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The war between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas (THE SPECIAL – UPDATES) poses serious questions to European countries and the United States, undecided whether and how many weapons to send to the government of Jerusalem, which is preparing to begin an offensive also by land in the Gaza Strip. In fact, it must be considered that the West is already busy sending weapons and ammunition to Ukraine (THE SPECIAL – UPDATES), which could now be disadvantaged by this open front in the Middle East: it is no coincidence that in yesterday the Kiev Military Intelligence Services claimed that Moscow was indirectly behind the Hamas attacks, with the passage of those weapons stolen from the Ukrainians and of Western origin. A way to respond to the Kremlin’s accusations, which underlined the possible complicity of Volodymyr Zelensky’s government. “It is obvious that the hundreds of thousands of tons of weapons that the West sends to the territory of Ukraine do not completely stop there and that some are sold by ‘arms barons’ around the world. Everyone knows this well,” said Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov. Western weapons production and future supplies were a central theme of “Numeri”, the episode of Sky TG24 which aired on 9 October 2023.
America’s ability to produce weapons
The first ones who could be affected by this double front are the United States, which has emptied its warehouses to help Kiev. As data from the US Ministry of Defense indicate, the American capacity to produce artillery shells for 155 mm howitzers was 400 thousand pieces per year, but the Russian-Ukrainian conflict led this production to grow, reaching almost 2 million pieces . An extraordinary effort, of which the Pentagon itself seems to be aware if it is true that a few days ago, when there was a risk of shutdown, the Ministry of Defense warned Congress that the funds to rebuild the stocks are practically exhausted and that there is a risk of slowing down new shipments without additional funds. In the event that the risk of ending up in temporary operation threatens Washington again, the possibility could become more concrete.
United States and EU compared
The United States, however, seems to want to increase the production of howitzer shells, in order to better assist Kiev: as the sources of the Ministry of Defense and the White House point out, the current production of artillery shells was 14 thousand per month before the war in Ukraine, which makes 168 thousand per year. The ambitious goal that the Biden Administration has set itself is to reach the goal of 85,000 per month by 2025, i.e. over one million per year. For the moment the average production is just 28 thousand bullets per month (336 thousand every twelve months). Too little for Ukrainian needs, which would like at least 8 thousand a day. A figure that currently seems unattainable for its suppliers: as highlighted by data from both American and European sources, US production is currently stuck at a thousand per day, as is that of the European Union. A small figure, which could now be modified by what is happening in the Middle East.