The US needs a new approach to producing weapons. Just look at Ukraine.

“The war in Ukraine has offered vivid testimony of the effectiveness, and the high usage rate, of modern precision weapons. Ukraine has so far been fortunate to receive a massive supply of such munitions from the United States, Britain and other NATO states.

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has told Congress the West has delivered 60,000 antitank weapons and 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons to Kyiv. Weapons such as the Javelin anti-tank guided weapon and Stinger surface-to-air missile played an important role in halting Moscow’s initial offensive and forced the Russian leadership to scale back its expansive objectives. However, it has become increasingly apparent such weapons are neither cheap nor available in unlimited numbers. Indeed, the United States has reportedly provided Kyiv one-third of its overall stockpile of Javelins.

Unless things change, and soon, the United States may be far less fortunate in a future conflict. Put bluntly, although the United States and its allies have been able to resupply Ukraine, the United States cannot count on similar help should the roles be reversed. U.S. allies’ stocks of precision weapons are limited, and they may have an urgent need for these munitions in a future coalition conflict.

The United States will also need large numbers of longer-range weapons like the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER) and Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) that are not as widely available as the Javelin and Stinger are today. It is thus imperative for the United States and its allies to both increase their munitions capacity and adopt innovative approaches to munitions production.

The war in Ukraine is but the most recent reminder that 21st century warfare is munitions intensive.”

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