The US is running short of military funding provided to Ukraine under the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), while an emergency funding package intended to provide the Department of Defense (DoD) the ability to procure big ticket items for Kyiv is still yet to pass through Congress.
According to the US Department of State, the PDA allows for the “speedy delivery of defence articles and services” from DoD stocks to foreign countries and international organisations to “respond to unforeseen emergencies”.
Such assistance can begin arriving within days of approval, the State Department states, a process that has enabled Washington the ability to leverage the DoD’s own immense stockpiles of equipment to provide to Ukraine.
However; resources are finite, and the need by the US to maintain its own defence readiness is a key limiting factor into what can still be provided, as well as available funding.
As of 20 November 2023, that last public announcement of US military support to Ukraine, Washington had provided $44.2bn in security assistance since Russia’s invasion in February 2022. This included one Patriot air defence battery, 12 NASAMS air defence systems, over one million artillery rounds, more than 900 armoured vehicles, thousands of tactical vehicles, and tens of thousands of anti-armour munitions, among myriad other equipment.
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DoD request for more Ukraine funds stuck in Congress
In late-October, the US submitted a supplementary budget request of more than $58bn, including $44.4bn “to help Ukraine continue to defend itself against Russia’s ongoing aggression”, defence officials stated at the time. The supplemental budget request for Ukraine support alone amounts to more than the combined total value of the support packages Washington has committed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
However; on 30 November, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters during a briefing that the US would continue to provide Ukraine “with what we can” from what remained of PDA funding.
“We are running low, as you know,” Singh said. “That’s why we requested a supplemental package, that we submitted to the Hill that has still not been passed. But the authorities that we’re using to provide Ukraine with the weapons and capabilities and systems it needs are coming from presidential drawdown authorities.
“We… would hope that Congress, over these next few weeks, not only pass a full-time appropriation but also passes our supplemental because we need to keep providing Ukraine with what it needs on the battlefield,” Singh added.
The State Department stated in November that Congress has increased the cap on the PDA from $100m to $11bn for FY2022, most recently in the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022, which was signed into law by the President on May 21.
Since August 2022, the Biden Administration has used the PDA 44 times to provide military assistance to Ukraine, totalling approximately $23.8bn from DoD stockpiles.