Amid Ukraine war, US failing to fulfill Taiwan arms deliveries
The Wall Street Journal reports that a backlog of weapon deliveries to Taiwan has piled up.
The Wall Street Journal published a report stating that there are growing concerns in the US that arms-supply commitments made to Taiwan are being affected due to the increased flow of weapons to Kiev.
According to US officials, the value of the delayed weapons supplies to Taiwan is at $18.7 billion dollars, up from $14 billion just last December.
Citing sources, the newspaper revealed that Taiwan placed orders for 208 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 215 Stinger missiles back in 2015, however they have not yet been delivered.
The military aid packages the US sends either pull inventory from stockpiles or fund contracts with industry to step up production. At least $19 billion in military aid has been committed to date, including 924,000 artillery rounds for 155mm howitzers, more than 8,500 Javelin anti-tank systems, 1,600 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, and hundreds of vehicles and drones.
Supply chain issues due to the Covid pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine have caused delivery setbacks to the island, according to defense companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
A report released by The New York Times on Saturday revealed that two-thirds of NATO member states are “pretty tapped out.”
The report also mentioned that the EU has depleted 90% of its allocated fund (European Peace Facility) to reimburse member states in return for what they supplied to Ukraine, after paying a total of around €3.1 billion ($3.2 billion) so far.
In the same context, American news broadcaster CNN reported earlier this month, citing US senior officials, that the United States is running low on several sophisticated weapons and munitions to send to Ukraine in the midst of the ongoing war.
One of the officials said the stockpiles of certain systems were "dwindling" after Washington spent the past nine months supplying Ukraine with arms.
Pentagon reconsidering its arms stockpiles
The fierce war in Europe has the Pentagon reconsidering its arms stockpiles. If another major war were to erupt today, would the United States have enough munition in its stockpiles to hold its ground?
Pentagon planners are being faced with this question as they continue to supply Ukraine amid its war, which could last years, while Washington says it would intervene if a war breaks out in Taiwan.
"We've not been in a position where we've got only a few days of some critical munition left," Michael McCord, the Pentagon comptroller told reporters this month. “But we are now supporting a partner who is.”
This has been pressuring the US reserves and has forced officials to ask whether US weapons stockpiles were big enough and whether the US would be ready to respond to a major conflict.
"What would happen if something blew up in Indo-Pacom? Not five years from now, not 10 years from now, what if it happened next week?" Bill LaPlante, the Pentagon's top weapons buyer, said this month at a defense acquisitions conference at George Mason University in Virginia.