A ground operation in Gaza would require the types of arms for which stockpiles are already low, the news network said
The US is scrambling to ensure it can supply munitions to Israel in case of a possible ground incursion into Gaza, CNN has reported, citing multiple US officials. US stockpiles are already significantly depleted due to the arming of Ukraine.
The Pentagon has provided public assurances that it can support both Israel and Ukraine without compromising its own security and global force projection. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated that stance on Wednesday after announcing the latest $200 million aid package for Kiev.
So far Israel has requested and received from the US interceptor missiles for its Iron Dome system. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s greatest needs are 155mm artillery shells and other arms required for ground combat. But if and when Israel starts a ground incursion into Gaza, it may need supplies of those too, the outlet suggested.
According to CNN, the Pentagon is instructing defense producers to speed up existing Israeli orders to expedite shipments. It is also “working around the clock … to identify extra stores of munitions around the world and how to move them to Israel quickly.”
The US has used some of its stockpiles of artillery shells from Israel to bolster Ukraine’s resources in its fight against Russia.
The Israeli government has predicted that the military campaign against the Hamas group would likely be “prolonged.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly informed US President Joe Biden on Monday that Israel will eventually send ground troops into Gaza. The Jewish state said it was determined to “obliterate” the militant movement for its deadly incursion last Saturday.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has expressed concern that the Israeli crisis would draw Western attention away from his nation. He made an unannounced visit to NATO headquarters on Wednesday and participated in a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a body that coordinates military assistance to Kiev. Participating countries are normally represented at meetings by their defense ministers.
Contributing to the uncertainty for Kiev is the chaos in the US Congress, which started before the outbreak of violence in the Middle East. Pressured by Ukraine-skeptical Republicans, lawmakers opted not to include aid for Ukraine in a stopgap spending bill last month.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives was left without a speaker after Kevin McCarthy was ousted for allegedly striking a secret deal with the White House to ensure continued funding of Ukraine – something that McCarthy denied.
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby suggested on Wednesday that the Pentagon may find itself “at the end of the rope” in terms of long-term assistance to Ukraine due to the appropriations turmoil.
October 12, 2023 at 05:29PM