US Army is under Greater Strain as it Foots the Tab for Ukraine Support

US Army is under Greater Strain

The US Army has been forced to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Ukraine’s conflict against Russia over the last few months as financing for the country faces an uncertain future in Congress.

Army officials are growing more and more concerned that, in the absence of new funding, they will have to start taking money from other important projects in order to continue supporting Kyiv.

The Army has expended approximately $430 million on a variety of missions since October 2023, the start of the fiscal year, including equipping Ukrainian forces, moving equipment, and deploying US troops to Europe.

As one senior Army officer put it to the media, “We’re essentially bringing it out of hide in the Military.”

The Europe and Africa Command of the Army has so far covered that bill. The command has about $3 billion to cover $5 billion in operating costs without a 2024 budget authorized by Congress, and without additional cash allocated for Ukraine, according to a second senior Army officer. 

This covers not just the activities pertaining to aiding Ukraine, such as providing training and transferring arms and equipment to Poland and Ukraine, but also additional actions for the United States command across Europe and Africa.

US Army is under Greater Strain as it Foots the Tab for Ukraine Support
Army officials say they will be forced to start making difficult choices and reallocate funds from less important programs

Army officials say they will be forced to start making difficult choices and reallocate funds from less important programs, like desperately needed barracks building or recruitment incentives in the face of record-low recruiting, if Congress hasn’t approved extra financing for Ukraine within a few months.

The second senior Army officer warned Media that by the end of May, Army Europe and Africa’s about $3 billion budget would run out of money for activities relating to Ukraine as well as other locations in Europe and Africa if the Army doesn’t find more funding.

US Army Official Stated

The Army official stated that we would run out of [operations and maintenance] funding in May if we don’t receive a base budget, if we don’t receive the Ukraine supplementary [funding package], if the government closes, if we don’t receive anything else, and if nothing shifts from today.

These activities involve equipment flowing into the region and training exercises for Army personnel in Europe and Africa. He also mentioned that contracts would not be paid on time and could result in penalties.

The officer stated that if these money were not taken from somewhere else in the Army’s budget, we would not be here today.

The senior civilian official in charge of the Army, Christine Wormuth, told Media that she anticipates the Army will “have to sort of rob Peter to pay Paul.” Wormuth is ultimately responsible for allocating a large portion of the budget.

It matters a great deal where I spend every extra dollar I have. And I’m always debating whether to post it on the barracks or not. Should I include it in the enlistment bonuses? Should I use it for workouts? Should I set it to modern? Wormuth remarked, “I don’t have extra money to be just kind of donating some of that.”

She reiterated the urgent need for financing, saying, “This was cash that we expected to be refilled, obviously, by the supplement.”

The president has declared mission vital, thus training for Ukrainian forces has continued even though United States funding for the country has stopped. At the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany, the US is training some 1,500 Ukrainians, according to Col. Martin O’Donnell, spokesman for United States Army Europe and Africa. At the Morris Air National Guard Base in Arizona, the US is still educating Ukrainian pilots on the F-16 fighter plane domestically.

Apart from training, the Ukrainians continue to receive arms and equipment from US stockpiles acquired under prior Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) packages, as well as from defense industrial base purchases made as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

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