A Depleted U.S. Military Cannot Over-Commit
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Texas Insider Report) — The war in Ukraine should be viewed as a sideshow for the United States, just by our nation's U.S. Defense Industrial Base Capabilities alone. This is not a debate about aid to Ukraine, but rather is a debate on U.S. Military Production capabilities. If the United States wants to compete in the coming decades on the world stage, it needs to address this clear weakness in our nation's military capabilities – and fast.
More than $100 billion in aid has been sent to Ukraine. This is not a small amount, but with a defense budget of more than $700 billion annually the Ukraine War should not be straining our nation's military. Yet without a stronger military production capability than currently exists, the United States would have to sacrifice its commitments in several regions throughout the world should a significant crisis arise anywhere else in the world.
Many Americans don’t want to hear this – and many U.S. policymakers ignore this reality – but unless U.S. Industrial Production gets stronger, we might see many more Afghanistan withdrawals and friendly nations subjugated to ill-gotten agreements with our great power rivals simply because they have little or no choice.
The United States has been by far the largest supporter of military aid to Ukraine – despite the European Union having similar GDP and 100 million more in population. And as is becoming more clear with every passing day, U.S. military equipment is the most important aid to keeping Ukraine’s military armed and fighting.
If another U.S.-involved conflict did arise that threatened the United States, it would certainly cause us to expend more munitions and weapon systems than the Ukraine-Russian war has spent.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO.,) wrote in December to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that there was a $18.7 billion weapons backlog for Taiwan.
If the United States is falling behind in its support during peacetime, it would certainly fall further behind during a war.
For the past 30 years, the United States has waged war on rogue nations and terrorists in distant regions. But the world and how battle is waged has changed, and those wars that were fought over the past few decades should not be viewed as the standard for defense planners any longer.
For instance, for years the United States has ignored its Military Production & Industrial Base weakness and capability – and media outlets and increasinly "woke" politicians have mocked the idea of shipbuilding and fleet sizes, only to find it a valid concern 10 years later.
The good news is, such a recovery or reversal as is necesary today has been done before.
The bad news is, the United States might not have long to right the ship.
Throughout the 1970s the United States had high inflation, severe energy shortages, cultural divisions, and a defeated military. Due to the paralysis of the United States, the Soviet Union took advantage in the 1970s and expanded its influence in the world.
With the right reforms, the United States under President Ronald Reagan was able to challenge the Soviets by the mid-1980s and eventually win the Cold War to become the sole superpower in the 1990s.
This is not that far off from where the United States is currently. The war on terror and war on Covid expended many of our nation’s resources, just as our chief rivals (China & Russian) are becoming more aggressive.
The state of U.S. Military Production is a news story that should be more concerning to the American public than Ukraine’s problems. Perhaps of most significant concern is the need for leaders and policymakers who can quickly make these important adjustments – and have a clear and honest vision of what the future holds for the United States.
On January 23rd, the Center for Strategic & International Studies think tank released a report on the U.S. Defense Industry & Military Aid to Ukraine entitled "Empty Bins in a Wartime Environment: The Challenge to the U.S. Defense Industrial Base." The report found that the United States’ “defense industrial base is not adequately prepared for the competitive security environment that now exists.”
The United States is ranked 3rd in casting production, which is necessary for creating weapon systems, and the lag time for the production of most weapons is more than a year.
CSIS believes the United States would run out of precision missiles and other advanced technology in less than a week in a Taiwan Strait conflict.
If that were to happen, the United States would have to resort to more crude weapon types, just as Russia has resorted to in Ukraine.
If America needs many of these weapon systems in short order, it appears the capability is currently not there to produce them.
With Republicans now having control of the House of Representatives, several Republicans want greater oversight of the money being sent to Ukraine. Ukrainian-born Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN.), who at the beginning of Putin's Russian invasion was very supportive of Ukraine, has more recently began to question Zelensky’s administration. Spartz now wants to have greater oversight on American aid to Ukraine, for which she was criticized by many in both parties.
It is unfortunate that it took a change in House leadership to make sure American taxpayer money is being spent properly overseas – and that the U.S. Defense Industrial Base is adequately prepared for the international security environment that now exists – which is currently is not.
High inflation is also taking a heavy and damaging toll on the U.S.'s Military Production. Policymakers need to get the United States economy back on a strong footing with a stronger dollar – and most especially a robust energy and oil and gas sector.A revitalization of the defense industrial base will not happen overnight for the United States – or its allies and partners.
It is time for the United States to prepare for the era of international military competition that now exists – and it must do so under the presidencey of Joe Biden.