Small Wars Journal

U.S. Raiding Worldwide Weapons Stockpiles for ISIS War

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 9:43am

U.S. Raiding Worldwide Weapons Stockpiles for ISIS War by Paul D. Shinkman, U.S. News & World Report

Shortages of bombs and other munitions have forced the U.S. military to pull weapons from headquarters in other parts of the world to sustain its 2 1/2-year-old air campaign against the Islamic State group, despite billions of dollars invested in increasing the stockpiles.

"We are concerned, worldwide, when looking at ammunition needs," Deborah James, the former head of the Air Force, said in an interview shortly before stepping down from her position last month. "We've been expending so many in the Middle East we've had to borrow in some cases from other areas."

"What we want to do is replenish," James says.

The shortages came to light a year ago, and officials at the Joint Staff at the Pentagon confirm they are still a problem. And it's aggravated by the fact that 99.5 percent of all strikes against the Islamic State group employ what the military calls "precision weapons," known more commonly as "smart bombs," the expensive munitions that help the U.S.-led coalition aviators fulfill their mission of operating against enemy forces hiding in densely populated areas like Raqqa and Mosul…

Read on.