America needs a more serious and more powerful military-industrial complex.
Not only can Russia produce more than Ukraine, but it turns out, at least for now, that it can produce more arms and ammunition than the entire West.
Having offshored much of its dual-use industrial infrastructure to China in service to globalization over the last 20 years, the West’s military industrial complex is now only optimized for profits. Western leaders mistook economic activity measured by GDP with productive capacity.
Thus, the United States and NATO can produce very sophisticated weapons systems like the F-35 and the Patriot missile, but can only do so slowly and expensively. Like German industry producing sophisticated, but delicate [!] and expensive tanks during World War II, the western arms industry is not optimized for either speed or volume. It will take years to catch up.
By contrast, Russia has followed its successful World War II practice of producing many good (but not great) weapons, which are simple and reliable, like the T-90 tank. Moreover, Russia appears to possess domestic factories and techniques to produce mountains of artillery shells, which are now pulverizing the large numbers of Ukrainian forces gathered in Bakhmut.
[For your information: The Russian T-90 tank is so named because it is a Tank first produced in 1990 -J.B.]
Beyond a little grumbling about the price tag, Americans from both parties do not appear terribly interested in the matter.
It would not be the first time a great power sealed its fate through hubris, historical illiteracy, and self-destructive leadership.
Yes, just like everything else, our military production is outsourced to China. So China really controls, not only our politicans, but our Military.
No wonder Milley answers to Chinese generals instead of his own Commander in Chief!
The solution is not to keep spending more tax dollars on the military - it’s to get control of the production of it back from the CCP.
While we funnel it all to Ukraine, China is gearing up to overtake Taiwan, which produces all of our computer chips. Once they control that, we’ll be even less capable of countering a direct attack by them.
Hmmm. Realpolitik insinuates itself again. This article opens: “There is still the prospect for diplomacy and negotiation to resolve the war in Ukraine. But nothing about Biden or his administration suggests either the wisdom or restraint to take such a course.” This article is written by someone who wants Zelensky to accept his inevitable defeat and to be marched to the armistice table to sign away Ukrainian sovereignty in exchange for permanently living with Russia in control of Crimea and Donbas and pointing crude-but-effective weapons at Ukraine’s head.
There are many excuses for withholding weapons: resistance is futile, the weapons are too expensive, too sophisticated to be operated by untrained Ukrainians, but cannot be delivered directly from NATO arsenals or operated by NATO personnel, and, moreover, if they are effective in stopping Putin’s putsch, they will drive Putin to a desperate nuclear response - and that is unthinkable. Withholding Western weapons will guarantee the “inevitable” Russian dominance in a war of attrition. Telling Zelensky that the Western weapons he seeks will not help him over the long run so it would be wise and restrained to surrender now (to “save Ukrainian lives”) is realpolitik at its flabbiest.