Outsourcing ammunition

U.S. industry is in such pitiful shape, it can't even supply all the bullets the Empire needs to fight its wars.  The British Independent reports a critical shortage of ammunition:

US forces have fired so many bullets in Iraq and Afghanistan – an estimated 250,000 for every insurgent killed – that American ammunition-makers cannot keep up with demand. As a result the US is having to import supplies from Israel.

A government report says that US forces are now using 1.8 billion rounds of small-arms ammunition a year. The total has more than doubled in five years, largely as a result of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as changes in military doctrine.

You can read the article to see how it arrives at the 250,000-bullets-per-insurgent figure.  It's based in part on numbers from the Government Accountability Office (the article still calls the agency by its less-catchy former name).  More interesting is this:

The GAO report notes that the three government-owned, contractor-operated plants that produce small- and medium-calibre ammunition were built in 1941.

Though millions of dollars have been spent on upgrading the facilities, they remain unable to meet current munitions needs in their current state. "The government-owned plant producing small-calibre ammunition cannot meet the increased requirements, even with modernisation efforts," said the report.

Thus the deal with an Israeli firm…which, because supplies are so tight, earns a handsome premium over what the Pentagon would be paying for ammo otherwise.

(Thanks to Sam Smith.)

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