US announces new weapons package for Ukraine, as funds dwindle and Congress is stalled on aid bill

According to officials, the U.S. announced Wednesday what could be its final package of military assistance for Ukraine unless Congress passes supplemental funding legislation which is stuck on Capitol Hill.

These weapons, which are worth up to 250 million dollars, include a variety of air munitions, missiles and anti-armor systems as well as ammunition, medical equipment, and demolition parts. The aid will come from Pentagon stocks. It is provided by the Presidential Drawdown Authority.

Marine Lt.Col. Garron Garn said in a Pentagon statement that there was no funding available to replace weapons removed from the department stock. The Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (which provides long-term financing for future weapon contracts) is also short of funds.

Garn stated Wednesday that “without the supplemental funding there will be an insufficient replenishment of U.S. Military stocks, which will affect American military readiness.”

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Joe Biden has urged Congress to pass an $110 billion package of aid for Ukraine, Israel, and other national security requirements. The package includes $61.4 billion in aid for Ukraine. About half of that amount will be used to replenish Pentagon stock. Also included are approximately $14 billion to fight Hamas in Israel and $14 billion to secure the U.S. borders. The remaining funds will be used to meet security needs throughout Asia-Pacific.

There is still $4.2 billion of restored drawdown authority due to an accounting mistake that overvalued certain weapons sent to Ukraine in the last year or more. Garn explained that since the Pentagon does not have the money to replenish the inventory sent to Kyiv it will be forced to “rigorously evaluate” any future assistance and its impact on the U.S. Military’s ability protect America.

It is similar to other recent packages in terms of size and content. This is the 54th package of military aid that has been taken off the shelves of department stores and sent to Ukraine.

Defense and government leaders in the United States have said that these weapons are essential for Ukraine to maintain their defense and to continue its efforts to mount an attack against Russian forces in the winter months.

Air Force Maj.Gen. Pat Ryder, in a Pentagon briefing held last week noted that the Defense Department Comptroller had recently sent a letter to Congress stating that the United States will exhaust its replenishment fund by the end the year.

Ryder, Pentagon’s press secretary, said: “Once these funds are committed, we will exhaust the funding that is available to us for providing security assistance to Ukraine.” “We will continue to push for the approval of the supplemental we have submitted.” We must have the necessary funds to provide the urgent battlefield capabilities they need.

The latest aid package arrives as the Ukraine war drags into its 22nd year. Russia launched almost 50 Shahed drones against Ukrainian targets and shelled Kherson train station, where over 100 civilians had gathered for a train from Kyiv. A day earlier, Ukrainian planes had damaged a Russian vessel moored off the coast of Crimea in the Black Sea. Both sides are still struggling to advance along the frontlines.