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Abstract

Ammunition is an essential resource for the implementation of a national defense and security policy. National ammunition stockpiles—regardless of their functional classification—can pose risks to national security and public safety. Poor accounting and inadequate physical security of storage facilities can lead to the diversion of ammunition from the national stockpile to terrorists, criminals, and other armed groups, increasing insecurity and instability. Furthermore, the deterioration of munition components can contribute to unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS), which can have significant negative socioeconomic and political consequences for the public and national governments. Comprehensive ammunition management ensures that the right types and quantities of ammunition are available, at the right time, to support national strategic and operational needs. It is also seen as the only long-term strategy for preventing the excessive accumulation of surplus and for mitigating the safety and security risks inherent to all ammunition stockpiles. Such an approach takes into account the technical aspects of ammunition management that are often covered by stockpile management efforts, as well as the related structural and political dynamics. This results in planning challenges and has significant budgetary implications for governments. A systems-based approach to the life-cycle management of ammunition (LCMA), and a long-term strategy to execute it, can help a state to address these challenges by minimizing the probability of excessive surplus accumulation and mitigating diversion and UEMS risks while meeting national strategic and operational needs.

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