President Joe Biden made headlines this week when he openly admitted that the United States is running out of ammunition. During an interview with CNN’s Zakaria, the president admitted that the US has already had to transfer cluster bombs to Ukraine to help the nation defend itself.
The admission highlights an alarming lack of preparedness at a time when tensions with foreign nations like Russia and China are high. The Biden administration’s foreign policy appears to be one of projecting incompetence rather than strength.
The announcement of US ammunition transfers to Ukraine came after many suspected that the US had already run out of basic artillery shells. Ukraine has been locked in a conflict with Russian-backed separatists since the 2014 revolution. The US has given limited military assistance to Ukraine in the years since, but the cluster bomb transfer indicates Biden’s new administration may have exhausted even that reserve.
If so, then the Biden administration must find new ways to demonstrate American strength and support in the region. As a former vice president, Biden is no stranger to international diplomacy and foreign affairs. But after decades of government service, his latest blunder has offered little proof of his qualifications on the world stage — quite the opposite, in fact.
Further, Biden’s admission indicates the extent to which the US is reliant on other countries. Ukraine, which is dependent on the US for military aid, is now returning the favor by providing the US with bombs. In the long-term, the US should strive for a policy of self-sufficiency to avoid entanglements like this in the future.
Critics of the Biden administration have been quick to point out the mounting evidence that it is making big mistakes in foreign policy. These blunders have already caused several diplomatic faux pas, and if they continue, they could do significant damage to the US’s reputation on the world stage.
Rather than project weakness, the US should double down on intelligence gathering and diplomatic outreach to stay informed about international affairs and foster positive relationships with foreign nations. Developing a strong and reliable defense network in the region is also essential in the face of growing instability.
Under no circumstances should the US ever allow itself to run out of ammunition. While it may be tempting to take it easy on the global stage, doing so could send the disastrous message that the US is willing to back down in the face of aggression. This is a message that must never be sent, as it could lead to calamitous results.
The Biden administration must act now to develop a lasting and effective strategy for defending America and its allies. It is clear the current approach is not working. One blunder too many, and the US’s reputation as a reliable global partner could be permanently tarnished.
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