As Joe Biden continues to ship billions of dollars in U.S. military to Ukraine in support of its never-ending war with Russia, the administration announced last week it will now ask the Democrat-controlled Congress to authorize a roughly $1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan, as China continues to threaten the self-governing island nation. All of this and more, even as U.S. stockpiles continue to dwindle to dangerously low levels.
What could possibly go wrong? Biden’s America is dangerously morphing into Biden’s World.
The Defense Department has vigorously stepped up efforts to eliminate red tape in competing arms deals, a policy that could require overhauling defense production, as the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday:
The Pentagon last month created a task force of senior officials to examine longstanding inefficiencies in U.S. sales of billions of dollars of weaponry to foreign countries. The so-called “tiger team” will look at ways for the Defense Department to streamline parts of the program, according to a senior defense official, with the aim of putting coveted American drones, guns, helicopters, tanks, and other weaponry into partners’ and allies’ hands faster, officials said.
Increasing tensions with China and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have brought urgency to the review, which began within the Pentagon about a month ago, officials said.
The Pentagon executes much of the foreign arms-sales program but it is overseen by the State Department, which uses the $45 billion in annual weapons sales as a foreign-policy tool to spread American influence. Congress ultimately approves all foreign military sales.
“The Pentagon executes much of the foreign arms-sales program but it is overseen by the State Department.” Welp, let’s see…
The Pentagon? Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who kowtows to China by canceling scheduled missile tests, while pledging to provide “seamless access to reproductive care” in the aftermath of the overturn of Roe v. Wade? In effect pledging the U.S. military’s “readiness and resilience” to “continue to provide access” to abortion, as permitted by federal law. Check.
And the State Department? Where Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in November that there are “good faith” reasons for U.S. businesses not to condemn communist China? So, yeah — “check,” on Blinken and the State Department, as well.
In other words, what Biden’s left-wing handlers want, they get — even if it means America’s arms stockpiles are running on “empty.” Again, what could possibly go wrong?
Additionally, as the WSJ reported, with certain systems, the Pentagon approves contracts only once a year, so orders that miss an annual deadline are held until the next cycle, according to officials. The State Department provides input to the Pentagon-driven assessment. (No word on whether or not those “inputs” and “assessments” are affected by the use of “proper” pronouns, support of the “Pride” movement, or gender “self-identification.” [sarcasm — but just barely.]
Here’s one of the major concerns among some in the defense industry, the federal government, and within Congress, via the WSJ:
The American foreign military sales system was designed to function during peacetime, not while the U.S. is supplying billions of dollars of military gear to an ally fighting Russia. Its primary goal has been to reinforce America’s allies and partners with American-made weapons. […]
But growing competition with nations such as China and Russia, which develop advanced weaponry at lower cost, has threatened to offset America’s competitive advantage in the race to arm friendly nations around the world.
Some in industry, government, and in Congress have grown alarmed at the convergence of challenges for the defense industry and U.S. military readiness. The war in Ukraine has led to worrisome shortages in America’s own weaponry stocks, including some ammunition.
Here’s one example:
One of the most lethal weapons the Pentagon has sent are howitzers that fire high-explosive 155mm ammunition weighing about 100 pounds each and able to accurately hit targets dozens of miles away. As of Aug. 24, the U.S. military said it had provided Ukraine with up to 806,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition. The U.S. military has declined to say how many rounds it had at the start of the year.
In recent weeks, the level of 155mm combat rounds in U.S. military storage have become “uncomfortably low,” one defense official said. The levels aren’t yet critical because the U.S. isn’t engaged in any major military conflict, the official added. “It is not at the level we would like to go into combat,” the defense official said.
Incidentally, the U.S. military used a howitzer as recently as last week to strike Iranian-backed groups in Syria, and the depletion of 155mm ammunition is increasingly concerning for a military that seeks to plan for any scenario.
China and Russia.
The bottom line, a defense official told the WSJ, is rising Chinese aggression against Taiwan and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have underscored the need for the United States to maintain “robust storehouses.” In addition, a U.S. official said:
The U.S. defense industry isn’t designed like it was in World War II. They don’t produce things just because we ask them to. They have to have a contract in hand.
Meanwhile, as the Miami Herald reported, snipers from Russia and other countries hostile to the United States competed in war games in Venezuela in events that were organized not only to show that Moscow still has friends but also that some of them are in America’s backyard.
Forces from Burma, Belarus, China, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia, among others, also participated in the competitions. These are nations that “daily condemn imperialist aggression against the peoples,” Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López declared as he inaugurated the “games.”
In addition, China has continued to expand its influence in Central and South America, as well. Over the past two decades, China has developed close economic and security ties with many Latin American countries, including Brazil and Venezuela. Beijing’s growing sway in the region has raised concerns in Washington and beyond.
The bottom line:
It’s one thing to allow U.S. military stockpiles to temporarily run low — it’s happened in the past — but quite another when the most inept U.S. president in history continues to spend taxpayer dollars like a drunken sailor in Ukraine, after purposely creating a disaster in Afghanistan; abandoning NATO allies, unconscionably leaving untold numbers of U.S. citizens behind Taliban lines, and irresponsibly walking away from more than $85 billion worth of military equipment.
U.S. officials are concerned that, in addition to the Taliban using the weapons against civilians, the equipment could be seized by ISIS or handed over to China or Russia. https://t.co/bjhzEhreBS
— Axios (@axios) August 19, 2021
As we reported in August 2021, Biden “gifted,” as it were, more than 600,000 weapons, 75,000 vehicles, and 200 aircraft to the Taliban, the most brutal terrorist organization on the planet. And now, Biden gives away military hardware as fast as defense contractors can make it. Almost, that is.
Yeah, I’m sure nothing could possibly go wrong.