Military Industrial Blunder

Military Industrial Blunder

Over the past two years, the U.S. military has faced significant shortages in artillery and weapons, primarily due to the depletion of strategic stockpiles used to support Ukraine amidst its conflict with Russia. The situation has highlighted the challenges in replenishing these critical munitions in the face of ongoing global conflicts and the complexities of modern warfare.

The U.S. government's reliance on its industrial base, including arsenals, has been crucial for weapons replenishment and mobilization. However, decades of underinvestment and atrophy, particularly following the Cold War, have limited the ability of these arsenals to surge to wartime production levels. This deterioration has made it difficult to bridge the gap between demand and manufacturing capability for energetics, which are essential components of munitions, providing them with their range, speed, and terminal effects [The Dangerous Depletion of U.S. Weapon Arsenals | Proceedings - August 2022 Vol. 148/8/1,434](

The conflict in Ukraine has significantly strained U.S. munitions inventories. With Ukraine firing an estimated 10,000 rounds per day at the peak of its operations, even projected surge production rates in the U.S. would only satisfy a fraction of this demand. This has led to concerns over the ability to maintain adequate supply levels for critical munitions like the 155 mm artillery rounds and precision-guided munitions such as the Excalibur [Rebuilding U.S. Inventories: Six Critical Systems](

Efforts to address these shortages are underway as the U.S. Army recently awarded $1.5 billion in contracts to boost global production of 155mm artillery rounds, with plans to increase monthly production significantly by the fiscal year 2025. This includes expanding production facilities and procuring essential components like TNT and primers. The goal is to reach a production capacity of 100,000 rounds per month by FY26, yes, you read that right, 2026. [US Army awards $1.5B to boost global production of artillery rounds](

International cooperation has also played a role in mitigating shortages. South Korea agreed to “lend” the United States 500,000 rounds of 155mm artillery shells, highlighting the global dimension of military logistics and the importance of alliances in maintaining munitions supplies [South Korea to lend 500,000 rounds of artillery shells to US -report | Reuters](

The path to replenishing U.S. munitions inventories will be a multifaceted and time-consuming process, involving both ramping up domestic production and leveraging international partnerships. As conflicts like the one in Ukraine continue to draw on U.S. military resources, the challenges of keeping pace with the demands of modern warfare while ensuring readiness for future engagements become increasingly apparent. Should a war commence before this becomes a reality, we could face a very short-lived war with the probability of a nuclear conflict more likely than not. 

Tighten those bootstraps folks, we may be in for a very rocky ride. 

Monkey out

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