ua en ru

US military likely to run out of money to support Ukraine, CNN

US military likely to run out of money to support Ukraine, CNN Photo: The US military may run out of money to support Ukraine (Getty Images)

The US Army is forced to pay for the support of the Ukrainian military on its own since Congress has not yet voted on a law to help Ukraine, reports CNN.

It is noted that the US military has already had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in bills to support Ukraine's military efforts over the past few months. Further, they will have to take funding from other projects to continue supporting the Armed Forces.

Since October 2023, the military has already spent more than $430 million on various operations, including training Ukrainian troops, transporting equipment and redeploying American troops to Europe.

The bill has now been paid by Army Europe and Africa Command. Without a 2024 budget approved by Congress and no additional funding specifically for Ukraine, the command has roughly $3 billion to pay for $5 billion in operational costs.

US military will face difficult decisions

It is not only about operations related to the support of Ukraine but also other operations of the American command throughout Europe and Africa.

If Congress still doesn't approve new funding for Ukraine within months, Army officials will have to start making tough decisions and pulling money from less important projects, such as building barracks or boosting conscription amid record-low recruiting.

"If the Army doesn’t pull funds from elsewhere, Army Europe and Africa’s roughly $3 billion budget would run out of money for operations not just related to Ukraine, but elsewhere in Europe and Africa," says the article citing a high-ranking army official said.

Training of Armed Forces continues

While U.S. funding for Ukraine has dried up, Ukrainian military training has continued as President Joe Biden has identified it as critical.

Colonel Martin O'Donnell, the representative of the US Army in Europe and Africa, told CNN that the US is training about 1,500 Ukrainians at the Grafenwehr training ground in Germany.

In the USA, training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighters continues at the Morris Air National Guard Air Base in Arizona.

In addition to training, the Ukrainians continue to receive equipment from the US stockpiles as part of the previous packages of the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), as well as from weapons and equipment purchased at the defense industrial base as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

Congress needs to approve 2024 budget

The millions of dollars the U.S. military has spent this fiscal year are divided into three main categories, a second official explained: contracts, travel and transportation, and supplies.

This covers logistics needs, food, key equipment such as oil and spare parts, not only for the Ukrainians, but also for the US forces that train them. So far in fiscal year 2024, the Army has spent $39.7 million on ground transportation.

"While some of what the Army is spending can be replenished through the supplemental spending bill being debated on Capitol Hill, it’s also critical to the service for Congress to approve budget for the 2024 fiscal year. Last month, lawmakers approved a short-term funding bill to keep the government open until the beginning of March," writes CNN.

F-16 pilot training

National Guard bureau chief Gen. Daniel Hokanson told reporters that the agency will eventually need more resources if the U.S. intends to train more Ukrainian F-16 pilots.

"We do have the resources to continuing the training that’s already started … and hopefully get all those folks completed later on this year," Hokanson said.

However, if the US wants to increase the number of pilots for training, then additional funds will be needed. A senior military official warned that ultimately, the funding delay would have broader consequences than disrupting training or aid to Ukraine.

Aid to Ukraine from US

The US has run out of funds allocated to help Ukraine. Last year, US President Joe Biden asked Congress to allocate more than $100 billion to help Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as well as protect the US border.

However, the request was criticized by the Republican Party in Congress. Republicans demanded tougher measures to protect the borders and therefore did not support the initiative. Thus, aid to Ukraine became dependent on the position of members of the Republican Party.

In February, the US Senate supported its own bill on aid to Ukraine and Israel for more than 90 billion dollars. It provides for 60 billion euros to help Ukraine. However, the US House of Representatives is on vacation and will not be able to consider the bill until March.

As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated, the financial package from the US is vital for Ukraine and there are no alternatives to it.