The US should incentivize its industrial base to get more involved in the value arms market. Cheap and easily producible arms could bolster a lackluster defense industry, especially evident due to the war in Ukraine. By allowing and supporting key defense industry partners, they can produce munitions and other inexpensive equipment for other countries, thereby maintaining a robust production line on critical munitions and weapons systems that will be needed in a high-end attrition-style conventional war (Colff, 2023). Moreover, by engaging in the value arms trade, the US can engage countries within the market that typically buy cheaper Russian-made equipment, thus increasing security ties between the US and these countries (Banerjee, Tkach, 2022).
This unique perspective is intriguing, as it may provide an answer to the DIB's lack of production capabilities while also engaging other countries that often turn to Russia or China for cheaper and easily produced equipment. The US has used its leverage in the arms trade for diplomatic efforts, notably the peace between Egypt and Israel. Therefore, engaging in the value arms market could be beneficial. Lastly, maintaining production lines of equipment and munitions could benefit the US when surge capacity is needed in a future conflict. However, there is a question of whether this is practical, as cheaper equipment and munitions typically do not have a high-profit margin for businesses. Additionally, the market is saturated with older Russian and Chinese equipment, which may prevent US-based companies from being successful in the market.
Banerjee, V., & Tkach, B. (2022, August 9). Amid russia-ukraine war, China could dominate the value arms market. – The Diplomat. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://thediplomat.com/2022/08/amid-russia-ukraine-war-china-could-dominate-the-value-arms-market/
Colff , J. (2023, March 31). Building a new American Arsenal. War on the Rocks. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://warontherocks.com/2023/03/building-a-new-american-arsenal/