According to the paper, the Pentagon is now tapping into a previously undisclosed ammunition supply depot located in Israel in order to continue supplying Ukraine, leaving the U.S. vulnerable even as NATO allies -- themselves not overly supplied, in terms of their own militaries -- largely sit this fight out.
"The Pentagon is tapping into a vast but little-known stockpile of American ammunition in Israel to help meet Ukraine’s dire need for artillery shells in the war with Russia, American and Israeli officials say," the Times reports. "The stockpile provides arms and ammunition for the Pentagon to use in Middle East conflicts. The United States has also allowed Israel to access the supplies in emergencies."
This is simply the latest acknowledgment of dwindling arms and munitions for U.S. forces.
As for what's being tapped from the Pentagon's ammo stores in Israel, "About half of the 300,000 rounds destined for Ukraine have already been shipped to Europe and will eventually be delivered through Poland, Israeli and American officials said," according to the report.
Western supporters of Ukraine, which is a favored nation to the Bidens, appear to also be preparing Ukraine's forces to defend the country against an expected Russian offensive in the spring, meaning that hundreds of thousands of rounds will be needed.
But at the same time, there are only so many ordnance manufacturers and they can only turn out so much ammunition; if the U.S. continues to diminish its own stockpiles while at the same time continuing to supply Ukraine, where will the new supplies to replenish the dwindled stockpiles come from? And how soon can they be delivered? And will the quality be as good since no doubt the resupply will be rushed?
The stockpile in Israel has previously gone unreported, while another stockpile held oversees is also being tapped, in South Korea. Both countries have themselves thus far maintained an official policy of not arming Ukraine, with Israel in particular coming under pressure by both Washington and Ukrainian officials to send lethal aid.
Israeli reluctance and the fact that it must walk a fine diplomatic line with Russia given the Russian military presence in Syria, makes the Pentagon using its Israeli stores for a conflict in eastern Europe deeply controversial.
The Times report addresses the conundrum of resupplying what is being quickly used in Ukraine: "The shipment of hundreds of thousands of artillery shells from the two stockpiles to help sustain Ukraine’s war effort is a story about the limits of America’s industrial base and the diplomatic sensitivities of two vital U.S. allies that have publicly committed not to send lethal military aid to Ukraine."
This comes on the heels of a report that Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro told a naval warfare conference last week in Arlington, Va., that at some point within the next six months, the regime (and Congress) will face a decision — either continue to arm Ukraine or remain armed ourselves for a war that is likely coming with China.
The secretary was asked to respond to comments made at the conference by Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Caudle, the reporter said, worried that “the Navy might get to the point where it has to make the decision whether it needs to arm itself or arm Ukraine, and has the Navy gotten to that point yet?”
Del Toro replied, “With regards to deliveries of weapons systems for the fight in Ukraine…Yeah, that’s always a concern for us. And we monitor that very, very closely. I wouldn’t say we’re quite there yet, but if the conflict does go on for another six months, for another year, it certainly continues to stress the supply chain in ways that are challenging.”