Taiwan On The Brink – And We Are Just About Out Of Ammo
“I think it’s very important that we kind of take stock of where we are in our weapons state across the 32 nations of NATO, and we’re getting way down compared to where we were,”
“If you look at the U.S. itself — and let’s not just talk about the munitions we recently have given away to Ukraine — but we’re [at] roughly half the number of fighter squadrons that we were when we did Desert Storm,” “So we don’t have nearly what we had at the heart of the Cold War. Now you add that we’re giving a lot of munitions away to the Ukrainians — which I think is exactly what we need to do — but now we’re getting dangerously low and sometimes, in some cases even too low, that we don’t have enough. And we need to get industry on board to help us out so we can get this going.”
USAFE Commander Gen. James Hecker, who also leads U.S. air forces in Africa, speaking on a panel with the air chiefs of the United Kingdom and Sweden during the Chief of the Air Staff’s Global Air & Space Chiefs’ Conference in London recently.
Joe Biden has been giving away the store to Ukraine based on some bizarre determination that the number one threat to American national security is Putin’s Russia. Since January 2021, the United States has given more than $42 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. Among other things we have provided:
Over 2,000 Stinger anti-aircraft systems;
Over 10,000 Javelin anti-armor systems;
Over 70,000 other anti-armor systems and munitions;
198 155mm Howitzers and over 2,000,000 155mm artillery rounds;
Over 7,000 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds;
Over 14,000 155mm rounds of Remote Anti-Armor Mine (RAAM) Systems;
100,000 rounds of 125mm tank ammunition;
10,000 203mm artillery rounds;
Over 50,000 152mm artillery rounds;
Approximately 40,000 130mm artillery rounds;
40,000 122mm artillery rounds;
60,000 122mm GRAD rockets;
72 105mm Howitzers and over 500,000 105mm artillery rounds;
Over 300 tactical vehicles to tow and haul equipment;
71 tactical vehicles to recover equipment;
30 ammunition support vehicles;
18 armored bridging systems;
38 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and ammunition;
47 120mm mortar systems;
10 82mm mortar systems;
67 81mm mortar systems;
58 60mm mortar systems;
Over 345,000 mortar rounds;
Over 4,000 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles;
Over 6,000 Zuni aircraft rockets;
Over 7,000 Hydra-70 aircraft rockets;
31 Abrams tanks;
186 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles;
Four Bradley Fire Support Team vehicles;
Over 2,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs);
Over 100 light tactical vehicles;
68 trucks and 124 trailers to transport heavy equipment;
157 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers;
300 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers;
250 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles;
Over 500 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs).
That’s a partial list.
If you think these things are rolling off production lines somewhere and heading for Ukraine, you do not understand at all what is happening. Joe is pulling these things out of our own war stocks. Prepositioned stockpiles of weapons around the world, which are intended to be used by our own troops in the event of war, are being stripped. The cupboard is increasingly bare.
Our defense industrial base is incapable of replenishing these items quickly. In many cases, it will take years before we can replace what we have given to Zelensky.
Meanwhile, many thousands of miles away from Ukraine, the real show is about to begin. The Chinese are ramping up pressure on Taiwan and preparing to impose an air and sea blockade of that island. Taiwan is completely dependent on imports of food and energy to survive. Once a blockade is imposed the island will have at most months before it has to surrender and accept Chinese domination.
The Chinese activity around Taiwan is not simply an extension of what has been going on for some time. The intensity and scale of Chinese deployments have increased significantly. On one day last week, almost seventy Chinese aircraft entered the Taiwanese air defense zone. Last Friday there were 16 Chinese naval vessels ringed around Taiwan. In effect, the Chinese are already in a posture that would allow them to blockade Taiwan. All they have to do is formally announce they are doing so and begin to warn aircraft and ships away from the island.
Once that happens all eyes will be on Washington. Taiwan is incapable of breaking a blockade. No other nation on the planet is going to try to escort ships and planes through such a blockade without American assistance. If we do not take the lead Taiwan starves, the Chinese Communist Party forces surrender and the balance of power on the planet shifts.
Six months ago Admiral Daryl Caudle commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command stated that ultimately we were going to find ourselves in the position of having to decide whether to arm ourselves or to arm Ukraine. Asked about that comment Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said this.
"With regards to deliveries of weapons systems for the fight in Ukraine…Yeah, that's always a concern for us. And we monitor that very, very closely. I wouldn't say we're quite there yet, but if the conflict does go on for another six months, for another year, it certainly continues to stress the supply chain in ways that are challenging.”
Those six months that Del Toro referred to have come on gone. The situation is not “challenging.” It is catastrophic. Either out of sheer incompetence or deliberate malfeasance, the Biden administration has stumbled forward to the brink of war with China while stripping our military of arms and munitions.
Taiwan is on the brink, and we are out of ammunition.
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