First I want to address the recent $NYT article in which it plainly states Russia is producing artillery shells at 7x the rate of the US. This is true. Now I know what we, as Americans, are trained to believe.
“Nothing is made here BUT weapons and we have lots of it because we allocate so much money to it.”
Are you sure about that?
Here’s what we actually spend the $727b+ per year on.
$291b on operation and maintenance — including military operations such as training and planning, maintenance of equipment, and most of the military healthcare system.
$181 billion on pay for soldiers and retirement benefits.
$136 billion goes towards procurement or actual manufacturing of weapons.
$107b goes to research and development
We have sent Ukraine about $150b worth of weapons and material so far, more or less 1 year’s worth of domestic military production. Since we’ve had this bloated budget from the time when the towers fell on 9/11, we have amassed quite the stockpile — which we are drawing from to help Ukraine fight.
But we are not outproducing Russia and our contractors are paid much more than what Russia is paying. In order to get on proper war footing, we’d have to TRIPLE procurement, if not more, allocating another trillion per year towards defense.
The pro Russian folks on Twitter, all of whom I like very much, make endless excuses for the frozen conflict in the Ukraine. They say stuff like “Putin is holding back” or “wait until Russia really fights.” I believe this is folly. The Russians would annihilate Ukraine if they could — but they can’t. My evidence is the frozen conflict, something I can see.
Playing devils advocate, perhaps Russia is anticipating a major escalation with the west and is holding their reserves for a much wider conflict. If so, that still means it is a frozen conflict. If this were a chess match, the west has Russia’s queen cornered, unable to move.
On the other hand, Ukraine has zero chance at winning and is being mass murdered by both the Russians and Zelensky.
I have an extremely cynical view on this war and believe the west WANTS Ukrainian soldiers to die en masse as part of of depopulation scheme to rid it from a nazi ideology — tricked into nationalistic fervor. I can see how the average Ukrainian soldier can get caught up in loving his country and wanting to kill the Russians. But with over 400,000 Ukrainians dead, it seems any victory you might achieve is pyrrhic since all of your men are dead and will have to be replaced by the Africans.
The Russians haven’t deterred the west from doing anything significant for a number of reasons.
1. It’s easier to fight Ukraine armed by the US than fighting Ukraine armed by the US and also fighting all of NATO.
2. They have no nukes. Nukes aren’t real. Grow up.
3. Putin has yet to mobilize for a pan European war in the hopes of bleeding Ukraine out to the point of capitulation.
The rationale for helping Ukraine is of course rooted in ironic Hitler 2.0 fears. If we do not stop Putin, he will march to Paris — just like Hitler. It’s ironic since no nation hated Hitler more than Russia and also because the west regularly reminds us how inept the Russian army is. If they’re inept, they cannot march to Paris. You cannot have it both ways.
But there is some truth perhaps in what the west is warning about — but for different reasons. They have provoked Russia to the point it would be rational for them to declare war on multiple European states. After all, supporting Ukraine in the manner they’re doing in any timeline throughout history would be akin to a declaration of War. Whether the cause is just or not, NATO has declared war on Russia and it would not be far fetched to believe Russia might, after they succeed in Ukraine, seek revenge on nations who helped kill their soldiers.