Simon Jenkins is here to say that Trump is unhinged but maybe actually he has a point, and anyway he won’t destroy NATO and Putin won’t try to conquer any more countries, he’ll settle for invading and destabilising them instead.
Jenkins seems to attribute a lot more thought and coherence to Trump’s NATO position than Trump himself does. He’s just as wrong though.
1.) How is it possible that a country with 30 times smaller economy, which cannot produce a working car, phone, or fridge – i.e. Russia – can outproduce all of the West when it comes to military material?
A) That’s not exactly that simple. Or at least: it’s about the structure of the economies in question. Yes, the West does have ’30 times bigger economy’, but much of the ‘wealth’ making the worth of that economy is, literally, ‘moving electrons from the left to the right side of the PC/Mac-monitor’. See, ‘investment sector, banks, insurances’ etc. On the contrary, and for reasons explained a few days ago (see: it’s much more profitable to – literally – gamble on the market shares, than to actually manufacture something one can hold in his/her hands), the West has next to no own industrial production left: this has been outsourced somewhere else. Thus, the Russian military industrial capacity is at least ‘matching’ much of that in the West.
B) Actually, and just like the West, after two years of this war, even Russia has shot-off its peace-time stocks of ammunition and major weapons systems. That’s why it began importing ammunition from North Korea, for example. Thus, it’s not really like the Russians are outproducing the West.
C) While the Western oligarchy is never directly involved in the politics and thus ‘never making its hands dirty’, Western governments are, ‘at least’, responsible to the oligarchy bribing them. On the contrary, the Russian government is the peak of the Russian oligarchy. Thus, it’s not responsible to anybody and free to take ‘logical decisions’: to take steps it finds necessary to enable it to pursue its own politics. This results in effects like ‘consequence’ and ‘coherence’, but also a complete disregard for both. For example: as the top oligarch in Russia, Putin is free to pursue his own day-dreams about ‘re-establishing and expanding the Russian Empire’, even if his argumentation in favour of this enterprise is completely inconsistent. On the contrary, even politicians like Biden cannot pursue consistent politics, and this is even less valid for successive US- or other Western governments: essentially, and with one exception, their foreign policy is changing at least every four-five years.
D) Moreover, in the light of what is the West doing in the Middle East of the last months, Western ‘humanism’ and ‘morality’ have proven to be a big scam. The result is that Western governments are having ever less influence abroad. That’s making it easy for the Russian government to find solutions where the West is struggling.
E) …and then there are such factors making Western politics easily predictable, like ‘saving Israel at any cost’: as mentioned at another opportunity, few days ago, when one is easy to predict, one is easy to ‘kill’, too.
Finnish court hands Russian war crimes suspect suspended sentence for border offences
Sounds like Ukrainians are messing up the Black Sea Fleet pretty hard.
Good luck and continued success to them!
/as the Russian navy scrambles to check the death dates of their other ship namesakes…
“Last year, ‘Visit Ukraine,’ a public organization, proposed tours to cities in the Kyiv region that had been damaged during the conflict with Russia. Their goal was to raise global awareness about Ukraine’s tragedy, and they had guides and tourism experts ready for the project. The initiative received support from Mariana Oleskiv, chairperson at the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine, and was inspired by visits from foreign government officials and celebrities to cities like Irpin, Bucha, and Hostomel. All tour proceeds were intended to aid Ukrainian refugees,” he said.
“However, it faced strong ethical criticism and was seen as disrespectful to the victims. As a result, both ‘Visit Ukraine’ and the State Tourism Agency abandoned the idea," he added.
I’ve been lucky in that I visited Ukraine prior to Putin’s invasion. (The separatists were still fighting however.) Kyiv is a beautiful city and when this thing ends I look forward to returning.
I was curious to see how Russian navy losses compared to US Navy losses over the years and just learned that the United States hasn’t lost a Navy vessel in combat since 1945. Not during the Korean War, not during the Vietnam war, not during any of the wars fought in the Middle East. Compare that to Russia losing a full third of its Black Sea Fleet just since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Again I say, from the perspective of a nation state trying to maintain military supremacy the United States has been getting a tremendous return on its investment helping Ukraine repel this invasion.