A handful of countries have been awarded contracts worth more than $1 billion to arm Ukraine as it fends off an invasion by Russia, according to a U.S. Defense Department report Pentagon document Published Wednesday.
Arkansas is at the top of the list because it is home to companies that have contracts to supply new weapons to Ukraine, replace existing U.S. weapons sent to Ukraine, or modernize their infrastructure to support future production have.
The Nov. 22 Pentagon document titled “Ukraine Security Assistance” provides an overview of the military portion of U.S. aid to Ukraine that totaled approximately 69.5 billion euros (equivalent to 76.3 billion US dollars) According to the Germany-based Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the measures are promised until September. The Pentagon estimated that about $44 billion in security assistance was provided to Ukraine.
The Pentagon’s three-page summary provides an overview of how and where about $30.6 billion of this military aid will be spent as part of overall aid. The US has also sent humanitarian and financial aid to Ukraine.
More than half of the $30.6 billion approved by Congress – $16.8 billion – went to replenishing U.S. arms stocks to Ukraine, according to the document, the release of which was previously reported by Reuters.
President Joe Biden has cited the economic benefits of defense production as a key part of his justification for a $106 billion overall spending bill that includes aid to Ukraine, Israel, Gaza and the Indo-Pacific region with increased funding for the U.S would combine border security.
But that bill is being blocked by Republicans who want to see a change in border policy as a condition for aid to Ukraine moving forward.
“We are sending Ukraine equipment that is in our stockpiles. And when we use the money that Congress appropriated, we use it to replenish our own supplies – our own supplies – with new equipment – equipment that defends America and is made in America,” Biden said during a speech in October when he presented the supplementary spending bill.
“Just as in World War II, patriotic American workers today are building the arsenal of democracy and serving the cause of freedom.”
The Pentagon document does not specify which weapons are manufactured in which states, although many of them are well known. For example, two plants in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — the area where Biden grew up — produce 155-millimeter artillery shells used by Ukraine. The US Army said this was the case doubled monthly mussel production since last year, And this type of production boosts the local economy as new buildings are built and workers are hired.
In Arkansas, according to the Pentagon, $1.64 billion went into new weapons and replacement weapons for Ukraine, and another $703 million went into modernizing the infrastructure for prime contractors and key suppliers involved in arming the European country .
The state with the second largest contract volume was New Mexico, with combined weapons and modernization investments of $2.08 billion. Others with more than $1 billion included Pennsylvania at $1.98 billion, California at $1.53 billion, Texas at $1.48 billion and Florida at $1.11 billion.
In total, since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Pentagon has supplied the country with more than two million 155 mm artillery shells, more than 2,000 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, more than 10,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 200 Bradley and 200 Stryker combat vehicles.
Russia illegally annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and began a full-scale invasion of the country on February 24, 2022. Despite widespread expectations that it would fall quickly, Ukraine put up fierce resistance and recaptured much of its lost territory later in the year.
Despite a counteroffensive by Ukraine in late summer, the battle lines remained unchanged for much of 2023. Still, the U.S. says it has regained about 50% of the land originally captured by Russia in the invasion.
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