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Video Above: Top Army Weapons Buyer Details Future Attack Technology

By Kris Osborn - President, Center for Military Modernization

(Washington D.C.) - The Pentagon has launched a massive, large-scale shift in its continued support to Ukraine by authorizing the largest support package thus far during the war, incorporating $2.98 billion in both short and long term military assistance to Ukraine.

Pentagon Ukraine Military Assistance

The large authorization, which includes more air defenses, artillery, counter-artillery radars and ammunition, reaches far beyond near term efforts to supply Ukraine with weapons from US stocks to support the current and near term fight. The aid package, called Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), includes new provisions through which industry can produce its own new weapons and equipment for Ukraine to enable long-term deterrence, sustainment and combat as needed.

“When we take things out of our own stocks, we're taking things out of our own stocks. And that puts certain constraints on what we can provide, on what timelines. When we do USAI, we are buying stuff on contract, and therefore the private sector can produce these things,” Colin Kahl, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, told reporters according to a Pentagon transcript. “The capabilities in this package are tailored to sustain Ukraine's most critical capability needs in the medium- to long-term.”

As for the specifics, what Kahl announced is more of the same in some respects as it incorporates six more National Advanced Surface to Air Missile Systems, as many as 245,000 rounds of 155-millimeter artillery, 24 counter-artillery radar and up to 65,000 rounds of 120-millimeter mortar ammunition.

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Interestingly, Kahl outlined a particular strategic or conceptual element to the new package, explaining it was specifically intended to counter Putin’s apparent wish to “outlast” Ukrainian resistance, in effect using “time” as a weapon of war.

“His (Putin’s) theory of victory is that he can wait everybody out, he can wait the Ukrainians out because they will be exhausted and attrited, he can wait us out, because we'll turn our attention elsewhere. He can wait the Europeans out because of high energy prices, or whatever,” Kahl explained.

The actual evidence of international resolve to stop Russia, however, indicates and entirely different reality than Putin may be wishing for. The collective humanitarian outrage at Putin's willingness to kill children and civilians, coupled with a very serious concern about European and global stability, has continued to inspire a consortium of more than 50-countries to share in a collective resolve to stop Russia over the long term.

The goal of USAI, therefore, is to enable and support a strong multi-national, Western industrial base to produce new weapons specifically for Ukraine. Perhaps the greatest significance of this, as explained by Kahl, is that this enables Ukraine to maintain, sustain or even upgrade these weapons over the long term. This is why an ongoing rotation of training for Ukrainian weapons operators and military leaders will accompany the effort.

“We hope that the USAI package helps to send a particular signal to Putin that he can't just wait everybody out, and that, hopefully incentivizes Russia to stop the fighting and to get down to negotiations. But if it doesn't, and the fighting continues, then the assistance continues to be relevant. If it does incentivize him to strike a deal, the assistance is still relevant, because Ukraine will have to hedge against the possibility that Russia could do this again,” Kahl said.

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.

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President, Center for Military Modernization