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March 4, 2024

Look deeper: Time may be on Ukraine’s side

By John R. Deni

If Kyiv can hold out through the next winter—a big if—there are trends that run in its favor.

Conventional wisdom is that time is on Russia’s side as Ukraine battles to fend off Moscow’s invasion. Although much remains unclear, it seems certain that if Congress fails to fund more military assistance to Ukraine or if U.S. policy shifts dramatically after Inauguration Day 2025, Kyiv may be forced to sue for peace. However, if these two possibilities do not come to pass, and if Ukraine can hold out through next winter, there are some indications that the tide will turn in Kyiv’s favor.

Perhaps the most significant indication that a longer war would advantage Ukraine is the fact that U.S. defense industry is slowly but steadily reprising its role as “the arsenal of democracy.” For instance, the United States has increased its output of 155mm shells far faster than expected, with plans to increase it further. From a rate of around 14,000 rounds per month before Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February 2022, the United States has exceeded its target of 24,000 rounds by the end of 2023 and is now on track to produce around 36,000 per month by March. Furthermore, that rate should be doubled by this time next year.

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Background image by BEATA ZAWRZEL/NURPHOTO via Getty Images from from Defense One article (https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2024/03/look-deeper-time-may-be-ukraines-side/394649/)