OPINION | This article contains the author's opinion.
During an interview with CNN, President Biden appeared to slip up and reveal sensitive military information regarding the war in Ukraine.
Biden publicly admitted that is running out of critical munitions, but so is the United States.
Biden is specifically referring to M864 artillery shells, which are fired from 155mm howitzers. This “cluster” munition splits into dozens of smaller explosive devices called “bomblets.”
Cluster bombs are canisters that carry dozens of smaller bombs.
While they are designed to explode on impact, as many as 30% do not, making them a risk to civilians for years.
Over 90% of recorded cluster bomb casualties are civilians, of which nearly half are children.
— Joshua Reed Eakle (@JoshEakle) July 7, 2023
Revealing this information about ammunition shortage is widely viewed as damaging to Ukraine and the United States. The country is unable to scatter destruction over a wide area without this munition.
“I know it’s a very difficult decision in my part,” Biden said.
“And by the way, I discussed this with our allies, discussed this with our friends up on the Hill, and we’re in a situation where Ukraine continues to be brutally attacked across the board by munitions, by these cluster munitions that are — have dud rates that are very, very low, I mean, very high that are a danger to civilians, number one.”
Joe Biden just told the world that the United States is running low on ammunition. pic.twitter.com/oRn2smkE56
— DR. ETIQUETTE 🤦♂️ (@DrEtiquette) July 9, 2023
“Number two, the Ukrainians are running out of ammunition. The ammunition that they used to call them 155-millimeter weapons. This is a war relating to munitions, and they are running out of that ammunition and we’re low on it.”
“And so what I finally did, I took the recommendation of the Defense Department to, not permanently, but to allow for in this transition period where we have more 155 weapons, these shells for the Ukrainians, to provide them with something that has a very low dud rate,” he added.
“It’s about — I think it’s 1.50, which is the least likely to be blown.”
Joe Biden wasn't supposed to say the quiet part out loud: "We've run out of ammunition". But now that the cat's out of the bag, one must ask whether continued support of Ukraine's military is even feasible as the conflict rages on. pic.twitter.com/jddIrHlSM8
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 9, 2023
Byron York, the chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, stated that Biden’s acknowledgment of the vulnerability of munitions serves as a case against transferring these weapons to Ukraine.
“In CNN interview, President Biden is not particularly clear but seems to be saying US is sending cluster munitions to Ukraine because we are running out of 155mm artillery ammunition to send them,” York wrote. “Seems obvious this is affecting US readiness to defend itself.”
In CNN interview, President Biden is not particularly clear but seems to be saying US is sending cluster munitions to Ukraine because we are running out of 155mm artillery ammunition to send them. Seems obvious this is affecting US readiness to defend itself. pic.twitter.com/ofKyZQUx2X
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 9, 2023
love when the president of America goes on CNN to tell everyone we’re low on ammo. https://t.co/vd0eQRh75Z
— Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) July 8, 2023
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, 11.24.22: The Russians are "experiencing significant shortages of artillery munitions". https://t.co/u5Q6f0EOZp
Joe Biden, 7.7.23: The Ukrainians are "running out of that ammunition, and we're low on it."https://t.co/lBGbeYwjYQ
— Phil (@PaleoPhil) July 8, 2023