17 September 2022

Unprepared for a Modern War

The US military-industrial complex in this case.

It appears we are unprepared for a near peer conflict like the one that is going on in the Ukraine, and weapons stocks are depleted on both sides of the Atlantic:

Army leaders are working to dramatically increase the production of critical munitions and equipment drained from service arsenals to aid Ukraine in recent months.

With Congress’ support, they are working to triple domestic production of the 155mm howitzer rounds and at least double production of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems launchers in the next few years, said Doug Bush, the Army’s acquisition chief.

“All that is underway and will all be foundational to supporting Ukraine and its conflict, but also replenishing ourselves and setting us up to support our allies,” Bush told reporters Wednesday.


Bush said it usually takes several months to a year to ramp up the production of something like a HIMARS from a rate of five per month to eight, [I think that this refers to the truck/launcher not the munition, but it is still a shockingly low figure] which is why Army leaders are working closely with defense contractors. However, more production also means other problems to overcome.

HIMARS production is 5 a month? Seriously?

The problem here is that the basic sorts of things that an army needs, commodities like artillery shells and bullets, are not being manufactured in sufficient quantities, because the contractors want to make money on the high tech whiz-bang stuff, where market lock in is easier and profit margins are higher.


As of Sept. 8, the U.S. has sent 807,000 155mm rounds to Ukraine. An anonymous defense official told the Wall Street Journal last month that U.S. stocks are now “uncomfortably low.”

To put this in perspective, in World War I, British shell production was more than 50 million a year, and German production peaked at more than 130 million a year.

Even if the US is less reliant on tube artillery (true, because of its reliance on air power) there should be a stockpile of shells of over 100 million.  That 807,000 shells significantly reduces US stocks is an indication that something is very, very, wrong.


marku52 said...

It's finance capitalism. It's the revolving door between the general staff office and the board room. It's monopolies. It's called End of Empire. No way can we win a war with Russia, but the Idiots in charge seem set on doing it.
Hope you feel better!

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