After hounding the US and other NATO members for weeks about his need for heavy weapons to defend against Russia’s ongoing “special military operation”, Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, appears to have been granted his wish.
The US Congress, on April 28, passed legislation that breathed life into a World War II-era law that would allow the US to quickly supply weapons to Ukraine on loan.
By a vote of 417 to 10, the House of Representatives sent the revised 80-year-old law to the desk of President Joe Biden, where he is expected to sign it (the US Senate had earlier passed the legislation unanimously.)
“Passage of that act enabled Great Britain and Winston Churchill to keep fighting and to survive the fascist Nazi bombardment until the United States could enter the war,” said Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland who has been at the forefront of anti-Russian legislation over the years. “President Zelensky has said that Ukraine needs weapons to sustain themselves, and President Biden has answered that call.”
The Congressional action comes on the heels of President Biden approving an additional $33 billion in military aid on top of the nearly $3 billion already provided to Ukraine since the start of the conflict with Russia. While much of the earlier weapons shipments focused on light weaponry such as anti-tank missiles and man-portable air defense systems, the new support package places an emphasis on heavy weaponry, such as howitzers and armored fighting vehicles, which Ukraine needs to replace equipment destroyed or damaged in battle.
Beware of what you wish for.
General Omar Bradley, a famous American military commander during World War II who knew more than a thing or two about killing Nazis, is attributed with saying “amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.” For every piece of heavy equipment that the Ukrainian military is about to receive as part of this massive infusion of military aid provided by the US there is attached the unspoken yet critical reality of the issue of maintenance and sustainability. Simply put, if it’s broke, you can’t use it. And military equipment breaks – frequently – especially when subjected to the strains and stress of unending modern combat.