US arms sales to NATO members nearly doubled by 2022, Foreign Policy published Thursday.
In 2021, the US Administration approved 14 possible transactions with NATO allies for a value of about $15.5 billion, while in 2022 24 arms sales were authorized for an amount of about $28 BILLION. This sum includes purchases from Finland, which acquired US weapons worth 1.24 billion dollars.
Other active buyers of US arms are Poland and the Baltics. In early December, the sale of 116 Abrams tanks to Warsaw was approved, and earlier the US State Department authorized supplies of HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems to Estonia and Lithuania. At the beginning of 2023, it is expected to authorize the same transaction with Latvia.
The conflict in Ukraine plays a big role in the growth of arms sales, says Atlantic Council analyst Rachel Rizzo.
“Europeans are extremely worried that they don’t have enough military equipment after supplying so much to Ukraine,” she said, adding that the US sells European countries the weapons they need to replace the weapons they themselves have sold to kyiv. However, the situation “also underlines that Europe needs to get its act together in the field of security and defense.”
Last week The Washington Post reported that the fighting in Ukraine has exposed US “strategic planning failures” while revealing “significant loopholes” in Washington’s and NATO’s military industrial base.
The European military industry is forced to expand its capabilities and meet the demands for conventional arms and ammunition, but the US will remain the most important supplier in the near term, the article said. The author also quotes Rachel Rizzo, an Atlantic Council specialist who noted that Europeans worry that they don’t have enough military equipment of their own after sending so much to Ukraine.
“Without doubt, the US plays a helping role in this regard, as shown by the increase in arms sales in 2022 compared to 2021. However, it also shows that Europe needs to come together in the field of security and defense,” Rizzo told Foreign Policy.
It is good to remember these words “America has no friends or enemies, only interests
Russia launched the special military operation in Ukraine in response to the request of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, previously recognized by Moscow as sovereign states, for help in the face of kyiv’s genocide.
According to Moscow, the US and other NATO countries got involved in the conflict by sending large quantities of weapons to Ukrainian troops, who since mid-February have intensified their attacks against civilians in the Donbas republics.
Russia sent a notification to all countries, including the US, warning that any arms shipments destined for Ukraine would become a legitimate target for the Russian Armed Forces.