domestic production of ammunition to ramp up substantially, which we are in the process of doing as are our allies and partners,” the official said. “These cluster munitions are a bridge as we significantly increase production of ammunition over the coming months – and will have much higher production levels soon.”
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