As a follow up to our previous item asking questions about our grand strategy toward Russia, Iran, and the Ukranian war (such as whether the Biden Administration has a grand strategy at all), this item from today’s Wall Street Journal jumps out:
Yet the largest ground war in Europe since World War II isn’t translating into boom times for U.S. defense contractors. Hobbled by supply chain disruptions, a tight labor market and a Pentagon procurement process that can take years, arms makers have been struggling to respond to the soaring demand. . .
When the Pentagon ordered new Stinger antiaircraft missiles—widely used in Ukraine—in August, it was the first U.S. order from Raytheon for the weapons in 18 years. By December, Ukraine had burned through 13 years of production, said Greg Hayes, chief executive of Raytheon. Five years worth of Javelin missiles had also been used in the conflict.
Raytheon was still making some Stingers for an overseas customer before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but found some suppliers had gone out of business and had to redesign parts to boost production.
“You have to recreate this entire system that was basically shut down and went scattered to the winds,” the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer Bill LaPlante said.
Reminder, from CSIS:
Some Western Backers of Ukraine Worry That Time Might Be on Russia’s Side
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches its first anniversary, confidence has faded. Instead, officials in some capitals now fear the Kremlin, which is willing to keep throwing men and materiel into the war, could gain the upper hand in any lengthy war of attrition.
I repeat the question from the previous installment: if Ukraine starts to lose, how are our media and political elites going to react?
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