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Washington ‘Can’t Make Weapons Fast Enough’ to Protect Allies, US Congressman Claims

© AFP 2023 / JAM STA ROSAThe M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). File photo
The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2023
The Biden administration announced on Monday that the US will send Ukraine another $350 million in military assistance, including more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and howitzers.
US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul has claimed Washington cannot make new weapons fast enough to protect the US or its allies, like Taiwan.
He told a US news network that he “signed off on weapons three years ago that have yet to go into [the] country," and that Taiwan is “not prepared for this" and is “incapable of fighting their own war if invaded.”

“When we sell an ally or somebody like Taiwan our foreign military sales…why does it take three years? Why don’t we have any weapons systems in [the] country right now to provide a deterrent to Chairman Xi from invading? Because, the fact is, we don’t. And I don’t think [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] can answer that question other than to say our defense industrial base system is broken and we can’t make these weapons fast enough,” the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman added.

In an apparent nod to the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, McCaul added that the US has “no deterrence."
An American media outlet meanwhile reported last month that the US is running low on some weapons and ammunition as Washington continues to provide Kiev with military assistance, which was ramped up after Russia launched its special operation. The Biden administration has committed more than $31.7 billion in security assistance to Kiev since the start of the special operation. Moscow has repeatedly warned that such assistance adds to prolonging the Ukrainian conflict.
McCaul's remarks came after Avril Haines, the US director of national intelligence (DNI), made it clear that she believes that Beijing’s possible "invasion of Taiwan" will not take place.
“It’s not our assessment that China wants to go to war,” Haines told the House Intelligence Committee during an annual briefing on Friday on worldwide threats faced by the United States.
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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning reacted by describing Taiwan as “an inalienable part of China’s territory," adding that “resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese and must be decided by Chinese ourselves.”
China’s President Xi Jinping, for his part, pledged that the government would actively expand the “peaceful development” of cross-strait relations and “unswervingly” promote reunification with Taiwan. He added that external interference and separatist activities in Taiwan would be resolutely opposed.
This followed CIA Director William Burns telling a US media outlet that he thinks Washington needs "to take very seriously" the Chinese president’s "ambitions with regard to ultimately controlling Taiwan." According to Burns, "That doesn't, however, in our view, mean that a military conflict [over Taiwan] is inevitable."
The already tense Beijing-Taipei relations escalated further in early August 2022 after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite protests from the Chinese government, which warned that the trip had violated the One-China principle. Beijing bashed the visit and subsequent trips by European officials to the island as show of support for Taiwanese separatism and launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the area at the time in retaliation.

Although the US does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Washington has a representative office in Taipei, and remains the island's biggest supplier of military hardware. Beijing considers the island an integral part of the People's Republic of China, sticking to a policy of peaceful reunification under a "One China – Two Systems" model.

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