U.S. Increasingly the Arsenal of Democracy as Ukraine turns Western Front
“The Arsenal of Democracy,” a term coined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during one of his 1940 Fireside Chat radio broadcasts, came as FDR was pushing Congress for an increasingly large bill of war goods for Great Britain and her exiled European allies as the U.S. remained a cautious neutral in the great fracas. This included lots of arms and ships taken directly from U.S. reserves.
Speaking of which, the Pentagon last week announced the latest withdrawal of equipment from U.S. military inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.
The 26th draw-down authorized by the Biden Administration includes 150 heavy machine guns fitted with thermal sights to counter Russian drones, 250 vehicles, 10,000 120mm mortar rounds, and “over” 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition among other items. In all, the latest stockpile is valued at up to $400 million. Overall, this brings the total of American military assistance to Ukraine this year to more than $19 billion. By comparison, Ukraine, whose government is a few degrees less democratic than that of the circa 1940 western allies, spent just $5.9 billion on its entire military in 2021 against a Russian budget of $65 billion.
“To meet Ukraine’s evolving battlefield requirements, the United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities,” noted the Pentagon.
When it comes to the running tally of equipment transferred from U.S. stocks to Ukraine this year, more than 104 million rounds of small arms ammunition of .50 caliber or smaller have been allocated along with 198 pieces of artillery and over 1.2 million shells. Add to this over 1,600 Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems, 8,500 Javelin tank killer missiles, and 38,000 “other anti-armor systems.”
The list of U.S. stocks, as of 23 November:
Meanwhile, from the Bakhmut region, comes these images of trench warfare, that, if they would have been in black & white tint, could have easily been mistaken for Passchendaele, Verdun, or the Somme.