Jump to content

Op-Ed: The alarming decline of U.S. munitions


Recommended Posts

The Center Square

As fighting rages in the Middle East and Europe and China loom as a threat, America's dwindling arsenal of high-end munitions emerges as an alarming crisis. The United States, once a fortress of military might, now faces the prospect of a munitions deficit in an era brimming with uncertainties. This desperate situation demands the development of a national critical munitions stockpile.

European weapons makers are overwhelmed and struggling to meet Ukraine's consumption of more than 6,000 artillery rounds each day during peak counteroffensive fighting. Ukraine's ability to stave off defeat and defend itself against the Russian invasion largely depends on an uninterrupted supply of these rounds. Ukrainian forces are conserving their ammunition supply, which might lead to postponements in upcoming counterattacks. Over the coming months, this shortage of ammunition could compel Ukrainian military units to make difficult choices regarding the allocation of resources across various frontlines, focusing on areas where maintaining control is most crucial and potentially allowing minor territorial losses in less critical sectors.


To supplement Ukraine's massive ammunition requirements, DoD pulls munitions from its own war reserve stocks. Further compounding the matter: In an attempt to extract stricter immigration policies, House Republicans are blocking a congressional aid package for Ukraine.


Last year, to help meet the demand for Ukrainian munitions, the Pentagon tapped into a stockpile of American 155mm rounds in Israel, sending hundreds of thousands to Ukraine. These rounds, stored for decades in Israeli bunkers, are to provide an Israeli qualitative military edge, a pillar of American policy in the Middle East. Now Israel needs them back to target Hamas's command cells in its war in Gaza. The U.S. is supporting two countries, both of which use enormous amounts of 155-millimeter artillery and other ammunition in wars that may stretch on for many months. Running out of ideas, last month the Pentagon established a team to examine American inventories to identify ammunition for Israel. Earlier this month, Senator Deb Fischer, a senior Senate Armed Services Committee member, remarked that the U.S. must expand its munitions production capability.

Once a conflict begins it can lead to extraordinarily high munitions consumption. The fighting in Ukraine should serve as a warning regarding production of munitions the U.S. would need in a conflict with China over Taiwan. The U.S. must resolve the extensive issues within its munitions manufacturing processes ahead of a conflict with China.:snip:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Right now, the warning indicators are blinking red. The massive need for ammunition in such conflicts highlights weaknesses in the American defense industry, which no longer produces munitions at the rate it did decades ago. The post-Cold War defense budget reductions led to a swift merger of the defense sector, which saw a drop from 51 major defense providers in the early 1990s to five by the end of that decade. This consolidation led to a tightened capacity.

This Red Light has been blinking for some time now. Certainly 2009.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1713914510
  • Create New...