Europe in panic mode over rapid depletion of military stockpiles — Wall Street Journal

NEW YORK: Unease and alarm are rising across many European countries over the weakened state of national armed forces and depleted military ...


NEW YORK: Unease and alarm are rising across many European countries over the weakened state of national armed forces and depleted military arsenals as the United States takes an increasingly isolationist stance in the Ukrainian conflict, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the authoritative US publication, Western countries see "no immediate military danger to Europe from Russia" as long as the conflict in Ukraine continues. "But if Russia ultimately wins in Ukraine, few doubt Moscow’s capacity to rearm completely within three to four years and cause trouble elsewhere," the newspaper said. Against this backdrop, "alarm has grown as America has moved toward a more isolationist stance" on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the newspaper pointed out.

According to the Wall Street Journal, fears are being driven by the realization that "much of Europe’s industrial capacity to make weapons has eroded over years of budget cuts" after the end of the Cold War. Building up military capacity appears to be a "challenge" due to budget constraints amid slow economic growth in European countries and an aging population, the newspaper said. In addition, a significant proportion of citizens of European countries do not support the idea of financing military spending through cutting funding for social welfare benefits.

To illustrate the scale of the arms problem, the Wall Street Journal cites data showing that the military arsenal of the United Kingdom, considered Europe's top defense spender, currently has only 150 tanks and about a dozen serviceable long-range artillery pieces. France, next in military spending, has "fewer than 90 heavy artillery pieces, equivalent to what Russia loses roughly every month" in the Ukraine war zone. As for Germany, the Bundeswehr has only enough ammunition for two days of fighting, the newspaper added.

Top Ukrainian military commander Valery Zaluzhny acknowledged in an article published in The Economist in early November that the conflict had reached a "stalemate." Later, in an interview with the same publication, he said that Ukrainian troops would not be able to make a breakthrough on the front. According to him, a positional conflict of attrition could drag on for years and wear Ukraine down.

The Ukrainian army had been making unsuccessful attempts to conduct an offensive since June 4. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Kiev has lost more than 125,000 men and over 16,000 weapons in six months. The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that Kiev’s offensive has failed to bring significant results to Ukraine. In recent weeks, the West and Kiev have repeatedly said that the "counteroffensive" has not been successful enough and that the situation on the front-line is a stalemate for the Ukrainian side.


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Local Glob: Europe in panic mode over rapid depletion of military stockpiles — Wall Street Journal
Europe in panic mode over rapid depletion of military stockpiles — Wall Street Journal
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