Ohio Senator J.D. Vance still isn’t pulling punches on the Ukraine war. On Sunday, he blasted President Joe Biden, claiming that the administration’s support for Ukraine is “a massive drain on our national security.”
Vance tweeted these remarks in response to Biden’s CNN interview aired earlier today in which he conceded that both Ukraine and the U.S. are running low on 155 mm ammunition. Vance called it a “stunning admission.”
Vance has emerged as not just a critic of U.S. support for Ukraine but also of the broader U.S. military-industrial complex, leading what one might call the Tucker Carlson wing of the Republican Party.
Republican Criticism of Ukraine War Could Grow At Pivotal Moment
Vance argues that the depletion of U.S. artillery stockpiles severely hinders Washington’s ability to counter an increasingly assertive Beijing. The Ohio senator said that in a single generation, the U.S. has “gone from the ‘arsenal of democracy'” to “can’t supply enough artillery shells for a regional conflict in Eastern Europe.” He criticized those who he said “pretend we can focus on both East Asia and Russia simultaneously.”
President Biden’s admission that “we” — not just the Ukrainians — are running low on 155 mm ammunition is indeed a significant statement. The president made the remarks to legitimize his controversial decision to provide Ukraine with cluster bombs. But it could end up doing damage on the political front at home.
While there’s a bilateral consensus that China is the top national security challenge for the U.S., there are growing divisions within both the Democratic and Republican parties on the Ukraine war.
The argument that the Ukraine war is depleting the U.S. ability to counter China in the South China Sea is gaining currency among conservatives. Among its leading proponents include former senior Pentagon official Elbridge Colby, a noted China hawk.
Biden’s admission could add to the ranks of Republicans who are critics of the massive support the U.S. has provided to the Ukrainian war effort — just as Ukraine’s counteroffensive stalls. Ukraine is likely to ask for more expansive military aid to hit Russia harder. But it’ll find much greater resistance in Washington in the weeks and months ahead.
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