United States Leans Into Industrial Base to Boost Aid for Ukraine

United States Leans Into Industrial Base to Boost Aid for Ukraine

The arrival of heavier weapons in Ukraine is quite likely to have a major impact on the battle for the Donbas.


As Russia struggles to make gains and Ukraine continues to defend key areas, the Pentagon, U.S. allies, and perhaps even Ukraine are solidifying preparations for what may evolve into a long-term Ukrainian war against Russia. Given the prospect of a protracted engagement, the Pentagon and NATO allies are assessing industrial base capacity to ensure that sufficient quantities of arms and equipment can flow into Ukraine while making sure not to diminish their own readiness in any way. President Biden recently visited a Javelin production plant to assess production capacity and future plans, and the United States has been clear that its readiness has not been weakened by its ongoing support for Ukraine.

“The Armed Forces of the United States of America is going to continue to be the best-armed, most capable fighting force in the history of the world,” Biden said on Tuesday while visiting a Javelin factory in Alabama. Biden added that “this fight is not going to be cheap, but caving to aggression would even be more costly.”


The question of when and how the conflict might end continues to take on more significance as the West pivots toward a longer-term posture.

“Nobody knows how long this is going to go. And again, I'll say it again; I'll keep saying it every day; it could end today. It could end right now. This is a war of choice that Mr. Putin decided to wage on his own while he still had diplomatic options on the table. So it could end now. There's no reason for it to go a single other day,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters on Monday.

Recent Pentagon reports have said that Russia is making intermittent progress in some areas of eastern Ukraine while also struggling with troop morale and equipment challenges. Recently, U.S. officials have pointed out that Russia has achieved essentially none of its objectives in its campaign thus far, which is perhaps one reason why there appears to be a concentrated Russian effort to learn from recent mistakes and prepare for a sustained incursion into the Donbas.

“The Russians are going to be concentrating now almost all of their remaining combat power in the Donbas and in the south. And because Ukrainians have clearly shown no interest in capitulating and not fighting for every inch of their territory, there is a distinct possibility that this could go on for quite some time,” Kirby said.

The Ukrainians continue to fight with fervor, tenacity, and resolve, while Pentagon reports have cited indications that the Russians are casualty averse and less inclined to fight. The arrival of heavier weapons in Ukraine is also quite likely to have a large impact on the fight, as 155mm artillery rounds—able to destroy Russian targets out to thirty kilometers—will improve Ukraine’s ability to slow down or stop advancing mechanized units. If Ukraine receives more long-range fires, heavy armored vehicles, artillery, and air defenses, Russia will face even more challenges in advancing quickly. While the future is unknown, it seems entirely possible that Ukraine will continue to stand its ground.

Kris Osborn is the Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Image: Reuters.