Supply Chain for US Military Industrial Base ‘Weak’, Not ‘Robust’

Washington, Feb 24 (FN Representative) US Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten said during a virtual panel discussion that he is concerned the US military industrial base has a weak and non-resilient supply chain.

“My concern is the health of our industrial base because right now our industrial base is not healthy and COVID has not helped it… the supply chain is weak and we have to take a hard look at that because without that kind of supply chain we cannot move nimbly, quickly, we cannot stay ahead of the threats that will continue to morph, and we’re going to have a hard time building affordable capabilities in order to do that,” Hyten said during a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday. Hyten said the US supply chain is not just about producing gloves and masks, but it is also critical for acquiring materials needed for weapons systems and development. Hyten also said that the United States currently does not have a “robust, resilient” supply chain.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in earlier remarks said he has directed several relevant Senate committees to start drafting bipartisan legislation to outcompete China on economic and tech matters, including the production of semiconductors, adding that the United States must stop depending on foreign sources, which is a spot in US national security. Last July, former US Defense Undersecretary for Acquisition Ellen Lord said the United States has a vulnerability to China as the world’s top producer of rare earth materials needed to manufacture electronic components.