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US has ‘no viable plan’ for Ukraine – senator

Zelensky has a math problem, J.D. Vance of Ohio has written in a New York Times op-ed

Kiev cannot win against Moscow because it has run out of men and needs more weapons and ammunition than Washington could possibly provide, US Senator J.D. Vance said on Friday.

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer argued that “the biggest reason Ukraine is losing the war is because the hard-right in the Congress has paralyzed the US from acting.” The New York Democrat claimed that a small group of Republicans have been holding up a vital $60 billion aid package for Kiev.

In an op-ed published by the New York Times, Vance addressed Schumer’s claim and accused President Joe Biden of having “failed to articulate even basic facts” about what Ukraine needs and the reality on the ground.

“The Biden administration has no viable plan for the Ukrainians to win this war,” Vance argued.

“Ukraine’s challenge is not the GOP; it’s math,” the Ohio Republican wrote. “Ukraine needs more soldiers than it can field, even with draconian conscription policies. And it needs more matériel than the United States can provide.”

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Not only is $60 billion a fraction of what Ukraine would need to turn the tide, Americans “lack the capacity to manufacture the amount of weapons Ukraine needs us to supply to win the war,” Vance argued. 

He pointed to the fact that the US can make 360,000 shells for 155mm artillery per year, “less than a tenth of what Ukraine says it needs,” and that’s after doubling prewar production capacity. 

Vance also took aim at the White House’s messaging that funding Kiev is good for US military industry.

“The notion that we should prolong a bloody and gruesome war because it’s been good for American business is grotesque. We can and should rebuild our industrial base without shipping its products to a foreign conflict,” he wrote.

The US insistence on not negotiating with Russia is “absurd” and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s goal of restoring Ukraine’s 1991 borders is “fantastical,” Vance added. He urged Kiev to dig in and hold until some kind of peace can be brokered by Washington. 

Earlier this week, however, Zelensky said Ukraine was planning yet another counteroffensive – after the costly failure of last summer’s operation – but needed even more weapons and ammunition from the West.

 

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