"From Rockets to Ball Bearings, Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine"

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The Navy admiral had a blunt message for the military contractors building precision-guided missiles for his warships, submarines and planes at a moment when the United States is dispatching arms to Ukraine and preparing for the possibility of conflict with China. “Look at me. I am not forgiving the fact you’re not delivering the ordnance we need. OK?” Adm. Daryl Caudle, who is in charge of delivering weapons to most of the Navy’s East Coast-based fleet, warned contractors during an industry gathering in January. “We’re talking about war-fighting, national security, and going against a competitor here and a potential adversary that is like nothing we’ve ever seen. And we can’t dillydally around with these deliveries.” His open frustration reflects a problem that has become worryingly apparent as the Pentagon dispatches its own stocks of weapons to help Ukraine hold off Russia and Washington warily watches for signs that China might provoke a new conflict by invading Taiwan: The United States lacks the capacity to produce the arms that the nation and its allies need at a time of heightened superpower tensions.

Industry consolidation, depleted manufacturing lines and supply chain issues have combined to constrain the production of basic ammunition like artillery shells while also prompting concern about building adequate reserves of more sophisticated weapons including missiles, air defense systems and counter-artillery radar. The Pentagon, the White House, Congress and military contractors are all taking steps to address the issues. Procurement budgets are growing. The military is offering suppliers multiyear contracts to encourage companies to invest more in their manufacturing capacity and is dispatching teams to help solve supply bottlenecks. More generally, the Pentagon is abandoning some of the cost-cutting changes embraced after the end of the Cold War, including corporate-style just-in-time delivery systems and a drive to shrink the industry. “We are buying to the limits of the industrial base even as we are expanding those limits,” Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said this month at a briefing on the Biden administration’s 2024 budget plan. But those changes are likely to take time to have an effect, leaving the military watching its stocks of some key weapons dwindle.
In the first 10 months after Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting Washington to approve $33 billion in military aid so far, the United States sent Ukraine so many Stinger missiles from its own stocks that it would take 13 years’ worth of production at recent capacity levels to replace them. It has sent so many Javelin missiles that it would take five years at last year’s rates to replace them, according to Raytheon, the company that helps make the missile systems. If a large-scale war broke out with China, within about one week the United States would run out of so-called long-range anti-ship missiles, a vital weapon in any engagement with China, according to a series of war-game exercises conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank. The shortcomings in the nation’s defense industrial base are vividly illustrated by the shortage of solid rocket motors needed to power a broad range of precision missile systems, like the ship-launched SM-6 missiles made by Raytheon.
Other shortages slowing production include simple items such as ball bearings, a key component of certain missile guidance systems, and steel castings, used in making engines. There is also only one company, Williams International, that builds turbofan engines for most cruise missiles, according to Seth G. Jones, a former Defense Department official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, weapons that would be vital for any war with China given their long range. The current problems have their roots in the aftermath of the Cold War’s end, when a drive for the “peace dividend” led to cuts in weapons procurement and consolidation of the industry. In 1993, Norman Augustine, then the chief executive of Martin Marietta, one of the largest of the military contractors, received an invitation to a dinner with Defense Secretary Les Aspin, who was helping President Bill Clinton figure out how to shrink military spending.
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/24/us/p ... e-war.html
https://archive.fo/hLo6c
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: "From Rockets to Ball Bearings, Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine"

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Our participation in this war is shortsighted and ill advised. We obviously didn’t think it through and we’ve never developed an exit finish strategy except that Russia/Putin must lose. So our stupidity will put us in danger and at current production we won’t make up for deficiencies for over a decade in some cases. That about sums it up. Our key problem seems we base our decisions to act on emotion. Seems we do that on many issues including addressing violence. Shortsighted solutions based on an emotional response. Any of you see a pattern, we need a reboot.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: "From Rockets to Ball Bearings, Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine"

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sikacz wrote: Sun Mar 26, 2023 4:32 pm Our participation in this war is shortsighted and ill advised. We obviously didn’t think it through and we’ve never developed an exit finish strategy except that Russia/Putin must lose. So our stupidity will put us in danger and at current production we won’t make up for deficiencies for over a decade in some cases. That about sums it up. Our key problem seems we base our decisions to act on emotion. Seems we do that on many issues including addressing violence. Shortsighted solutions based on an emotional response. Any of you see a pattern, we need a reboot.


Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, "Terror," drugs...The US has a long history of doing short-sighted wars of all sorts. The right never learns, the "left" (such as it is) keeps letting it happen (or worse, enables), and someone is always saying "We'll do it differently THIS time."

Our involvement in the Russian war against Ukraine is certainly, in ways, ill-advised, but I think it necessary. Happily, most of the equipment we've been sending Ukraine has been older stuff--not obsolete, but not our cutting-edge stuff. Much of it is due to be replaced soon, anyway, or so people who know much more about it than I do tell me.

That said, I realize that replacing it sooner than previously expected puts a strain on the supply capabilities of the vendors.
Last edited by BearPaws on Sun Mar 26, 2023 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Eventually I'll figure out this signature thing and decide what I want to put here.

Re: "From Rockets to Ball Bearings, Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine"

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sikacz wrote: Sun Mar 26, 2023 4:32 pm Our participation in this war is shortsighted and ill advised. We obviously didn’t think it through and we’ve never developed an exit finish strategy except that Russia/Putin must lose. So our stupidity will put us in danger and at current production we won’t make up for deficiencies for over a decade in some cases. That about sums it up. Our key problem seems we base our decisions to act on emotion. Seems we do that on many issues including addressing violence. Shortsighted solutions based on an emotional response. Any of you see a pattern, we need a reboot.
I guess it's ok to cede a sovereign nation to putin then? Trying to keep Ukraine free 'about sums it up'. Yes, I know you are a putin apologist, but this tyrant must be stopped. And no, NATO expansion was not the cause, even if you wish it so. 'NATO expansion was a direct result of post WW2 Soviet expansion in Europe gobbling up other free, sovereign nations.

How would you feel if russia and putin moved on Finland..you ok with that? Seems like some here would rather live on their knees than die on their feet...sad...

Re: "From Rockets to Ball Bearings, Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine"

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"Democrats flip red, Republicans flip blue on a major issue. Is it permanent?"
Opinion piece by Nicholas Goldberg:
Once upon a time, the roles were reversed. Democrats were, if anything, skeptical of foreign intervention. Many, especially in the liberal and progressive wings of the party, saw war as inhumane, policing the world as folly and the Pentagon as bloated. Humbled by failure in Vietnam, the party that gave us Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern and Jimmy Carter pursued cooperation rather than conflict as the order of the day. Republicans, on the other hand, were more unabashedly hawkish — willing to flex U.S. military muscle and project power in support of an American-led world order. For the most part, they believed that if you gave the Soviets, the Chinese or Islamic State so much as an inch in Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East or elsewhere, dominoes would begin to tumble. Peace through strength was the mantra.
But the reality is that the America-first approach is gaining traction because it has significant backing from Republican voters, 40% of whom believe the U.S. is giving too much aid to Ukraine, compared with only 15% of Democrats who agree, according to the Pew Research Center. While those changes are rippling through the GOP, President Biden and the Democrats are swinging the other way: We’ll stick with our Ukrainian allies “as long as it takes,” Biden says, as he gives them more howitzers, rocket systems and armored vehicles, because nothing less than the American-led international order is at stake.
Biden — channeling Ronald Reagan, not Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama — describes Ukraine as just one front in a global battle between autocracy versus democracy. Do you want to live in a repressive world led by Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and their allies or in an enlightened liberal democracy of the sort we have in the U.S. and Europe? As Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, put it: “Today it is Russia and Ukraine. Tomorrow it will be other nations.”

It’s true that the U.S. is not actually fighting a war, just arming its allies in Ukraine. But according to a survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, liberal Democratic voters now support putting boots on the ground around the world more than independents, moderate Democrats or Republicans. More than half of liberal Democrats would support sending U.S. troops to intervene if Russia invaded a NATO ally, or if North Korea invaded South Korea or if China invaded Taiwan.
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2 ... olationist
https://archive.fo/zql6s
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: "From Rockets to Ball Bearings, Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine"

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sikacz wrote: Sun Mar 26, 2023 4:32 pm Our participation in this war is shortsighted and ill advised. We obviously didn’t think it through and we’ve never developed an exit finish strategy except that Russia/Putin must lose. So our stupidity will put us in danger and at current production we won’t make up for deficiencies for over a decade in some cases. That about sums it up. Our key problem seems we base our decisions to act on emotion. Seems we do that on many issues including addressing violence. Shortsighted solutions based on an emotional response. Any of you see a pattern, we need a reboot.
Hmm your pro-putin rhetoric, along with the 2A stuff, so closely echos that of brainics like boebert, green, hawley, tucker and hannity...even rand paul..maybe time to come out of the GOPathetic closet-eh?

Re: "From Rockets to Ball Bearings, Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine"

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F4FEver wrote: Tue Mar 28, 2023 8:50 am
sikacz wrote: Sun Mar 26, 2023 4:32 pm Our participation in this war is shortsighted and ill advised. We obviously didn’t think it through and we’ve never developed an exit finish strategy except that Russia/Putin must lose. So our stupidity will put us in danger and at current production we won’t make up for deficiencies for over a decade in some cases. That about sums it up. Our key problem seems we base our decisions to act on emotion. Seems we do that on many issues including addressing violence. Shortsighted solutions based on an emotional response. Any of you see a pattern, we need a reboot.
Hmm your pro-putin rhetoric, along with the 2A stuff, so closely echos that of brainics like boebert, green, hawley, tucker and hannity...even rand paul..maybe time to come out of the GOPathetic closet-eh?
No kidding.
We obviously didn’t think it through and we’ve never developed an exit finish strategy except that Russia/Putin must lose.
The only exit strategy IMO. I'm fine with that and so are many countries around the world.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,”

Re: "From Rockets to Ball Bearings, Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine"

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TrueTexan wrote: Tue Mar 28, 2023 10:52 am Since the end of WWII, name a conflict where we had an exit strategy, when we entered into the conflict.
Yup, every conflict is sold with the end goal of "Victory" which can be defined many ways. Conflicts change a lot and the end game isn't always known at the beginning. Victory has many interpretations and often a stalemate is victory, consider Korea which is divided and the US and China settled for it without a final peace treaty. WWII ended with a Germany divided into 4 sectors, then West and East and finally reunification. Whatever settlement is reached over the Ukraine invasion won't be the final solution to that war.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re:

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INVICTVS138 wrote: Tue Mar 28, 2023 11:03 am You don’t have to have an exit strategy if you are the defender not the invader. Kick out the invader by any means necessary is the strategy.


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Great strategy if you intend to fight to the last man, last woman and last child. Not so good if you actually think people are more than cannon fodder. I’m all for preserving liberty, my other country fought such a war, but leaders need to strike the balance between a want, a necessity and preserving some resemblance of sovereignty. I have my opinions about how this evolved and I know my view isn’t shared by many here. That doesn’t make it wrong and it doesn’t make it absolutely right. It’s a perspective based on an inherited experience pass on. Endless attrition is not in my view a solution. I don’t believe there is a truly winning solution for either side. I know which side has the upper hand and always will, Russia. Just as a demonstration on an end, a what if, if I was in the position to control Russias nuclear options and a battlefield loss was eminent the nuclear option would absolutely be on the table. That is the stakes of no exit plan and kick the invaders out only strategy.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: "From Rockets to Ball Bearings, Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine"

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sikacz wrote:
INVICTVS138 wrote: Tue Mar 28, 2023 11:03 am You don’t have to have an exit strategy if you are the defender not the invader. Kick out the invader by any means necessary is the strategy.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Great strategy if you intend to fight to the last man, last woman and last child. Not so good if you actually think people are more than cannon fodder. I’m all for preserving liberty, my other country fought such a war, but leaders need to strike the balance between a want, a necessity and preserving some resemblance of sovereignty. I have my opinions about how this evolved and I know my view isn’t shared by many here. That doesn’t make it wrong and it doesn’t make it absolutely right. It’s a perspective based on an inherited experience pass on. Endless attrition is not in my view a solution. I don’t believe there is a truly winning solution for either side. I know which side has the upper hand and always will, Russia. Just as a demonstration on an end, a what if, if I was in the position to control Russias nuclear options and a battlefield loss was eminent the nuclear option would absolutely be on the table. That is the stakes of no exit plan and kick the invaders out only strategy.
You are confusing tactics with strategy. You can have superior tactics on the defensive. Each war is its own character but the nature of war is eternal.

Sending people to the front as canon fodder is a tactic of desperation; not a strategy. It can work, but so far it’s been ineffective in this war.

history had no lessons or rules to offer the student, it could only broaden his understanding and strengthen his critical judgment.

Carl von Clausewitz, On War

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Re: Re:

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sikacz wrote: Tue Mar 28, 2023 11:49 am
INVICTVS138 wrote: Tue Mar 28, 2023 11:03 am You don’t have to have an exit strategy if you are the defender not the invader. Kick out the invader by any means necessary is the strategy.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Great strategy if you intend to fight to the last man, last woman and last child. Not so good if you actually think people are more than cannon fodder. I’m all for preserving liberty, my other country fought such a war, but leaders need to strike the balance between a want, a necessity and preserving some resemblance of sovereignty. I have my opinions about how this evolved and I know my view isn’t shared by many here. That doesn’t make it wrong and it doesn’t make it absolutely right. It’s a perspective based on an inherited experience pass on. Endless attrition is not in my view a solution. I don’t believe there is a truly winning solution for either side. I know which side has the upper hand and always will, Russia. Just as a demonstration on an end, a what if, if I was in the position to control Russias nuclear options and a battlefield loss was eminent the nuclear option would absolutely be on the table. That is the stakes of no exit plan and kick the invaders out only strategy.
No you aren't....you are ready to give Ukraine to putin. You would be yelling a different tune in russia moved on Finland.

Your knowledge of nuclear 'politics' is waning. putin realizes that if he uses a nuke, any nuke, it's WW3 and we all had better find a place to stay out of the fallout.

How does russia 'have the upper hand'? Losing north of 100,000 troops and resorting to using prisoners doesn't sound like a 'upper hand'. Losing most of russia's tank fleet doesn't sound like an 'upper hand'. You are all for Ulkraine to surrender and become a russian state. Finland may be next...you gonna strap on your AR and go fight for them? Doubt it. Easier to be a drug store 'patriot'...
-Signed Retired USN commander and Fighter Pilot.

Re: "From Rockets to Ball Bearings, Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine"

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As for Russia always having the upper hand. I am reminded of another conflict of expansion they were involved with where everybody thought they had the upper hand, Afghanistan.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

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