On February 15, Russia’s RIA Novosti state news agency quoted retired U.S. Colonel Douglas Macgregor’s interview with the “Judge Napolitano – Judging Freedom” program, streamed on YouTube that same day.
The Russian translation of Macgregor’s claim isn’t precise but represents his ideas accurately:
“We just don’t have ammunition to send. We have reached the limit; our own reserves are rapidly coming to an end.”
This statement is misleading and fits into the Kremlin’s anti-U.S. and anti-Ukraine propaganda targeting Russia’s domestic audiences.
In reality, for most categories of ammunition, the U.S. can provide support to Ukraine indefinitely. Only for two types of ammunition — 155 mm artillery ammunition, which includes a wide variety of non-precision projectiles, and 155 mm Excalibur GPS-guided precision artillery shells — the United States may have a shortage in the coming years if it doesn’t replenish.
However, the U.S. has already moved to increase munitions production to avoid shortages. Another way to prevent ammunition shortages is to purchase it from third countries. The U.S. military has already purchased Soviet-standard 152 mm and 122 mm artillery shells and 125 mm tank shells outside the United States.
According to the Pentagon, “Since 2014, the United States has committed approximately $24 billion in security assistance to Ukraine and approximately $21.2 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked, full-scale invasion on February 24.”
On December 15, 2021, when the United States was warning about an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Kremlin was denying any such plans, RIA Novosti reported it was unlikely that the Ukrainian army could withstand a Russian military invasion for more than three to four days. The agency quoted an article in The National Interest written by Macgregor and former CIA officer George Beebe:
“Under these circumstances, it is not unreasonable to assume that Russian ground forces would reach their operational objectives along the Dnieper River in as little as seventy-two to ninety-six hours.”
However, the Russian troops were unable to reach their goals in the Dnipro River basin even by mid-March 2022.
As of January 2, 2023, Ukraine had liberated 40% of the territory that Russian forces occupied after last year’s invasion. [Continue reading…]