The US has dipped into stockpiles of arms it keeps in Israel and South Korea to supply Ukraine with more artillery shells, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing anonymous US and Israeli officials.
The stockpile in Israel is meant to supply the US for its conflicts in the Middle East and is also used occasionally by Israel. Between the two stockpiles, the US has shipped hundreds of thousands of artillery shells to Ukraine, as Kyiv’s war effort is entirely reliant on the flow of US ammunition.
Israel hasn’t shipped weapons of its own to Ukraine and was initially concerned about the US drawing down from the stockpile to arm Kyiv. But US and Israeli officials told the Times that about half of the 300,000 shells bound for Ukraine have already been shipped to Europe and will enter Ukraine through Poland.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the US has pledged to send Kyiv over one million 155 mm artillery shells. A senior US official told the Times that a good portion of that number, although less than half, is being shipped from the stockpiles in Israel and South Korea.
The revelation demonstrates how supporting the war in Ukraine is depleting US military stockpiles. US weapons makers and the Army have big plans to ramp up ammunition production, but some military leaders are warning that it may be hard to arm both Ukraine and the US as the war drags on.
Ukraine is using an average of 90,000 rounds of artillery each month, which is more than double what the US and Europe can produce, signaling that the policy of supporting Kyiv’s war effort may be unsustainable.