The US military may be stretched thin by simultaneous wars raging in Israel and Ukraine making it difficult to supply Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
The Pentagon insists it can support its allies in both Ukraine and Israel, partially by expanding the US’s industrial defense sector by $50 billion.
However, Mark Cancian, a former Pentagon official, believes that if China were to launch an invasion of Taiwan the US could be faced with hard choices.
The senior advisor for the Center for Strategic and International Studies said: “I think it would be Israel first, the Ukraine and Taiwan third.”
Officials have also pointed out that Israel’s and Ukraine’s needs do not overlap much, although both countries need large amounts of standard 155mm artillery ammunition.
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The US has more than doubled its production of those shells in the last year and a half.
A long war in Gaza could deplete US stockpiles as Israel continues to use its own munitions which the US would need to replenish, according to Cancian.
Speaking to The Times, he said: “If the war goes on for a long time, Israel will use up more and more of its own stockpiles and will rely on the US.”
This could present a problem for military planners because while Ukraine and Israel’s needs might not overlap, a war in the Indo-Pacific would likely use up the same munitions needed by Tel Aviv.
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The Pentagon’s top spokesman Brigadier-General Pat Ryder said: “For Israel and the Indo-Pacific, while there is certainly overlap in equipment and munitions, there are significant operational differences that drive our requirements.”
In addition, a divided Congress needs to fund military aid for Israel and Ukraine – already two new requests for $10 billion and $44 billion respectively.
Israel is estimated to have already fired 10,000 precision munitions since the war began while Ukraine has been firing artillery and precision munitions at an extraordinary rate.
With conflict spreading across the globe, the US may have to make tough decisions in the future while supporting its allies.
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