And so, having said that, when they do things that appear to be very dumb and foolish, it is safe to say they are doing so on purpose.
Like giving away vital U.S. military weapons to a foreign country when our own country has no current capability to replace them anytime soon – as in, they are literally making our country weaker and more vulnerable. The question then becomes ... why?
As reported by the Strange Sounds blog: "The CEO of Raytheon Technologies told investors Tuesday that the company won’t be able to ramp up production of Stinger missiles until 2023, due to a lack of parts and materials for the weapons that Western allies have rushed to Ukraine…
"Shoulder-fired Stinger missiles are in hot demand in Ukraine where they have successfully stopped Russian assaults from the air, but U.S. supplies have shrunk and producing more of the anti-aircraft weapons faces significant hurdles.
"Challenges include complications related to ramping up production, reluctance by the United States to redirect valuable manufacturing capacity to decades-old technology, and fears among defense companies that they would be stuck with unwanted arms when the Ukraine war winds down, according to interviews with U.S. officials and defense firms."
Currently, U.S. troops have only a limited use for the current stockpile of Stingers, which made their battlefield debut during the Soviet Union's war in Afghanistan in the 1980s – a lightweight, man-portable, self-contained anti-aircraft weapon that is best deployed against helicopters, slower-moving jets and planes, drones and even cruise missiles. But because the next-gen replacement for the Stinger is not yet fully developed, the U.S. still must hang onto a decent supply of the portable missiles.
"Right before Ukraine hit, we were going to divest ourselves of Stingers," said a congressional source, the Strange Sounds blog noted. But that said, Pentagon officials are still concerned about the "dwindling" supply of Stingers, according to the congressional source and another source at the Pentagon.
And there is this: Ukrainian forces are downing Russian aircraft with the current version of the Stinger missile that was provided by Lithuania. According to reports, Ukrainian troops have downed at least six targets during the war – including helicopters, planes, drones and a cruise missile – as of an April 6 Facebook post by Arvydas Anusauskas, Lithuania's defense minister.
Before Russia invaded in late February, the U.S. has sent some 1,400 Stinger missiles to Kyiv's forces, an administration official said. But sourcing more will be harder moving forward. That's because the Stinger production line was shut down in December 2020, Department of Defense spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell said.
But since then, the missile's manufacturer, Raytheon, managed to secure another contract in July 2021 to make more of the missiles, but mostly for other countries, the U.S. Army noted. The only Stinger production facility is in Arizona, and it only produces the missile at a low rate.
"The Pentagon has not ordered new Stingers for about 18 years, but has ordered parts or made other efforts to increase its supply," Strange Sounds noted. "For example, the Army is in the middle of a 'service life extension plan' for some of its Stingers that were to become obsolete in 2023 and is extending what the military calls their 'useful life' until 2030."
Earlier this week, a separate report noted that other stocks of U.S. weapons were also being depleted and that a similar problem – the lack of industrial capacity to quickly replace them – exists for them as well. What’s more, the situation is exposing a U.S. weakness should there be another great-power war we have to fight at some near-future point.
"America is following an 'arsenal of democracy' strategy in Ukraine: It has avoided direct intervention against the Russian invaders, while working with allies and partners to provide the Kyiv government with money and guns," reported Bloomberg Quint." That strategy, reminiscent of U.S. support for Britain in 1940-41, has worked wonders. Yet as the war reaches a critical stage, with the Russians preparing to consolidate their grip on eastern Ukraine, the arsenal of democracy is being depleted."
Again, the people in charge of making these seemingly nonsensical decisions are not stupid. They are weakening our country for a reason – perhaps to bait China into attacking Taiwan so the U.S. and NATO can go to war against Beijing as well as Moscow and reinstall the unipolar world led by Washington, regardless of how many Americans die in the process.