In an interview with CNN, US President Joe Biden attempted to provide a rationale for his contentious choice to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine by disclosing a potentially sensitive information regarding America’s military capabilities. He acknowledged that the scarcity of 155mm artillery rounds necessitated the provision of cluster bombs to Kiev.
“This is a war relating to munitions, and they’re running out of that ammunition, and we’re low on it,” Biden said to Fareed Zakaria of CNN.
The host reminded the audience of a prior statement by the White House, which labeled the use of cluster bombs by Russian forces as potentially constituting a “war crime.”
Critics on the conservative side, including US podcast host Steve Guest, contended that Biden revealed sensitive information that should have remained classified. They questioned whether President Biden considered the fact that our adversaries, such as communist China, might be listening and gathering intelligence when he openly discussed the shortage of 155mm shells.
WATCH: Joe Biden broadcasts to the world that the U.S. is low on 155mm shells.— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) July 9, 2023
Does President Biden not care that our adversaries in communist China are listening?
During the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, where the United States and its European allies were set to convene and address the Russia-Ukraine conflict, President Biden made his remarks. Republican lawmakers asserted that his statement during the CNN interview showcased how the US-led initiative to supply significant amounts of weaponry to Kiev has compromised the defensive capabilities of the United States.
Senator J.D. Vance, a Republican from Ohio, described Biden’s statement as a remarkable confession and highlighted that he had been cautioning about this issue for more than a year. Vance stated that not only Ukraine but also the United States is facing a shortage of 155mm artillery shells, emphasizing that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is significantly straining national security.
Representative Andy Biggs, a Republican from Arizona, expressed his belief that considering Biden’s acknowledgment of depleting artillery reserves, it is imperative to halt any further shipments to Ukraine. Biggs emphasized the principle of prioritizing the interests and security of the United States.
An anonymous White House official contradicted Biden’s assertion, informing Fox News that the provision of military aid to Ukraine had not strained the United States’ ammunition supplies. The official explained that the military maintains specific requirements for the quantities of weapons systems and ammunition in its reserves, ensuring preparedness for contingencies or military conflicts. They emphasized that everything sent to Ukraine exceeds those requirements, indicating that the United States itself is not running low on ammunition.
Certain US lawmakers have characterized the conflict in Ukraine as a “proxy war” against Russia. David Sacks, a US technology entrepreneur and podcast host, observed that Biden’s strategy seems to be backfiring, despite Washington’s substantial defense expenditures surpassing those of Russia. Sacks questioned the effectiveness of the proxy war, noting that the United States depleted its ammunition first, leading to the query of who is actually weakening whom in this situation.