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Western Ammunition Stockpiles Nearing ‘Bottom of the Barrel’ Amid Ukraine Conflict, NATO Official Warns

(Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Robert Schmad, Daily Caller News Foundation

A NATO official warned at the Warsaw Security Forum on Tuesday that Western ammunition stockpiles are close to empty, CNN reported.

Admiral Rob Bauer, NATO’s most senior military official and chair of the NATO Military Committee, expressed concern that Western powers are nearly out of munitions to give Ukraine while speaking at the conference in Poland, which is focused on European security and transatlantic cooperation, according to CNN. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in April that Ukraine’s Western allies had sent in $70 billion in military aid, according to PBS.

“The bottom of the barrel is now visible,” Bauer said, according to CNN. “We give away weapons systems to Ukraine, which is great, and ammunition, but not from full warehouses.”

James Heappey, minister of state for the armed forces of the United Kingdom, echoed Bauer’s concerns that stockpiles have been depleted, but argued that “we have to keep Ukraine in the fight tonight and tomorrow and the day after and the day after,” according to CNN. The West should be “continuing to give, day in day out, and rebuilding our own stockpiles,” he added.

Air Force General James Hecker warned in July that America’s weapons stockpile was “dangerously low,” Breaking Defense reported.

The United States has been racing to ramp up production of 155mm artillery shells to supply to Ukraine, according to The Washington Post. Ukraine’s military uses between 6,000 and 8,000 shells a day, according to the Associated Press.

The United States was producing 14,000 115mm artillery rounds per month, and has since ramped up production to 28,000 rounds per month as of September, according to Reuters. It is pushing to increase production to 100,000 rounds a month in 2025.

President Biden reassured American allies on Tuesday that the United States would continue its military support of Ukraine. Congress has approved around $113 billion in aid to Ukraine since the war began in February 2022, according to CNN.

A Center for Strategic and International Studies analysis found in January that the United States is not prepared for a potential war with China, reporting that “the U.S. use of munitions would likely exceed the current stockpiles of the U.S. Department of Defense.” The report cited deficiencies in the United States’ industrial capacity, as evidenced by the war in Ukraine, as an example of America’s unpreparedness.

NATO did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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