NATO Running Out of Weapons for Kiev Regime
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
Months before Russia launched its counteroffensive against NATO’s crawling encroachment on its western borders, the political West started sending massive amounts of weapons and munitions to the Kiev regime. Initially, the deliveries primarily included tens of thousands of man-portable missiles for various purposes, including ATGM (anti-tank guided missiles) and MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems) weapons. Even then, it already became clear that NATO’s stocks couldn’t provide enough weapons for a long-term conflict, while it would take years to ramp up deliveries by expanding production lines. This was further exacerbated when the Kiev regime started asking for more advanced weapons and systems amid mounting battlefield losses.
Many NATO member states were (and still are) forced to send weapons and munitions which were already in short supply for their own militaries. This is particularly true when it comes to former Warsaw Pact member states of the belligerent alliance, many of whom were forced to give up their Soviet-era weapons. Old NATO powers promised to send their weapons to replace these older arsenals of the alliance’s Eastern European members, although this process proved to be quite slow. On the other hand, the Kiev regime’s ever-growing demands are putting additional pressure. As NATO’s current production capacity simply cannot meet these requests, the Neo-Nazi junta’s battlefield prospects look grimmer by the day. “If this does not happen, we won’t be able to win — as simple as that,” Dmytro Kuleba, the Kiev regime chief diplomat warned during a recent meeting.
On November 26, the New York Times reported that approximately two-thirds of NATO members have effectively run out of weapons by sending them to the Kiev regime. Even the more prominent alliance members with big MICs (Military Industrial Complexes) are having major issues keeping up with the Kiev regime’s demands. According to an unnamed NATO official, 20 out of 30 member states are “pretty tapped out” in terms of additional weapon and munition supplies to the Neo-Nazi junta. While members such as the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy still have the ability to arm the Kiev regime with basic weapons, even they are refraining from sending specific weapons systems requested by the junta.
The demands include various types of strategically impactful weapons, including surface-to-surface guided missiles such as ATACMS, a weapon with a 300 km engagement range. The US officially rejected such demands, supposedly “out of concern” the missiles could be used to attack targets deep within Russia. However, the more likely reason is that the Pentagon is fully aware of the fact that it would take years to replace its current stocks of such missiles and it’s not very keen on expending them all without certain replacement. The same is true for many other types of weapons and systems which are equally needed to maintain optimal military power.
Artillery is especially important in this regard. As soon as the Kiev regime started burning through its Soviet-made stocks, many of which were also destroyed in Russia’s long-range strikes, NATO was forced to provide both artillery pieces and shells. As the alliance’s post-(First) Cold War doctrine shifted toward a more interventionist style of warfare, artillery became less important, resulting in ever-shrinking stocks.
According to various reports, the enormous demand for artillery munitions is putting tremendous pressure on NATO members trying to meet the Kiev regime’s requests. At present, the Neo-Nazi junta forces are firing at least five thousand shells per day, but the US, by far the most heavily armed NATO member state, can only produce 15,000 shells per month. Camille Grand, a defense expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told the New York Times that “[a] day in Ukraine is a month or more in Afghanistan.”
On the other hand, the soaring demand is extremely profitable for the Military Industrial Complexes of the political West. “Taking into account the realities of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the visible attitude of many countries aimed at increased spending in the field of defense budgets, there is a real chance to enter new markets and increase export revenues in the coming years,” according to Sebastian Chwalek, CEO of Poland’s PGZ, a corporation that owns a number of weapons manufacturers. However, the US MIC has been experiencing by far the largest windfall in this regard. Arms industry giants such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon already made billions in the opening months of the Ukrainian crisis.
Back in May, during a visit to a Lockheed Martin plant, US President Joe Biden stated that the US would ramp up weapons production, but that “this would not come cheap.” However, most US officials and experts agree that this is not only a question of funding, as it will take years to increase production in order to meet the current demand, which is expected to grow exponentially in the foreseeable future. “If you want to increase the production capability of 155 mm shells. It’s going to be probably four to five years before you start seeing them come out the other end,” according to Mark F. Cancian, a former White House weapons strategist and current senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The US and NATO have already stated that they’re committed to fighting a long proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. In October, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin openly admitted this is the plan that Washington DC and its satellites have. He said that the US and NATO would “boost Ukraine’s defensive capabilities for pressing urgent needs and for the long term.” However, as the US is profiteering from the crisis, especially at the EU’s expense, the bloc is becoming increasingly frustrated, a feeling even the most senior officials in Brussels are now ready to express more freely than ever before.
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