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If NATO can't save Ukraine, what is it for?


pellinore

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Posted (edited)

Nato’s grand 75th birthday celebration in Washington in July will ring hollow in Kyiv. The alliance has miserably failed its biggest post-cold war test – the battle for Ukraine. Sadly, there’s no denying it: Vladimir Putin is on a roll.

Advancing Russian forces in Kharkiv profit from the west’s culpably slow drip-feed of weaponry to Kyiv and its leaders’ chronic fear of escalation. Ukraine receives just enough support to survive, never to prevail. Now even bare survival is in doubt.

Ukraine is Europe’s fight. It’s freedom’s global fight, Joe Biden says – a fight for democracy. “Our support cannot and will not falter. Britain is with you for as long as it takes,” Rishi Sunak vows. Yet, on the ground, Ukraine is mostly left to fight alone.

Nato’s failure to save Ukraine raises an existential question: what on earth is it for? | Simon Tisdall | The Guardian

Edited by Saru
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Well… arguably, given that Vlad (with his intentions to rebuild the Soviet Union and therefore eyeing off Poland etc) hasn’t invaded anyone else suggests that membership in NATO does act as a bulwark against Russian Imperial intentions.
Ukraine was (and still is) that “messy little “ohh yes, there..…” piece of land” that isn’t in NATO but also isn’t/wasn’t in Russian Federation and was only in the Soviet Union by force. It was the bit that everyone sort of ignored or used as bargaining chips. 

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8 minutes ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

Well… arguably, given that Vlad (with his intentions to rebuild the Soviet Union and therefore eyeing off Poland etc) hasn’t invaded anyone else suggests that membership in NATO does act as a bulwark against Russian Imperial intentions.
Ukraine was (and still is) that “messy little “ohh yes, there..…” piece of land” that isn’t in NATO but also isn’t/wasn’t in Russian Federation and was only in the Soviet Union by force. It was the bit that everyone sort of ignored or used as bargaining chips. 

If he takes Ukraine, Poland and Finland will be in his sights, along with the Baltic States. Russia is now on a war economy, employment and wages are on the up, and they have a huge population to feed into the meat grinder and Putin has clamped down on dissent against war. He has never been more popular at home.

The BRICs economy will expand as China is ready to flood the West with cheap EVs. I think NATO must stop appeasement and show its teeth- if it has any.

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6 hours ago, pellinore said:

If he takes Ukraine, Poland and Finland will be in his sights, along with the Baltic States. Russia is now on a war economy, employment and wages are on the up, and they have a huge population to feed into the meat grinder and Putin has clamped down on dissent against war. He has never been more popular at home.

The BRICs economy will expand as China is ready to flood the West with cheap EVs. I think NATO must stop appeasement and show its teeth- if it has any.

I highly doubt Putin will attack any NATO country.  Not unless it's WW3 and his allies are China, Iran and friends of all.  NATO is happy to sit on the side because they don't want to escalate the war but don't want Putin to win either because that would reward aggression and NATO is all about defense and maintaining balance.  Hence, the current stagnant situation which may change if Putin falls out of the 6th floor or some other terminal event occurs.

The Russian economy hasn't collapsed yet because sanctions haven't worked and the cap on its crude oil hasn't reduced sales.  Some countries have kept selling and trading with Russia (China, India, Serbia, Iran, Turkey).  Countries such as India have been making a killing out of purchasing Russian oil which they also in turn sell to other countries at a higher price.  Nevertheless Russia's GDP is somewhere between 5-7% lower than what it was before the war in Ukraine.  Overall, there is enough money flowing into Russia and with a dedicated 10% of its GDP going towards its military, I doubt they'll run out of bullets.

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10 hours ago, pellinore said:

Nato’s grand 75th birthday celebration in Washington in July will ring hollow in Kyiv. The alliance has miserably failed its biggest post-cold war test – the battle for Ukraine. Sadly, there’s no denying it: Vladimir Putin is on a roll.

Advancing Russian forces in Kharkiv profit from the west’s culpably slow drip-feed of weaponry to Kyiv and its leaders’ chronic fear of escalation. Ukraine receives just enough support to survive, never to prevail. Now even bare survival is in doubt.

Ukraine is Europe’s fight. It’s freedom’s global fight, Joe Biden says – a fight for democracy. “Our support cannot and will not falter. Britain is with you for as long as it takes,” Rishi Sunak vows. Yet, on the ground, Ukraine is mostly left to fight alone.

Nato’s failure to save Ukraine raises an existential question: what on earth is it for? | Simon Tisdall | The Guardian

Given that Ukraine isn't even in NATO, and Russia hasn't attacked a NATO member, what do you expect NATO to do exactly pellinore?

Should they start dropping bombs on Russia under the name of NATO in order to escalate the conflict even further, because that's what will happen, because Russia will retaliate, and any attack on a NATO member is deemed an attack on all NATO members, is that what you want pellinore? 🤔

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12 hours ago, pellinore said:

If he takes Ukraine, Poland and Finland will be in his sights, along with the Baltic States.

I think you forget that Ukraine isn't in NATO. The support Ukraine is receiving isn't (technically) from NATO but from individual states who don't want to be drawn into open war themselves.

If Russia attacks NATO, the gloves are off. We certainly wouldn't tie our own hands by not striking into Russia itself the way we've limited Ukraine.

As for the population question, Russia has about 151 million people. NATO has 950 million.

Unless China gets involved, Russia wouldn't last five minutes, even before they wasted the bulk of their best troops and equipment in Ukraine.

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19 hours ago, pellinore said:

If he takes Ukraine, Poland and Finland will be in his sights, along with the Baltic States. Russia is now on a war economy, employment and wages are on the up, and they have a huge population to feed into the meat grinder and Putin has clamped down on dissent against war. He has never been more popular at home.

The BRICs economy will expand as China is ready to flood the West with cheap EVs. I think NATO must stop appeasement and show its teeth- if it has any.

Russia has used the same strategy for centuries.

That is to put distance between the powerful European nations, and itself. It gives it the room to bleed and slow down advances while it figures out how to beat them, including using winter temperatures.

They have aligned Belarus to themselves, they are currently working on safeguarding their south-west, and next will come the north-west. The aim of taking land from Ukraine is to secure its access to the black sea, including its major naval bases, and to prevent a push to cut off Russian oil fields. Finland is not the most important north-western target, its the Baltic States. Both to link up to their ex-German enclave and prevent a direct push on Moscow.

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17 hours ago, Destination Unknown said:

Given that Ukraine isn't even in NATO, and Russia hasn't attacked a NATO member, what do you expect NATO to do exactly pellinore?

Should they start dropping bombs on Russia under the name of NATO in order to escalate the conflict even further, because that's what will happen, because Russia will retaliate, and any attack on a NATO member is deemed an attack on all NATO members, is that what you want pellinore? 🤔

Regardless of all the propaganda flying around from both sides, America and Russia have a comfortable understanding at this point. Both have marked their territory and both understand the limits of each other. As long as Russia doesn’t use nuclear weapons and Ukraine isn’t allowed to attack Russian sovereign soil things will continue as they are. Anyone asking for attacking Russia is asking for Pandora’s box to be opened 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Black Red Devil said:

I highly doubt Putin will attack any NATO country. 

I disagree. There has been a significant increase in intelligence reports indicating that Russia has conducted and is actively planning attacks related to arson and disrupting critical infrastructure throughout Europe via proxies and directly, which I suspect serves two purposes:
1.) To deter aid from being provided to Ukraine (which seems to be the consensus in most articles on the subject, in light of the arson attacks on a warehouse containing aid for Ukraine back in April - Two British men charged with helping Russian intelligence in London arson attack (ft.com) )
2.) To push the limits of NATO countries to see what they can get away with, because the "red lines" in Russia keep getting crossed.

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1 hour ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

I disagree. There has been a significant increase in intelligence reports indicating that Russia has conducted and is actively planning attacks related to arson and disrupting critical infrastructure throughout Europe via proxies and directly, which I suspect serves two purposes:
1.) To deter aid from being provided to Ukraine (which seems to be the consensus in most articles on the subject, in light of the arson attacks on a warehouse containing aid for Ukraine back in April - Two British men charged with helping Russian intelligence in London arson attack (ft.com) )
2.) To push the limits of NATO countries to see what they can get away with, because the "red lines" in Russia keep getting crossed.

Not sure how those examples you've given correspond to expansionism.  Not that Putin isn't into expansionism, if allowed, but they just sound like disruptive intelligence activities not too disimilar to Russian hackers trying to infiltrate western governmental intel. 

Putin isn't dumb and has surely worked out the limits of Russian military capabilities at this point. Of course if given the opportunity he would have loved to have the old Warsaw Pact countries as allies to give him a safe land cushion with NATO but all he had left was the Ukraine and thanks to NATO weapons he can't even fully conquer that and in actual fact has made Ukranians even more resilient now.  He might have had an opportunity to infiltrate and negotiate diplomatically the Donbas and Crimea regions but after the invasion he hasn't got a hope in hell anymore.

Eventually sanctions and a prolonged war will take its toll and he doesn't want to drive Russia to the point they weaken their defenses and have to resort to nuclear weapons if attacked, which nobody wants, not even him and his "friends" in China have already shown interest in their old territories in the East.  But also internally, if the Russian government doesn't show strength, some Republics in Russia would jump on the opportunity to become independent.

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12 minutes ago, Black Red Devil said:

Not sure how those examples you've given correspond to expansionism. 

I suspect that's because I wasn't addressing expansionism - I was directly addressing the claim of

22 hours ago, Black Red Devil said:

I highly doubt Putin will attack any NATO country. 

 

16 minutes ago, Black Red Devil said:

Not that Putin isn't into expansionism, if allowed, but they just sound like disruptive intelligence activities not too disimilar to Russian hackers trying to infiltrate western governmental intel. 

The nature of the reports we are seeing suggests that Russia is escalating beyond mere intelligence operations.

German spying: Two men held over suspected Russian sabotage plot (bbc.com)

 

Quote

 

"The two men, described as dual German-Russian nationals, were detained in Bayreuth on suspicion of spying for Russia, prosecutors say.
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said authorities had prevented "possible explosive attacks".

The men are accused of scouting US military facilities and other sites.

The main suspect, Dieter S, has been remanded in pre-trial detention accused of a string of offences, including plotting an explosion, arson and maintaining contact with Russian intelligence.

He is also alleged to have fought for a Russian proxy armed force in occupied eastern Ukraine from 2014-16.

The second suspect, identified as Alexander J, is accused of helping him since last month to identify potential targets for attack. He was due to appear in court on Thursday.

The Russian ambassador has been summoned by the foreign ministry in Berlin. Ms Faeser condemned "a particularly serious case of alleged spy activity for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's criminal regime".

Germany is the second largest donor of military aid to Ukraine after the US, earmarking some €28bn (£24bn) since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

According to prosecutors, Dieter S is alleged to have discussed potential sabotage operations in Germany with his Russian contact since October last year, in an attempt to undermine its support for Ukraine.

They cite preparing explosive and arson attacks, especially on military and industrial infrastructure. Dieter S is said to have scouted potential targets including US military facilities, taking photos and videos and handing the information to the Russian contact.

 

 

34 minutes ago, Black Red Devil said:

Putin isn't dumb and has surely worked out the limits of Russian military capabilities at this point.

One can be smart but make irrational decisions - intelligence doesn't preclude bad choices. Miscalculation is always going to be a risk in war.

 

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1 hour ago, Black Red Devil said:

Putin isn't dumb and has surely worked out the limits of Russian military capabilities at this point.

Perhaps, if he has been given accurate information, but Russian bureaucrats have had to deal with kings, emperors and dictators for a thousand years, they are probably pretty good at filtering. Even the originator of fake news can fall for it if he hears it enough.  So he may not fully realize the extent of the problem.  

Speculation on my part if you care to indulge:   Putin keeps an unhappy population distracted and somewhat unified with NATO as an outside threat, and insult that rightful territory  like Ukraine have been taken away.  A little like Germany after WWI .  What happens when the show comes to a sad ending and the crowd is even more unhappy?  If Kadyrov dies soon as some surmise, Checnya may not stay in line as staunch supporters. Georgia certainly wants Moscow to stay away, other  republics are beginning to have strained relationships with Moscow.

So maybe for Putin, now that he knows Russia will not win.  He has some inkling of the massive level of corruption and fakery in his military.  He suspects It turned out to be another Potemkin village  What does Putin do?  I think to stay in power he continues the war. and does not admit to the deception, because it serves him too.  He empties his prisons mixes that in with young men earning low wages and levies from the Republics.  He cleanses the military and government to eliminate anybody too smart or too ambitious.  He eliminates part of the prison population, unemployed youth, and the soldiers offered up from Chechnya, and the other Republics.  That depletes their resources should it come to armed conflict with Moscow.  I don't think he objects if Ukraine slaughters thousands.  They are his desired expendables.

So maybe he  buys himself another few years this way.  The cost to Russia is immense, but its rulers have never cared about that.

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1 hour ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

I suspect that's because I wasn't addressing expansionism - I was directly addressing the claim of

 

Ok, so your definition of attacks by Russia is about sabotage and spying.  Sure, that could happen every day of the week but that's not the context of what I was addressing in response to Pellinore's post.  He was talking about Russia attacking Poland, Finland and the Baltic States after he (allegedly) conquered Ukraine.

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34 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

Perhaps, if he has been given accurate information, but Russian bureaucrats have had to deal with kings, emperors and dictators for a thousand years, they are probably pretty good at filtering. Even the originator of fake news can fall for it if he hears it enough.  So he may not fully realize the extent of the problem.  

Speculation on my part if you care to indulge:   Putin keeps an unhappy population distracted and somewhat unified with NATO as an outside threat, and insult that rightful territory  like Ukraine have been taken away.  A little like Germany after WWI .  What happens when the show comes to a sad ending and the crowd is even more unhappy?  If Kadyrov dies soon as some surmise, Checnya may not stay in line as staunch supporters. Georgia certainly wants Moscow to stay away, other  republics are beginning to have strained relationships with Moscow.

So maybe for Putin, now that he knows Russia will not win.  He has some inkling of the massive level of corruption and fakery in his military.  He suspects It turned out to be another Potemkin village  What does Putin do?  I think to stay in power he continues the war. and does not admit to the deception, because it serves him too.  He empties his prisons mixes that in with young men earning low wages and levies from the Republics.  He cleanses the military and government to eliminate anybody too smart or too ambitious.  He eliminates part of the prison population, unemployed youth, and the soldiers offered up from Chechnya, and the other Republics.  That depletes their resources should it come to armed conflict with Moscow.  I don't think he objects if Ukraine slaughters thousands.  They are his desired expendables.

So maybe he  buys himself another few years this way.  The cost to Russia is immense, but its rulers have never cared about that.

So a war of attrition against his internal enemies to save his bacon now that he's realised he can't win the conventional war against a foreign enemy?

After the initial special military operation Putin in March made Russia officially at war.  In wartime situations the Russian President becomes the head of the military and can declare martial law at will. As if he wasn't already a political dictator he has now the power to command the execution of any possible military personnel he may suspect are involved in regime change.  I don't think keeoing the war going is about cleansing out the dirt but more about avoiding a military coup d'etat until he figures out how to exit the war gracefully without loosing territory or face.

link

 

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10 hours ago, Unusual Tournament said:

Regardless of all the propaganda flying around from both sides, America and Russia have a comfortable understanding at this point. Both have marked their territory and both understand the limits of each other. As long as Russia doesn’t use nuclear weapons and Ukraine isn’t allowed to attack Russian sovereign soil things will continue as they are. Anyone asking for attacking Russia is asking for Pandora’s box to be opened 

Ukraine is already striking Russian sovereign soil and has been for a while. We eased those restrictions some months ago.

9 hours ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

I disagree. There has been a significant increase in intelligence reports indicating that Russia has conducted and is actively planning attacks related to arson and disrupting critical infrastructure throughout Europe via proxies and directly, which I suspect serves two purposes:
1.) To deter aid from being provided to Ukraine (which seems to be the consensus in most articles on the subject, in light of the arson attacks on a warehouse containing aid for Ukraine back in April - Two British men charged with helping Russian intelligence in London arson attack (ft.com) )
2.) To push the limits of NATO countries to see what they can get away with, because the "red lines" in Russia keep getting crossed.

There's a big difference between sabotage ops and open war. Yes, Russia is engaged in hostile activity but it's still very much in the shadowy intelligence/criminality space. 

Note also that this is about weakening support for Ukraine, not attacking us directly.

Also, just to remind everyone this isn't that new. Remember Litvenyenko and Salisbury.

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6 hours ago, Black Red Devil said:

Ok, so your definition of attacks by Russia is about sabotage and spying. 

I would absolutely consider sabotage - especially as discussed in the two articles I posted - to absolutely be attacks by Russia, yes. Spying, not so much.

Quote

Sure, that could happen every day of the week but that's not the context of what I was addressing in response to Pellinore's post.  He was talking about Russia attacking Poland, Finland and the Baltic States after he (allegedly) conquered Ukraine.

I am aware - I just think that your claim "I highly doubt Putin will attack any NATO country" could have been framed better even within said context, because there is a direct and significant threat of widespread sabotage within European NATO countries, which, provided the outlined nature in the above articles, would indeed be attacks and could potentially invoke Article 5 defense.

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56 minutes ago, Setton said:

There's a big difference between sabotage ops and open war. Yes, Russia is engaged in hostile activity but it's still very much in the shadowy intelligence/criminality space. 

I agree - there is a big difference between sabotage operations and open warfare, though I think we need to start considering what constitutes an "attack" on a country given the evolution and complexity of modern warfare, which given its hybrid nature is beginning to blur the lines between conflict and peace.

As more countries enable Ukraine to strike deep into Russian territory I suspect that we can expect to see escalatory operations occurring within Europe.

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11 hours ago, Black Red Devil said:

I don't think keeoing the war going is about cleansing out the dirt but more about avoiding a military coup d'etat until he figures out how to exit the war gracefully without loosing territory or face.

Neither do I.  A coup d'etat is more likely.  Rivals near at hand are always subject to termination  by open window if nothing else.  Opportunistic rivals in the republics might be harder to sus out, so he depletes his potential rival's loyal power base.  Focusing public wrath and fear on an outside enemy is a useful distraction for the public at large.

I suspect he did not know at the start of this war how hollow his military truly was.  I also suspect that he did not know his American allies were so incompetent.  And I suspect he did not think NATO would be reinvigorated.

Is there a graceful way ahead for Putin that you can see?  If he ends the war  now he won't keep territory.   Seized Russian assets in other countries will not get returned. Even if all sanctions are lifted, it will still be difficult to switch back from a wartime economy. It takes time for all of those laid off defense workers to find other jobs.  It takes capital to restart domestic production which is in short supply in Russia currently.  The Russian citizens are worse off than when the war started.  Giving everybody "Mission Accomplished" tee shirts won't do the trick. 

I do see one escape for Putin, tell me if I am wrong.  If Trump wins the election in 2024,  he might be saved.  American assistance to Ukraine could be withdrawn.  Russian assets held by other countries that could be threated with economic blackmail by the US would be returned.  Trump could call in another favor from the oil companies and persuade them to go back to Russia with technical help and investments.  I think Putin has a huge stake in the US 2024 election and he will take steps to increase the odds for  his preferred outcome.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

I suspect he did not know at the start of this war how hollow his military truly was.  I also suspect that he did not know his American allies were so incompetent.  And I suspect he did not think NATO would be reinvigorated.

I agree.  You just have to look at the timeline how the war has progressed and the territories gained since 2014.  Until NATO, mainly the US, got more deeply involved with supplying military equipment to Ukraine, Putin was taking Ukranian territory at will.

Unless Putin has some secret weapons up his sleeve, in a conventional war Russia is no match for NATO and taking into consideration the fragility of Russian morale, it wouldn't last long IMO.

3 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

Is there a graceful way ahead for Putin that you can see?  If he ends the war  now he won't keep territory.   Seized Russian assets in other countries will not get returned. Even if all sanctions are lifted, it will still be difficult to switch back from a wartime economy. It takes time for all of those laid off defense workers to find other jobs.  It takes capital to restart domestic production which is in short supply in Russia currently.  The Russian citizens are worse off than when the war started.  Giving everybody "Mission Accomplished" tee shirts won't do the trick. 

I do see one escape for Putin, tell me if I am wrong.  If Trump wins the election in 2024,  he might be saved.  American assistance to Ukraine could be withdrawn.  Russian assets held by other countries that could be threated with economic blackmail by the US would be returned.  Trump could call in another favor from the oil companies and persuade them to go back to Russia with technical help and investments.  I think Putin has a huge stake in the US 2024 election and he will take steps to increase the odds for  his preferred outcome.

I agree with this too but not because of a dislike towards Trump or because of his alleged "close friendship and admiration" for Putin but because if he's offered a lucrative deal he'll take it which is how he's conducted his business all his life. He has no morals or committment to anything or anyone if he can gain a buck.

Another way Putin could try to get out of it is through a false flag where Russia becomes the "perceived" victim and the Ukraine war gets taken out of focus.  It would probably require a world war that doesn't necessarily have to go on for years but would probably result in an armistice.

Edited by Black Red Devil
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2 hours ago, Black Red Devil said:

I agree with this too but not because of a dislike towards Trump or because of his alleged "close friendship and admiration" for Putin but because if he's offered a lucrative deal he'll take it which is how he's conducted his business all his life. He has no morals or committment to anything or anyone if he can gain a buck.

That would be the  heart of the matter.  He is for sale and Putin has his own personal stash of cash.   If Biden wins in November, Putin's days are numbered.  There is nowhere to run that he can't be touched.  It is rare for Russian leaders to retire and  sun themselves contentedly in their dacha garden.

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On 5/19/2024 at 3:04 AM, Destination Unknown said:

Given that Ukraine isn't even in NATO, and Russia hasn't attacked a NATO member, what do you expect NATO to do exactly pellinore?

Should they start dropping bombs on Russia under the name of NATO in order to escalate the conflict even further, because that's what will happen, because Russia will retaliate, and any attack on a NATO member is deemed an attack on all NATO members, is that what you want pellinore? 🤔

I honestly believe that those who have supported this war to the point of being unseemly, almost like cheerleading a sporting event, actually believe Russia would NEVER resort to a nuclear weapon, in Ukraine.  I have slowly come around to supporting the Ukrainians to the point of pushing the Russians back near the borders and bleeding them enough to make them eventually desire peace but my reluctance in the beginning came from the OBVIOUS CORRUPTION that is happening between Ukrainians and DC.  I worked as an MRI tech for several years at a VA hospital and we saw the appointment of TWO... count'em, TWO Inspectors General to investigate simple financial discrepancies there.  DC STILL refuses to appoint an IG to audit any of the money America has poured into Ukraine.  If any of the Ukraine supporters here want to try to explain that to me, I'll listen and learn.

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41 minutes ago, and-then said:

If any of the Ukraine supporters here want to try to explain that to me, I'll listen and learn.

I have no inside information and this is completely speculation on my part but my guess for why no inspector general has been appointed isn't due to corruption, which there will be some degree of corruption, but because some amount of the money is going to groups/individuals or for things/events that would be politically embarrassing at best to political suicide at worst and for sensitive strategic reasons.

War is messy and large scale industrial war is even messier and that is what is being fought.  America, NATO, the West in general was not prepared to fight an industrial war, the start of the war caused a lot of military planners to revise just how much artillery ammunition would need to be stockpiled and production rates for a large industrial war as an example and America/NATO/the West is lacking in nearly every catagory.  To complicate matters even further Ukraine has a mix of NATO and ComBlock weapon systems.  The problem becomes America/NATO/the West wants to keep Ukraine in the fight but doesn't have enough stockpiles or current production rates to meet minimum requirements at home and supply Ukraine with what it needs but what isn't in short supply is money.  Until production can be increased, which at minimum would take probably 1.5 to 2 years, the best stop gap measure is to buy what is needed from third parties but, especially for the ComBlock weapon systems, these third parties are probably nations, groups, and individuals that we can't officially deal with.  Not saying this is what is happening but I wouldn't be surprised if weapons and ammunition are being bought from nations with the worst human rights violations along with being bought from individuals and groups wanted for crimes against humanity, basically stuff that would make Iran-Contra look like nothing.  

The other potential reason is cause some amount of money is going to very sensitive strategic programs to aid Ukraine that can not be openly talked about which an Inspector General might accidently reveal.  America has a rather extensive spy network in Russia and presumably in the countries aiding Russia like Iran.  It isn't exactly a stretch of the imagination that America might be bribing certain individuals to make sure that certain problems arise in the logistics and/or production chain.  For example America might be paying off some Iranian commander to make sure that half of the drones sent to Russia are missing fuses for the explosive warheads or that that explosive warheads are 85% to 95% clay  or maybe paying off a Russian politician or commander to have a few shipments of artillery rounds go missing accidentally.

War is messy and America/NATO/the West have badly underestimated the material requirements of industrial scale war and probably are having to resort to dealing with nations, groups, and individuals we would rather not deal with along with probably using more subterfuge than we want to get out publicly.  That is just my speculation with nothing significant backing it.

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With Europe without cheap energy and industry closing the US will be near the sole provider of ammo and equipment for the depleted Europeans NATO armies.

A lot of money in the US warmonger pockets is the ''what is it for''.

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