Britain’s weapons stockpiles reduced to ‘nothing’ – The Times
Britain’s weapons stockpiles have been nearly completely emptied out by almost two years of deliveries to Ukraine, The Times has reported. The British newspaper also claimed that the UK, together with other Western European nations, is scrambling to ramp up arms production ahead of the 2024 presidential election in the US.
While London has spent more than £4.6 billion ($5.7 billion) on arming Kiev since February 2022, NATO’s deputy supreme allied commander for Europe, Gen. Tim Radford, warned in July that the UK risked losing its status within the US-led bloc. The general cited personnel shortages, among other issues.
The Times quoted an anonymous Ukrainian military source as saying that Britain had “nothing” left in terms of weapons it could donate. The unnamed official added, however, that London was still playing a crucial role in persuading other nations to ship arms to Kiev.
According to the newspaper, citing an unnamed staffer from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office, Britain and several other Western European countries are “cranking through the gears” to make sure Ukraine has enough military supplies to fall back on in case a new US administration decides to withhold or drastically diminish defense aid.
Britain and other Western nations are allegedly seeking to extend the conflict into 2025, and possibly beyond, the source said, in the hope of stretching Russia’s resources and forcing it to eventually relent.
The Times also claimed that a growing number of Ukrainians are becoming weary of the conflict, with the idea of sealing a truce with Russia presumably gaining traction among the population. This sentiment is in part fueled by the political impasses in the US and the EU, which have left a massive amount of aid for Kiev hanging in limbo, the paper reported, citing an anonymous Ukrainian military source.
A similar report was published back in early October by the Telegraph, which at the time quoted an unnamed senior British military official as warning that the UK had “given away just about as much as we can afford.”
Meanwhile, back in August, British MP Andrew Murrison, who serves as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence People and Families, floated the idea of allowing the British military to recruit candidates with such conditions as autism, Asperger’s, and ADHD. The lawmaker cited “serious” staffing shortages, adding that to tackle the problem London may also want to extend the retirement age for military personnel.