Despite historically being the most technologically advanced military in the world, the Department of Defense (DOD) admitted recently that the American military is now struggling to keep up the pace with China when it comes to the current high-tech arms race.
According to Politico, the Pentagon is set to release its first-ever “National Defense Industrial Strategy,” compiled by the Pentagon’s acquisition chief William LaPlante. The study is set to be a comprehensive observation of what the DOD needs to catch up with China in the development of new military technology, including the possibility of cooperation with smaller tech firms and traditional companies.
At this time, the American military “does not possess the capacity, capability, responsiveness, or resilience required to satisfy the full range of military production needs at speed and scale,” the report’s draft, dated November 28th, reads in part.
“Just as significantly,” the report continues, “the traditional defense contractors in the [defense industrial base] would be challenged to respond to modern conflict at the velocity, scale, and flexibility necessary to meet the dynamic requirements of a major modern conflict.”
The main problem, according to the report, is not that America cannot build the most advanced weapons in the world, but rather, it is incapable of producing them fast enough.
“This mismatch presents a growing strategic risk as the United States confronts the imperatives of supporting active combat operations…while deterring the larger and more technically advanced pacing threat looming in the Indo-Pacific,” the study states.
LaPlante spoke further of the Pentagon’s planned next steps during an event at the Reagan National Defense Forum, saying that the DOD will roll out a “partnership” with private companies for additional investments in new manufacturing facilities and research and development (R&D).
“We have to have the conversations together about what you’re going to put in for [construction] and what the government will then be going to put in,” LaPlante explained. “We’ve got to show that we’re going to production and we’re going to stick with it so that it’s worth your while.”
These reports are simply the latest in a long list of struggles for the Pentagon under Joe Biden. Most branches of the military have failed to meet annual recruitment goals due to increased politicization of the military’s advertising and recruiting material, while the vast majority of the DOD’s sub-agencies failed their sixth consecutive financial audit earlier this year.