Monday, July 16, 2007

Report: Ammo shortage causing U.S. to buy bullets from Israel

Above: Newly recruited Iraqi soldiers practice marksmanship during live fire training in May.

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.

"The Department of Defense's increased requirements for small- and medium-calibre ammunitions have largely been driven by increased weapons training requirements, dictated by the army's transformation to a more self-sustaining and lethal force - which was accelerated after the attacks of 11 September, 2001 - and by the deployment of forces to conduct recent US military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq," said the report by the General Accounting Office (GAO)...

A report in Manufacturing & Technology News said that the Pentagon eventually found two producers capable of meeting its requirements. One of these was the US firm Olin-Winchester.

The other was Israel Military Industries, an Israeli ammunition manufacturer linked to the Israeli government, which produces the bulk of weapons and ordnance for the Israeli Defence Force.

Read the rest at the Independent

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