US military would run out of some munitions within a week of conflict with China, report

Overall, the think tank found that the U.S. defense industrial base is operating at a level suited for a peaceful environment and it is not prepared for the current global situation.

Updated: January 24, 2023 - 8:00am

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The U.S. military would likely run out of some munitions within a week of conflict with China in the Taiwan Strait, according to a new report from the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

"These shortfalls would make it extremely difficult for the United States to sustain a protracted conflict—and, equally concerning, the deficiencies undermine deterrence," states the report released Monday by the Washington, D.C., think tank.

The group specifically cites a short supply of long-range, precision-guided munitions and 

President Joe Biden said in May that the United States would intervene militarily if China invades Taiwan.

The think tank also found such such a limited stockpile of munitions would be compounded by China having already "heavily investing in munitions and acquiring high-end weapons systems and equipment five to six times faster than the United States, according to some U.S. government estimates." 

Still, the U.S. defense industrial base is overall operating at a level suited for a peaceful environment and it is not prepared for the current global situation, the report concluded.

The report recommends the United States military reassess munition requirements and replenish what is needed, as well create a munitions reserve and a sustainable plan to obtain weapons now and in the future.

The think tank also recommended for the process of foreign military sales to be reformed. Current sales are slow, which "can leave some countries unsure if the United States really wants them as partners, and it risks pushing them to other countries to buy weapons systems and technology," the report states. 

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