An amendment meant to replenish stocks of U.S. weapons sent to Ukraine could lead to a U.S. ground war with Russia.

by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J S Davies, The Progressive Magazine

If the powerful leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senators Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Jim Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, have their way, Congress will soon invoke wartime emergency powers to give the Pentagon more leeway to build up even greater stockpiles of weapons. The amendment is supposedly designed to replenish the weapons that the United States has sent to Ukraine, but a look at the wish list proposed in this amendment reveals a different story.

Reed and Inhofe’s plan is to tuck their wartime amendment into the FY2023 National Defense Appropriation Act that is scheduled to pass during the lameduck session before the end of the year. The amendment sailed through the Armed Services Committee in mid-October and, if it becomes law, the Department of Defense would be allowed to lock in multi-year contracts and award non-competitive contracts to arms manufacturers for Ukraine-bound weapons.

Ukraine soldier holds a rifle

But if the Reed/Inhofe amendment is really aimed at replenishing the Pentagon’s supplies, then why do the quantities it calls for vastly surpass those that have been sent to Ukraine?

Let’s do the comparison:

  • The current star of U.S. military aid to Ukraine is Lockheed Martin’s HIMARS rocket system, the same weapon U.S. Marines used to help reduce much of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, to rubble in 2017. The United States has only sent thirty-eight HIMARS systems to Ukraine, but Reed and Inhofe plan to “reorder” 700 of them, with 100,000 rockets, which could cost up to $4 billion.
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