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Sullivan says Ukraine package critical for US munitions production amid concern of shortage

National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday said the Ukraine aid package that hangs in the balance after clearing the Senate with bipartisan support is critical for U.S. munitions production amid concern of a shortage. 

Fox News host Shannon Bream asked Sullivan to respond to concerns voiced by Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at the Munich Security Conference last week. Vance, who reportedly skipped out on a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the conference, advocated for a ‘negotiated peace’ with Russia, raising concern that the United States does not make enough munitions to support a war in Eastern Europe, a war in the Middle East amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, ‘and potentially a contingency in East Asia’ if China were to invade Taiwan. 

‘What is the president’s plan for rebuilding this gap now in weaponry – so we can help our allies, so we can protect ourselves?’ Bream asked, citing a recent report published by Defense News claiming the U.S. will run out of critical munitions only eight days into a high intensity conflict with China over Taiwan. 

‘We have discovered over the past two years, since the start of the war in Ukraine, since Biden came into office, that the cupboards were not as full as they should have been based on underinvestment over the course of the past 20 years, and we have been working since day one of this administration to build up the defense industrial base, to increase the production of critical munition systems,’ Sullivan said. ‘And three years into the Biden administration, we are producing significantly more than the day we walked into office.’ 

‘Second, this bill, this bipartisan bill that the Senate just passed, is the best answer to your question. It contains substantial resources to enhance the production capacity of our defense industrial base so that we can build munitions not just for Ukraine, but also to make sure that the United States military has the tools it needs to deter any adversary anywhere in the world, any time,’ Sullivan continued. ‘If we don’t pass this bill, it is going to mean less money going to 40 of the 50 states of the United States that are currently in the process of producing critical munitions. We have got to get that money out the door.’ 

The U.S. is considering ramping up production of 150mm munitions to 100,000 a month by the end of 2025, Vance noted in his speech, while the Russians ‘make close to 500,000 a month right now at this very minute.’ 

‘So the problem here vis-à-vis Ukraine is America doesn’t make enough weapons, Europe doesn’t make enough weapons, and that reality is far more important than American political will or how much money we print and then send to Europe,’ Vance said. 

Sullivan, who appeared on several other network news programs Sunday morning, is calling on House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to bring a package for billions more in U.S. aid for Ukraine to a vote. 

‘There is not a shortage of bravery or courage on the part of the Ukrainians. Right now, there is a shortage of bullets,’ Sullivan admitted earlier in the program. ‘The way to fill that shortage is for Congress on a bipartisan basis to pass funding that will give Ukraine the tools it needs to succeed and to ensure that Russia fails in this conquest. We believe that they are capable of doing that. And in fact, the bipartisan Senate vote could be replicated in the House if the speaker would put the bill on the floor.’ 

On Friday, the United States and European Union heaped hundreds of new sanctions on Russia in connection with the second anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine and in retaliation for the death of noted Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny last week in an Arctic penal colony. The U.S. government imposed roughly 600 new sanctions on Russia and its war machine in the largest single round of penalties since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

President Biden on Friday called on Congress to pass Ukraine aid, condemning Johnson for giving the House a two-week vacation while Russia is taking Ukrainian territory for the first time in months. ‘They have to come back and get this done, because failure to support Ukraine in this critical moment will never be forgotten in history,’ he said. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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