"Yet every bad actor with an AK-47 takes on US and NATO ground forces in a small arms fight. We are no longer suitably armed to prevent it," he wrote. "The current US Army small arms development and acquisition system is dysfunctional and virtually unworkable, even for those within the system."
The flaws of the M4 carbine have been well known to military analysts. For example, tests in 1990 and a report by US Special Operations Command in 2001 proved its numerous shortcomings. However, that was ignored by lawmakers as well as by military command.
Billions of dollars are spent to develop high-tech weapons that are never used in modern warfare while the issue of small arms has never been tackled, according to the author.
Small arms are the most deployed weapon systems in the arsenal of the US military, but the eight most numerous conventional weapons in the army were developed over 35 years ago, and have never been upgraded.
"While we have replaced uniforms, helmets, body armor, radios, rations and footwear countless times in three decades, the weapons and ammunition we use in 2015 are little more than variants of Vietnam-era technology possessing the antiquated capabilities of a bygone era," the analyst wrote.
The Pentagon is still procuring thousands of ageing weapons which are totally outperformed not only by commercial small arms used by US allies as well as its foes, Schatz pointed out.
He also noted that in Afghanistan, US and coalition troops used 5.56x45 NATO weapons, and as a result were outperformed by enemy fighters employing 7.62x54 mm caliber weapons. The same caliber is used now by Islamic State (ISIL) fighters.
"The nation will be remiss if it does not exploit the many modern, often paradigm shifting technologies that are available today in the commercial and defense markets," the analyst concluded.