We have a finite amount of weapon stocks, as well as attention and time we can devote to arming other nations. Ukraine is a proxy war against Russia. Defending Taiwan might be an actual war against China. But that’s not where we are focused.
Is helping Zelensky get everything he wants part of our vital interests? Is Taiwan? Is anyone in the government weighing these issues?
According to the Wall Street Journal:
U.S. government and congressional officials fear the conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating a nearly $19 billion backlog of weapons bound for Taiwan, further delaying efforts to arm the island as tensions with China escalate.
The U.S. has pumped billions of dollars of weapons into Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February, taxing the capacity of the government and defense industry to keep up with a sudden demand to arm Kyiv in a conflict that isn’t expected to end soon. The flow of weapons to Ukraine is now running up against the longer-term demands of a U.S. strategy to arm Taiwan to help it defend itself against a possible invasion by China, according to congressional and government officials familiar with the matter.
The backlog of deliveries, which was more than $14 billion last December, has grown to $18.7 billion, according to congressional officials and others familiar with the matter. Included in the backlog are an order made in December 2015 for 208 Javelin antitank weapons and a separate one at the same time for 215 surface-to-air Stinger missiles. None of them have arrived on the island, according to congressional sources and people familiar with the matter.