The Biden administration’s effort to assist Ukraine shines a light on two serious national security problems: the Department of Defense’s inadequate stockpiles of munitions and the difficulties facing the defense industrial base to respond to quickly increase production of critical items. Unfortunately, these problems were not a surprise to senior defense decision-makers. It has long been recognized both in and out of government that the Pentagon’s inventory of munitions, particularly precision weapons, is inadequate to support a high-end conflict lasting more than a brief period. Nor are the munitions industrial base and supporting supply chains in a position to rapidly refill depleted stocks or surge the production of critical weapons systems. What makes this a Pink Flamingo is that it is a problem which decisionmakers knew existed but chose to ignore. Now it cannot be ignored. Immediate action is necessary to address these two problems. I have written more about the Pink Flamingo of a munitions shortage here.
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