Études de l'Ifri Focus Stratégique
C-5 Galaxy strategic airlifters stored at US Air Force Base Davis Monthan, Arizona

Military Stockpiles: A Life-Insurance Policy in a High-Intensity Conflict? Focus stratégique, No. 113, Ifri, December 2022.

The war in Ukraine is a reminder of the place of attrition from high-intensity conflict in European armies that have been cut to the bone after three decades of budget cuts. All European forces have had to reduce their stocks to the bare minimum. As a result, support to Ukraine has meant a significant drain on their operational capabilities. A significant amount of decommissioned systems were also donated, due to the lack of depth in operational fleets.

Russia, for its part, has mobilized the vast stocks inherited from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) to support its war effort after the initial failure of its "special military operation". The process of renovating the oldest systems was also increased, while Russian production of modern equipment remained insufficient.
The current conflict therefore sees mixed fleets of very modern systems and much older - even obsolete - ones from long-term stocks. This situation prompts us to question the stockpiling strategies of the French armies and to compare them to those that exist elsewhere.
> This publication is also available in French: Stocks militaires : une assurance-vie en haute intensité ?
Military Stockpiles: A Life-Insurance Policy in a High-Intensity Conflict?
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