US pours weapons into Ukraine at its own detriment

A recently published analysis states that by sending huge amounts of weapons to Ukraine, the United States is significantly reducing its own defence capabilities.

WORLD FEBRUARY 2. 2023 07:38

The leaked document warned that, as things stand, the US would run out of long-range, precision-guided munitions in less than a week in a war with China.

Seth Jones, one of the heads of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), explained that “effective deterrence hinges in part on whether a country has sufficient stocks of ammunition and other weapons systems”. These challenges are not new. What is different now, however, is that the United States is directly aiding Ukraine in its war with Russia, the largest land war in Europe since World War II, while tensions between China and the United States are rising.

Elbridge Colby, one of the top defence officials of the Trump administration, recently wrote on his social media page that “despite the protests, it is increasingly clear that Ukraine is really distracting from our priorities, which are Asia, China and Taiwan. We can admit it and try to adapt, or we can deny it and pay the price later”. He added that “it is particularly important to face reality, because the war in Ukraine does not look like it will end anytime soon, and the military balance over Taiwan is deteriorating”.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed that the US military should prepare for a possible Chinese invasion.

“I don’t know if 2024 or 2025 is the moment, but we should be doing the hard work, getting our military space systems, our cyber systems, all of those lined up, and then working our tails off to continue to build on” working with allies and partners in the region to deter China from invading Taiwan,” he said.

A recent US government report found that the war in Ukraine is already slowing US efforts to arm Taiwan, as the US defence industry is unable to produce weapons in such quantities.

The report points out that, for example, tank manufacturing capacities are running at their maximum, as there is only one plant in Lima, Ohio, that assembles them, and it is already full of new tank orders for Taiwan and Poland. Taiwan ordered 108 M1A2 tanks in 2019 and the first ones are expected to be delivered in 2024, and Poland ordered 250 M1A2 tanks that will be delivered starting in 2025.

In its report, CSIS warned that the US industrial base is currently not set up to support a protracted war with China. The report’s author also warned that the manufacture of US weapons is dependent on materials from China — a significant vulnerability for not only the US, but for those dependent on the US for weapons.

“The US defence industrial base is not adequately prepared for the competitive security environment that now exists. It is currently operating at a tempo better suited to a peacetime environment. These problems are particularly concerning since China is heavily investing in munitions and acquiring high-end weapons systems and equipment five to six times faster than the United States, according to some US government estimates,” CSIS said.

Navy leaders have also recently expressed worry that sending weapons to Ukraine could make it difficult for the US navy to adequately arm itself.



taiwan, ukraine war, united states of america, weapons