America Is Running Out of Ammunition

Ukrainian soldiers go through shooting training with U.S.-made weapons on March 4, 2023.
Mustafa Ciftci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

America Is Running Out of Ammunition

The United States military has a serious problem. It is one of the biggest, most well-funded militaries in the world, boasting an array of advanced technologies, weapons platforms, ships and planes. Yet as formidable as that sounds, one key element is disappearing from the picture: ammunition.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, the U.S. has transferred billions of dollars’ worth of equipment and ammunition to Ukraine. Nearly two years later, America’s stockpiles of munitions are dangerously low, and it lacks the production capability to restock.

One piece of munition heavily used in Ukraine is the 155-mm artillery shell. America has sent over 2 million shells to Ukraine, which is firing an average of 110,000 shells a month. This far exceeds the 28,000 shells per month American factories can produce. European allies are also providing shells, but at a meager rate. The U.S. plans to increase production to 100,000 shells a month, but that won’t happen until the end of 2025.

As long as the Russo-Ukrainian War continues, the U.S. will dip deeper and deeper into its munition reserves. It already made a compromise with South Korea to indirectly supply Ukraine with shells. It tapped into its strategic reserve in Israel to offset the consumption at home. However, the war in Gaza is straining those reserves as well.

How and when will America restock its supplies? At current production rates, it would take six years to replenish those inventories. When it comes to Javelin missiles, the U.S. transferred seven years’ worth of production to Ukraine from February to August 2022. These quantities are nearly impossible to replenish.

America’s stockpiles of other key munitions are also low. After decades of counterterrorism wars, the U.S. has put little effort into building its inventory of long-range weaponry for large-scale wars. A simulated war game found that America would expend its inventory of long-range weaponry in three weeks if conflict broke out with China over Taiwan. A lot of those munitions take nearly two years to produce.

And it’s not just America in trouble. In another simulation, the United Kingdom expended all its critical munitions in eight days.

America isn’t purchasing enough high-end munitions for a major conflict either. In 2022, it purchased 3,000 Joint Direct Attack Munitions and 2,000 Small Diameter Bombs for the year. Israel used more than that in Gaza in one week. DefenseNews reported:

The Navy’s annual procurement of Tomahawk missiles and MK 48 torpedoes, for example, falls woefully short of the needs of the fleet. If all 73 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are available, the Navy’s FY22 procurement of 70 Tomahawks only allows each to launch 0.96 Tomahawks. If all 22 Virginia-class submarines were available, the 58 MK 48 torpedoes procured by the Navy that fiscal year would not fill their 88 torpedo tubes even once.

Dipping into U.S. military inventory does not make the situation much better. An educated guess is that there are about 4,000 Tomahawks in the Navy’s possession. If 20 percent of the vertical launching system (vls) cells in the U.S. surface fleet and 100 percent of the vls cells in the submarine fleet are equipped with Tomahawks, and if 80 percent of the U.S. surface fleet, 60 percent of U.S. attack submarines and 33 percent of U.S. strategic submarines are deployable in a conflict, then the Navy can fire roughly 2,300 Tomahawks without reloading.

In sum, the Navy’s Tomahawk inventory is so low that it likely can’t reload all its ships even once.

America’s military might is a facade. After spending trillions of dollars on the military, there are hardly any rounds in the chamber, no money to buy more, and no materials to make them.

Part of America’s national security plan is maintaining a stockpile of rare earth minerals needed to build the advanced munitions and technology. However, that stockpile is essentially gone. At its peak in 1952, it was valued at nearly $42 billion in today’s dollars; since then, it has been slowly sold off to fund other parts of the government. Today, it is valued at $888 million, a 98 percent reduction in value. By 2025, the stockpile is likely to be insolvent. With China dominating the rare-earth market, there is little hope of rebuilding reserves.

America’s military is becoming a paper tiger. It may look menacing, but without munitions, what can it do? Many lawmakers and policymakers are waking up to the seriousness of the situation. But with so few munitions and such a long lead time to create more, will America ever win a major conflict? These are serious questions to ponder as our world grows more violent.

How has the greatest military power the world has ever known become so unprepared? We could point fingers in multiple directions, but God prophesied of this very situation.

In the book of Isaiah, God said that in these last days, we would see a dearth of civil and military leadership, and that those with childish reasoning would lead (Isaiah 3:1-4). Poor, childish leadership has caused many of these problems, but the blame doesn’t lie entirely there. God says the entire nation is to blame. Why? “[B]ecause their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory. The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not” (verses 8-9).

The root cause is national sin. Calamity is prophesied because of it.

Is America too big to fall? God’s Word contains vital prophecies about what will befall America. There is great peril ahead, but also great hope. All of this is contained in our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Request a copy to learn how this will impact you personally.