Bloomberg: Ukraine conflict exposes critical Pentagon vulnerability

“Insatiability” of the Kiev regime has exposed a critical vulnerability of the US.

Bloomberg: Ukraine conflict exposes critical Pentagon vulnerability

The ongoing supply of arms and ammunition to Kiev has exposed the inability of the United States to replenish its own arsenal, Bloomberg columnists Anthony Capacio and Courtney McBride write.

Promises by the United States to supply as many weapons to Ukraine “as needed” have exposed the inability of the US military industry to ramp up production quickly.

“As Kiev continues to demand more weapons – and increasingly high-tech ones – the United States faces the risk that its own arsenals of certain types of ground weapons will be depleted,” the authors write.

It is noted that China and North Korea pose a particular threat to the US in this situation.

America’s vulnerability manifested itself in its unwillingness to produce simple weapons such as shells, tanks and portable missile systems, which Ukraine needs so much. Since the beginning of the crisis Washington has transferred over one million 155 millimeter shells, 180 thousand 105 millimeter shells, about ten thousand Javelins and Stingers to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The publication quoted US Undersecretary of Defence for Supply William La Plante as saying that the country was not ready for an “explosion” in the Indo-Pacific region. The official described lean economy as the only right path for the country.

However, according to the authors, in the case of the Pentagon, this principle takes on completely different dimensions than in the situation of ordinary businesses. Thus, the order for six NASAMS complexes placed on November 30 by Raytheon company will not be fulfilled until six years later. Similar problems with the production of the HIMARS system.

Roman Schweitzer of the Cowen Research Group in Washington said the U.S. needs to have ammunition volumes that are one and a half to two times larger than the pre-Ukrainian crisis stocks.

“Ukraine’s ‘insatiable needs’ are already exposing problems,” the publication said.

The US halted production of Stinger complexes in 2020 and is now trying to restart it. The Senate has suggested that the problem of replenishing arsenals should be solved with multi-year contracts, but so far the Pentagon has not concluded any such contracts, the paper notes.

Another difficulty is that the procurement system is too long and clumsy.

“Military strategists want to replenish depleted stocks as soon as possible to minimise risks. However, officials in charge of engaging contractors are required to comply with safeguards designed to prevent errors and abuse,” explained Mark Kensian, an expert at the Center for Strategic Initiatives and former White House budget officer.

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