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If Ukraine is Winning, How Come America Can’t Keep Up With Demand?

Either Ukraine is terribly inefficient at war, or Russia is a lot bigger than the Western Press lets on.

ScottCDunn
4 min readFeb 2, 2023

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There is something that has been bugging me about this war. One side says Ukraine is winning. Another side says that Ukraine is blowing through artillery stocks like there is no tomorrow. America can’t keep up. Not only that, the United States has been badgering countries all over the world, telling them to send *something* to Ukraine (or else…). Or else what?

South American countries don’t want to provoke Russia, one of their largest trading partners. I know, Putin can’t be trusted, but in South America, they seem to be pretty happy trading with Russia. Germany spent months defying America before it finally sent tanks to Ukraine. The UK, America’s lapdog, was already sending gear from the beginning. But it seems that most of the world doesn’t share America’s enthusiasm for this war.

In America, we’re depleting our armories, but not to the point where we can’t defend ourselves. It’s becoming clear that we can’t keep supplying Ukraine with ammo and shells without ramping up production. And there is a big problem with ramping up production, one that few are talking about in the Western press. From CNBC, “The U.S. and Europe are running out of weapons to send to Ukraine”, September 28, 2022:

Military analysts point to a root issue: Western nations have been producing arms at much smaller volumes during peacetime, with governments opting to slim down very expensive manufacturing and only producing weapons as needed. Some of the weapons that are running low are no longer being produced, and highly skilled labor and experience are required for their production — things that have been in short supply across the U.S. manufacturing sector for years.

The same article tells us that we’ve sent ten years of peacetime production of Javelin missiles to Ukraine. Another familiar number is that the American defense industry produces 30,000 155 mm shells a year. Ukraine burns through that in two weeks.

One question that comes to mind is this: We’ve been increasing the defense budget at a rate faster than inflation for years, why…

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