To Help the U.S. Military, Slash the Pentagon Budget

Isn’t it reassuring to know your taxpayer dollars are buying lots of “Ferraris” for the U.S. military?

W.J. Astore

If you truly want to help the U.S. military, slash its yearly budget.

It’s counterintuitive, right? We think more money will help the Pentagon field effective forces and to be better prepared to defend America. But that hasn’t proven to be the case. The more money the Pentagon gets, the more money gets spent on unnecessary and often poorly performing weapons systems. Take my old service, the U.S. Air Force. It doesn’t need the B-21 bomber. It doesn’t need new ICBMs. The F-35 fighter is a major disappointment, a “Ferrari” according to the Air Force Chief of Staff, i.e. an exotic and temperamental plane you fly only on occasion, which isn’t what the Air Force wanted or needed. Similarly, the Navy is building aircraft carriers that can’t launch planes effectively and “little crappy ships” that have no role at all. And the Army has thousands of M-1 Abrams tanks parked in storage that it’ll probably never use.

Do you have a friend with too much money? Maybe he got an inheritance or some other windfall. And the money makes him stupid. It’s stipulated in the inheritance that he must spend all of it within a year or two (the way Pentagon appropriations work), and if he fails to spend it, he’ll get less in the future. So he spends wildly, without giving it much thought, because he’s got the money and because he has to. And spending money on expensive “Ferraris” is fun. He’s not encouraged to think about how to use the money wisely, rather the reverse. So he just buys big ticket items willy-nilly.

Congress, of course, is the Pentagon’s enabler. Whatever the military wants nowadays, Congress is determined to give the brass more, in the false name of supporting the troops. It’s not the troops that see the money, it’s the industrial side of Ike’s military-industrial complex that profits the most. There’s something truly unseemly about Congress throwing money at the Pentagon while camp-following weapons contractors siphon it up.

Technically, incredibly, the U.S. military is no longer at war, i.e. “large-scale combat operations,” according to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Perhaps you missed the announcement that new U.S. troops coming on active duty wouldn’t automatically receive the National Defense Service Medal, as they have since 9/11 and the subsequent global war on terror. With those “large-scale” wars finally ended, shouldn’t the Pentagon’s budget decrease in a big way? Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were costing the U.S. over $100 billion a year, yet as they have ended, the Pentagon’s budget has increased by more than $100 billion. Talk about counterintuitive! Wars end as war budgets increase. Only in America.

There is no logic here. I’m reminded of a scene from the original Star Trek in which Spock is befuddled by an attack on Captain Kirk because there’s apparently no logic to it. As an alien patiently explains to Spock, “Perhaps you should forget logic and devote yourself to motivations of passion or gain.” It’s a telling lesson for anyone looking to explain the illogic of America’s defense budget.

Get rid of the passion and gain in the Pentagon’s budget, America. It’s time to use logic and make major cuts. Force the military to think rather than to spend. Who knows … we may end up with a leaner, even a smarter, military, one committed less to war and more to supporting and defending the U.S. Constitution.

94 thoughts on “To Help the U.S. Military, Slash the Pentagon Budget

  1. Before the West condemned Putin for “Escalation” calling up 300,000 Reservists, it was the US dominated NATO that made the 1st move announcing long before this reaction by Putin, NATO will increase it’s troop strength in the East by 300.000 troops.

    I’m so sick of Western MSM falling in line being the Propagandists for the US War Machine, on BBC, CBC, CTV, and all the US MSM calling it Putin’s War. Putin is reacting to the NATO War against Russia.

    Reading Putin’s statement Yesterday, he is only taking off the rose coloured glasses I expected he would do as this was posted in the earlier article ‘The US Military as a Bull’ last week.
    How will Russia behave Militarily to spare the total destruction of Ukraine, once it removes it’s rose tinted glasses, and start operating within the Reality this is ALREADY a World WAR with the US and it’s 30 European Vassals adding so much fuel to the fire, after blocking the 2015 Minsk Peace Agreement from taking root?

    It’s only a matter of Time since the World is still on the escalation path!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes: Slash — Defund, in my word as a ‘negotiating’ start-point — the bloated, rapacious US military! Token 10 percent (proposed by some tepid souls or institutions) cuts don’t/won’t get the various-faction warmongers’ attention: DEFUND the behemoth MIC in all its myriad shapes and forms (e.g., military, sec, intel…)!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Slashing the Pentagon’s Budget is a great Idea and a noble Vision of what could and should happen, Bill. But there is a problem.

    And that is that the Military is ~ as You noted ~ but one part of the Military-Industrial-CONGRESSIONAL Complex [EMPHASIS added]. Note that the Operative word is “Congressional”; as in “the Pentagon’s enabler,” as You noted.

    Which means that the only way to even nominally [let alone significantly] reduce the Pentagon’s Budget is for the American People to Demand that that happen, and for them to then put people in the Halls of CONGRESS who will commit to doing ~ and then actually DO ~ that.

    And that ain’t gonna happen any time soon. It ain’t gonna happen because:

    1] The American voter will never be given the chance by its Ruling Political Class to put people in the Senate and House [let alone the White House] committed to actually, really, significantly reducing the MICC’s budget. When’s the last time anybody who was against “The Forever War” ~ now in its next Phase in Ukraine and Taiwan ~ got elected; or even ran for office? Are there any “Peace Candidates” seeking office in 2022’s Midterms?

    2] The American voter will never Demand significant cuts to the MICC’s budget because the American people have not paid a direct, personal dime in either involuntary Blood or Treasure for the MICC’s Forever War since it started on 9/11, and as this next Phase of that War unfolds in Europe and Asia. As in elevated Taxes, mandatory War Bonds, etc, like back in the old days of our last Congressionally-declared War. After all, that’s what we have an “All-Volunteer Force” and Deficit Spending and a National Debt for, isn’t it?

    i would say that America is rapidly approaching a Tipping Point in which The People must choose between America continuing to be an Empire in the next stages of Decline and Fall, and what America could be and become in helping to create a Planet with Nations seeking to work together to confront and deal with the ecologic, economic, cultural, social, and political Crises the Planet is confronting.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, I agree, Jeff.

      I’m trying to get people to see past the argument that we must spend more to get more. In the case of the Pentagon, we spend more to get less, as in less security (and more waste).

      If we spend less, we’ll get more security (and less waste).

      So let’s choose to spend less — and get more.

      Of course, we know all the obstacles to making this logical plan work!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Getting people to see past that argument and to even think about Your argument ~ let alone acknowledge, accept, and act upon it ~ is going to be a very tough sell, Bill.

        One of ~ if not The ~ Biggest Obstacle is what Patrick Lawrence described as the US government’s primary and most effective agent for Domestic Information Warfare: America’s MSM and Social Media as Propaganda Machines. See my comment last evening to Your Tuesday’s BV, “On Thinking Smartly About War.”

        And there is a great deal of “logic” at work behind and within this whole System of “passion or gain” that drives the MICC. That’s why it works so effectively and efficaciously to keep the Gravy Train rolling and The Monkey well fed. And why they have gotten away with it so successfully for so long.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Ray McGoven gets it right in his Consortium News article toady….Scary stuff:

    Thanks to Establishment media, the sorcerer apprentices advising President Joe Biden — I refer to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jacob Sullivan and China specialist Kurt Campbell – will have no trouble rallying Americans for the widest war in 77 years, starting in Ukraine, and maybe spreading to China. And, shockingly, under false pretenses.

    Most Americans are oblivious to the reality that Western media are owned and operated by the same corporations that make massive profits by helping to stoke small wars and then peddling the necessary weapons.

    Corporate leaders and Ivy-mantled elites, educated to believe in U.S. “exceptionalism,” find the lucre and the luster too lucrative to be able to think straight. They deceive themselves into thinking that (a) the U.S. cannot lose a war; (b) escalation can be calibrated and wider war can be limited to Europe; and (c) China can be expected to just sit on the sidelines. The attitude, consciously or unconsciously, “Not to worry. And, in any case, the lucre and luster are worth the risk.”

    The media also know they can always trot out died-in-the-wool Russophobes to “explain,” for example, why the Russians are “almost genetically driven” to do evil (James Clapper, former national intelligence director and now hired savant on CNN); or Fiona Hill (former national intelligence officer for Russia), who insists “Putin wants to evict the United States from Europe … As he might put it: “Goodbye, America. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

    Absent a miraculous appearance of clearer heads with a less benighted attitude toward the core interests of Russia in Ukraine, and China in Taiwan, historians who survive to record the war now on our doorstep will describe it as the result of hubris and stupidity run amok. Objective historians may even note that one of their colleagues – This is what the world has come to — a mad rush toward nuclear apocalypse predicated on the irrational expansion of NATO and hubris-laced Russophobic policies seemingly ignorant of the reality that the Ukraine conflict has now become a matter of existential importance to Russia.

    The U.S. and its allies in the “collective West” now have to decide if the continued pursuit of a decades-long policy of isolating and destroying Russia is a matter of existential importance to them, and if the continued support of a Ukrainian government that is little more than the modern-day manifestation of the hateful ideology of Stepan Bandera is worth the lives of their respective citizenry, and that of the rest of the world.

    The doomsday clock is literally one second to midnight and we in the West have only ourselves to blame – got it right from the start, when he explained in the autumn 2014 issue of Foreign Affairs “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault.”

    https://consortiumnews.com/2022/09/22/conditioned-for-war-with-russia/

    And Scott Ritte echo’s Ray thoughts in his article. As usual brilliantly written:

    “When Putin spoke about the need for “necessary, urgent steps to protect the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Russia” from “the aggressive policies of some Western elites who try by any means necessary to maintain their supremacy,” he had history in mind.

    The aim of the U.S. and its Western allies, Putin declared, was “to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country” by promulgating policies designed to cause “Russia itself to disintegrate into a multitude of regions and territories that are deadly enemies with one another.” According to Putin, the U.S.-led West “purposefully incited hatred of Russia, particularly in Ukraine, for which they destined the fate of an anti-Russian beachhead.”

    “This is what the world has come to — a mad rush toward nuclear apocalypse predicated on the irrational expansion of NATO and hubris-laced Russophobic policies seemingly ignorant of the reality that the Ukraine conflict has now become a matter of existential importance to Russia.

    The U.S. and its allies in the “collective West” now have to decide if the continued pursuit of a decades-long policy of isolating and destroying Russia is a matter of existential importance to them, and if the continued support of a Ukrainian government that is little more than the modern-day manifestation of the hateful ideology of Stepan Bandera is worth the lives of their respective citizenry, and that of the rest of the world.

    The doomsday clock is literally one second to midnight and we in the West have only ourselves to blame

    https://consortiumnews.com/2022/09/22/scott-ritter-reaping-the-whirlwind/

    Will we see Ray and Scott on MSM media TV shows today reiterating these views? Not a chance, eh? Professor John Mearsheimer – when hell freezes over! Antony Blinken, James Clapper and Fiona Hill – yep, they will be on every station. You can bet your boots on it!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Jeff, two of the best articles of what could happen in this Ukrainian conflict I have read. Ritters is especially prescient. The guy is brilliant.

        Based on the article I posted yesterday on New Zealand being perhaps unaffected by deployment of nuclear bombs in the northern hemisphere – I wonder when the Dassault Falcon 7X/8X’s, Gulfstream G500’s, and Bombardier Global 5500’s will start showing up at our airports? With the rich folks heading to their bunkers in the South Island.

        Readers should carefully read both articles in their entirety, especially Ritters. I screwed up copying the paragraphs I notice. Old-Timers disease. O dear!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff and Bill, in 1985, or thereabouts I attended the World Model Airplane Championships in Muncie, Indianna. The Russians showed up to compete. And with their beautifully built, technologically advanced and innovative competition models in all classes – and blew the rest of the Worlds best into the weeds. We Americans never had a look in. I will never forget the impression that left on me. We screw with the Russians at our peril.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you take photos at that model airplane show? It would be very interesting to see them if you did. I don’t think photos can be put up here but you can go to Imgur and post them.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t know how to use Imgur CLIF
        But try watching this YouTube video.
        The Russians and Ukrainians (?) are miles ahead of the rest of the World here.
        The Ukrainian engines are technological marvels.

        Like

        1. An old-timer, no longer with us, told me about a competition of model airplane builders that was held inside a Chicago armory about 1930. It was called a “fly off the ground” event and the idea was to see whose design could stay in the air longest. Armories were very large buildings, several hundred feet long, built to house troops called up for urban disturbances.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Indoor model flying is still popular CLIF
            Endurance competitions with rubber band power.
            And yes, they do hold world championships. Another class the Russians excel at.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Speaking of F35’s: Despite its tormented history, Congress is still pouring money into a program that is intended to produce more than 2,400 (!) F35s for the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines through 2037. ( BTW you think that maybe its technology is going to be just a little out of date in 15-years time? It’s 20-year old technology already! How’s that 20-year old laptop computer working out for you? LOL)

    OK, we have what is it 11-aircraft carriers, and I don’t know how many Air Force bases – like the one we have in Tacoma, WA, McChord Air Force base. Let’s say we have (1) such base in every state. Even (1) in Bernie Sanders state! Thats 50-bases then. 2,400 divided by 50. Thats 48-F35’s for every base! That number always boggled my mind. Even taking into account the carriers – its still over 40- Ferrari’s per base! What on earth for? 2,400 – Holy Cow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The F-35 might be the biggest boondoggle ever. It’s also being bought by the Navy and Marine Corps, and of course many foreign militaries. Its main feature is that it’s stealthy (small RCS, or radar cross section), but it’s not especially good at any one mission. It sure is expensive, though! Maybe that is its true “role”: making money for Lockheed Martin, a role at which it excels.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i would argue that the whole FOREVER WAR ~ started on 9/11 and now moving into Phase II ~ ie, Cold War II in Ukraine and Taiwan ~ is the biggest boondoggle ever.

        It has served as the perfect half-time show between the Cold Wars to keep the troops occupied, the MICC profitable, and the American People comfortably numb to protracted conflicts in places most of them can’t find on a map of the world.

        The F-35 is nothing but a very obvious and shamelessly odious Sign and Symptom of the Disease afflicting America.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “The founders (fathers), we well know, had a pronounced fear of and antipathy toward standing armies — large, permanent, professional military establishments — because of the dual temptations for domestic oppression and international adventurism by those in power, the drain on public resources, and, not least, the not-infrequent aberrant behavior of those in uniform….

          Today, we have much of what the founders would have feared most: a totally professional force, largely unrepresentative of American society, increasingly alienated from the public it is supposed to serve, huge in size, gluttonously expensive, more heavily and lethally armed than any other force in the world, deployed all across the globe all of the time, a source of recurring provocation and adventurism, principally prepared for a preferred American way of war that is no longer relevant, continuously guilty over time of socially and politically irresponsible behaviors (from combat atrocities to internal sexual assault), and singularly at the forefront of both global and domestic militarization (not least by virtue of America’s place as the world’s leading arms dealer).”

          https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2013/07/why-founding-fathers-would-object-todays-military/66668/

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That is an EXCELLENT article, Dennis. Thanks for sharing.

            What’s really interesting is that it was written in 2013, and is even more appropriate and applicable today.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. I remember reading this article. Most excellent. It was ignored, or disregarded, or buried, just like all the articles I’ve written. The system is very happy the way it is, making money and growing ever more powerful and insidious.

            Liked by 2 people

  7. Bill, what does this mean to us laymen?
    There is a disinformation operation associated with the F-35 program to reduce public & foreign probing into the F-35’s “questionable” stealthy technology.
    But I guess throughout history there has been disinformation operations about all these latest and greatest Air Force boondoggle Ferrari’s “classified” performance. After all their only pilots are Lockheed Martin employees and Air Force fly boys. You think either of these is going to publicly bad mouth the planes performance? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Speaking of how the Pentagon is [and is not] spending all that money… :

    THE PENTAGON IS WAGING WAR ON PLANET EARTH: What Does It Mean, In Climate Terms, For The U.S., No Matter The Administration, To Pour Ever More Taxpayer Dollars Into The Pentagon And The Rest Of The National Security State? by Stan Cox [Extracts]

    ON OCTOBER 1ST, THE U.S. MILITARY WILL START SPENDING THE MORE THAN $800 BILLION CONGRESS IS GOING TO PROVIDE IT WITH IN FISCAL YEAR 2023. AND THAT WHOPPING SUM WILL JUST BE THE BEGINNING.

    According to the calculations of Pentagon expert William Hartung, FUNDING FOR VARIOUS INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES, THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, AND WORK ON NUCLEAR WEAPONRY AT THE ENERGY DEPARTMENT WILL ADD ANOTHER $600 BILLION TO WHAT YOU, THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER, WILL BE SPENDING ON NATIONAL SECURITY.

    THAT $1.4 TRILLION FOR A SINGLE YEAR dwarfs Congress’s one-time provision of approximately $300 billion under the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for what’s called “climate mitigation and adaptation.” And mind you, that sum is to be spent over a number of years. In contrast to the IRA, which was largely a climate bill (even if hardly the best version of one), THIS COUNTRY’S MILITARY SPENDING BILLS ARE DISTINCTLY ANTI-HUMAN, ANTI-CLIMATE, AND ANTI-EARTH. AND COUNT ON THIS: CONGRESS’S MILITARY APPROPRIATIONS WILL, IN ALL TOO MANY WAYS, CANCEL OUT THE BENEFITS OF ITS NEW CLIMATE SPENDING.

    HERE ARE JUST THE THREE MOST OBVIOUS WAYS OUR MILITARY IS AN ENEMY OF CLIMATE MITIGATION. First, it produces huge quantities of GREENHOUSE GASES, while wreaking other kinds of ecological havoc. Second, WHEN THE PENTAGON DOES TAKE CLIMATE CHANGE SERIOUSLY, ITS ATTENTION IS ALMOST NEVER FOCUSED ON REDUCING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BUT ON PREPARING MILITARILY FOR A CLIMATE-CHANGED WORLD, including the coming crisis of migration and future climate-induced armed conflicts globally. And third, OUR WAR MACHINE WASTES HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ANNUALLY that should instead be spent on climate mitigation, along with other urgent climate-related needs.
    …….

    IN A 2021 CLIMATE ADAPTATION PLAN, THE PENTAGON claimed, however vaguely, that it was aiming for a future in which it could “operate under changing climate conditions, preserving operational capability, and enhancing the natural and manmade systems essential to the department’s success.” It projected that “IN WORST-CASE SCENARIOS, CLIMATE-CHANGE-RELATED IMPACTS COULD STRESS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO MASS MIGRATION EVENTS OR POLITICAL CRISES, CIVIL UNREST, SHIFTS IN THE REGIONAL BALANCE OF POWER, OR EVEN STATE FAILURE. THIS MAY AFFECT U.S. NATIONAL INTERESTS DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, AND U.S. ALLIES OR PARTNERS MAY REQUEST U.S. ASSISTANCE.”
    …….

    SADLY ENOUGH, HOWEVER, AS FAR AS THE PENTAGON IS CONCERNED, AN OVERHEATED WORLD WILL ONLY OPEN UP FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE MILITARY. …..

    The CIA and other intelligence agencies seem to share the Pentagon’s vision of our hotter future as a growth opportunity. A 2021 CLIMATE RISK ASSESSMENT BY THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (DNI) PAID SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE GLOBE’S FASTEST-WARMING REGION, THE ARCTIC. DID IT DRAW THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY’S INTEREST BECAUSE OF THE NEED TO PREVENT A MELTDOWN OF THE PLANET’S ICE CAPS IF THE EARTH IS TO REMAIN A LIVABLE PLACE FOR HUMANITY? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

    In fact, its authors write revealingly of the opportunities, militarily speaking, that such a scenario will open up as the Arctic melts:

    “ARCTIC AND NON-ARCTIC STATES ALMOST CERTAINLY WILL INCREASE THEIR COMPETITIVE ACTIVITIES AS THE REGION BECOMES MORE ACCESSIBLE BECAUSE OF WARMING TEMPERATURES AND REDUCED ICE. … MILITARY ACTIVITY IS LIKELY TO INCREASE AS ARCTIC AND NON-ARCTIC STATES SEEK TO PROTECT THEIR INVESTMENTS, EXPLOIT NEW MARITIME ROUTES, AND GAIN STRATEGIC ADVANTAGES OVER RIVALS. THE INCREASED PRESENCE OF CHINA AND OTHER NON-ARCTIC STATES VERY LIKELY WILL AMPLIFY CONCERNS AMONG ARCTIC STATES AS THEY PERCEIVE A CHALLENGE TO THEIR RESPECTIVE SECURITY AND ECONOMIC INTERESTS.” [Note: Speaking as an Alaskan, that rings quite a Bell with and for me quite personally.]

    IN OTHER WORDS, IN AN OVERHEATED FUTURE, A NEW “COLD” WAR WILL NO LONGER BE RESTRICTED TO WHAT WERE ONCE THE MORE TEMPERATE PARTS OF THE PLANET.

    Full article at https://scheerpost.com/2022/09/22/the-pentagon-is-waging-war-on-planet-earth/ [EMPHASES added.]

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh shit!……

    “Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t want to use nuclear weapons, just as he doesn’t want to still fight his “special military operation” against Ukraine. But he is still fighting — because he’s unable to win. That also means he might yet drop a nuke, as he once again threatened this week. The U.S. and its allies — and Putin’s putative friends in China and elsewhere — need to decide now how they’d react.

    For Putin, nuclear escalation wouldn’t be a way of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, but of snatching survival — political or even physical — from the maw of oblivion. Unlike democratic leaders, he has no way to retire gracefully after all the damage he’s done. As a quack historian of the Czars, he knows that his end could be messy.

    This is why he might dust off a Russian doctrine that Western analysts call “escalate to de-escalate.”

    So Biden’s response must be more muscular. He has two military options. One is to respond in kind, by also deploying a low-yield tactical nuke for show — in the Arctic Ocean, say, or remote Siberia. Its mushroom cloud would be meant as a Stop sign for Putin. It would also reassure Ukrainians and the world that the U.S. will answer escalation tit for tat — that it’ll enforce the nuclear taboo…..

    The better military option is therefore a conventional U.S. strike on Russian forces. The target could be the exact base that launched the nuclear strike. Or it could be Russian troops in Ukraine.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/a-decision-tree-for-biden-if-putin-goes-nuclear/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, Dennis: When I tried to read to whole article You quoted, i was informed that i’ve “reached your limit of free articles.”

      Can You provide a direct link to that article or e-mail me the full text? Thank You.

      i’d like to know what the credentials are of whoever it is that wrote this. Particularly what his expertise is on the matter of choosing between a nuclear or conventional “U.S. strike on Russian forces.”

      And i also wonder if he volunteers to go to Ukraine to direct exactly where and how those “strikes” are to be directed, and exactly against WHICH Russian forces.

      And second of all: WHY the “Oh shit……!”? Is this recommendation something new coming from any wing of our government’s MSM?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Here is the whole Seattle Times article jeff.
        Sorry about the lenght Bill.

        A decision tree for Biden if Putin goes nuclear
        Sep. 23, 2022 at 8:01 am
        President Joe Biden addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on Sept. 21, 2022. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS)
        By Andreas Kluth
        Syndicated columnist
        Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t want to use nuclear weapons, just as he doesn’t want to still fight his “special military operation” against Ukraine. But he is still fighting — because he’s unable to win. That also means he might yet drop a nuke, as he once again threatened this week. The U.S. and its allies — and Putin’s putative friends in China and elsewhere — need to decide now how they’d react.

        For Putin, nuclear escalation wouldn’t be a way of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, but of snatching survival — political or even physical — from the maw of oblivion. Unlike democratic leaders, he has no way to retire gracefully after all the damage he’s done. As a quack historian of the Czars, he knows that his end could be messy.

        This is why he might dust off a Russian doctrine that Western analysts call “escalate to de-escalate.” It means going nuclear to avoid losing a conventional (non-nuclear) war. Putin would detonate one or more “tactical” (as opposed to “strategic”) nukes. These are low-yielding blasts large enough to eliminate a Ukrainian army position or logistics hub — but too “small” to erase an entire city.

        By dropping such a bomb, Putin would be signaling his willingness to use more. His motivation would be to force Ukraine to surrender and the West to get out of the conflict — but without inviting automatic retaliation by the U.S. Putin wants his enemies to stand down, so he can declare victory and stay in power.

        Such an act of desperation, it goes without saying, would mark the darkest turn in human history since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It would not only kill, maim and traumatize huge numbers of innocent people — Putin is already doing that — but also cause lasting terror throughout the entire world.

        Putin’s escalation would burst the Cold-War-era taboo against using nukes for anything other than deterrence. If he’s seen to get away with that, other nuclear rogue states would take their cues. This in turn would force countries that have forsaken nuclear weapons in the name of nonproliferation or disarmament — as Ukraine did in the 1990s — to build their own arsenals. Arms control would be dead. Nuclear warfare, by design or accident, would become more likely in more places, from West to South and East Asia.

        What, then, should President Joe Biden do? He must deter Putin, obviously, while simultaneously preparing a response if Putin does escalate. But these are two aspects of the same decision: The implied response also does the deterring.

        Matthew Kroenig at the Atlantic Council, a think tank, has summarized some of the options. One answer to a limited Russian nuclear strike is to double, triple or quadruple all the measures the West has already taken against Putin’s regime, completely cutting off Russia from the Western world. Instead of caving, the West would also send more weapons to Ukraine, and more forces, including nuclear arms, to NATO’s eastern front.

        Such a deliberately limited response would aim to stop an escalation spiral before it starts. The problem is that Putin may not find this response frightening enough to be deterred. He’s already a pariah, and Russians are already aching under sanctions. If he’s dreading the end of his own reign or life — and that, remember, is the scenario we’re contemplating — he’d still go all in.

        Another problem is that a restrained response would look woefully inadequate to the Ukrainians and the rest of the world. Kyiv’s friends would lose heart. Dictators such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un would conclude that you can go ballistic and survive.

        So Biden’s response must be more muscular. He has two military options. One is to respond in kind, by also deploying a low-yield tactical nuke for show — in the Arctic Ocean, say, or remote Siberia. Its mushroom cloud would be meant as a Stop sign for Putin. It would also reassure Ukrainians and the world that the U.S. will answer escalation tit for tat — that it’ll enforce the nuclear taboo.

        The problem is that this would turn the confrontation into an apocalyptic staredown, possibly leading to a series of tactical detonations. And Russia, which is roughly even with the U.S. in strategic nukes, has about 10 times as many tactical warheads to play with. The scenarios become impossible to calculate, especially when factoring in human error. There would be a risk of Armageddon.

        The better military option is therefore a conventional U.S. strike on Russian forces. The target could be the exact base that launched the nuclear strike. Or it could be Russian troops in Ukraine.

        This would signal to Ukraine and the world that any breach of the nuclear taboo will be punished. And the message to Putin would be that he can’t escalate to de-escalate, because the West will step in to defeat him.

        The drawback, obviously, is that this amounts to a direct clash between Russia and NATO, and therefore incurs the risk of World War III, with Armageddon still one scenario at the end. Putin might conclude that the U.S. isn’t prepared to retaliate with nukes, and launch even more nuclear strikes.

        This raises another question Biden must answer: Once he’s decided how he’d respond to various levels of nuclear escalation, how should he communicate that — to Putin, allies, enemies and the public?

        If he wants to maximize the deterrent value of his communication, he’ll be clear, specific and public — If Putin does X, we’ll do Y. The problem there is that Biden would forfeit all flexibility when Putin does something slightly different from X.

        The better option — which Biden appears to have chosen — is to be deliberately vague in public. The disadvantage is that this keeps even the Ukrainians guessing. The advantage is that Putin must assume the worst.

        There is another possibility. Return to our premise: Putin doesn’t want to go nuclear, but will if he fears that his own survival is threatened. The U.S. could make plans for regime change — that is, for taking Putin and his inner circle out — in the event of nuclear escalation. In this case, it would be best to communicate that not vaguely but specifically, and not publicly but privately — to Putin.

        If there is any glimmer of hope in this dark time, it glinted in Uzbekistan earlier this month, when Putin met the leaders of India and China, Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping. Both countries are nuclear powers. India is nonaligned, China is nominally behind Putin. But both expressed to Putin their “concern” over his war.

        No matter the enmity between Beijing and Washington, no matter the other conflicts going on, the specter of nuclear war must and can unite the world against the threat. Discreetly, Biden, Xi and all other world leaders could put aside their differences and send Putin this message: You go nuclear, and we’ll make sure you’re out.

        Andreas Kluth is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European politics. A former editor-in-chief of Handelsblatt Global and a writer for the Economist, he is author of “Hannibal and Me.”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Fret not, Dennis. America’s and the Planet’s Ruling Elites won’t TAKE Your South Island away from You. New Zealand’s Ruling Elites will accommodate them exactly as they wish.

      Either that, or they will be replaced with some Kiwis who will.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Immigration Officer: What’s your reason for wanting to move to New Zealand?
        Rich guy in his Excu-jet: Nuclear holocaust in the Northern Hemisphere.
        Immigration Officer? Hmmm, I can’t seem to find that option on my form here.
        Rich guy in his Exec-jet: I got a gazillion dollars.
        Immigration Officer: Oh, wait a minute, they just gave me a new form – I found it now! Welcome to Aotearoa.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I like the part about Biden, the USA, enforcing the “nuclear taboo” – that’s when a country that has already dropped nuclear bombs on a country- says it not permissible for a country to drop nuclear bombs – by dropping nuclear bombs on that country. OK!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On Mother’s Day this year, a close neighbor, 94 or so yo, succumbed to the ravages of age. She was a hibakusha (atomic-bomb survivor) of the 1945 Hiroshima-Shi crime against humanity. She’d come across the street, now some years ago, and communicate with my wife (also Japan-born) and me; she was one of the most elegant, cheerful, gentle ladies in our circle of friends. There can’t be that many hibakusha remaining in Japan and elsewhere…. [The Japanese government contracted for a yearly physical exam for our friend and, I presume, all other survivors to assess their health status.]

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s key to understand that Putin’s nuke comment this week was in the context of Russia facing imminent threat to its people. The Western press have taken the quote and distorted it to make Russia seem irrational and unhinged. Moscow would only resort to nuclear weapons as the very last option in a last-ditch attempt at self-defense. Kremlin officials have stated this repeatedly over the years.

        And as you illustrate ROBERT, the world already knows who used nuclear bombs first. Which nation again used atomic weapons in 1945 on innocent civilians, killing tens of thousands of them in two large cities in far East Asia?

        Liked by 1 person

  11. In what way are US nuclear weapons different than the Russian weapons, both claim the nuclear weapons are deterrents. Which is only true, as long as people believe that the US and the RF will use them if needed. The moment when people believe they would never use them the weapons will be useless.
    That is old hat, nothing new. Putin just had to remind the Americans that Russia has nuclear weapons, and yes, they will make use of them if and when needed, first use included.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Westerners’ need to watch this video carefully.
    And see for themselves what Putin is actually saying.
    Rather than believing the lies being told to them by their corrupt Western media to stoke nuclear war!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I experience too often with The Washington Post this comment remained for several hours last night, but was deleted by this morning.

      Once again Fareed is the Propagandist for the US War Machine, misleading the American Public. I recognized the US War Propaganda in the opening paragraph putting these words in Putin’s mouth in quotes, that are not exactly what Putin said.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/22/putin-nuclear-threat-risks-catastrophe

      What Putin did say is this, “And if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff.”
      Fareed forgot the US threatened “FIRE and FURY like this World has never seen” before what they allege Putin did.

      On February 28, just 4 Days after the US War with Russia over Ukraine started, I posted this comment in this Washington Post, “When Western governments declare publicly it’s goal and objective is to destroy the Russian Economy without using bombs, Armageddon/WWIII has already started.

      History proves it’s much easier to start Wars than to end them.
      It took 20 years and $2 TRILLION for the US to extricate itself from the humiliating defeat in Afghanistan.

      I expect Putin will use the ‘nuclear option’ in the Economic War, and will turn off Nordstream I and all oil and gas pipelines passing through Ukraine to keep Western Europe’s Economy going.

      The question will be who can endure material privation and want longer? Russians who are accustomed to it, or Western Europeans who aren’t, when both the Russian and European Economies crash?
      Last month that’s exactly what Putin did, using the ‘Nuclear option’ shutting down Nordstream I that may cause the Economies of Western Euroope to crash this Winter, leaving it’s citizens freezing.

      Last week I made this comment in this article hxxps://bracingviews.com/2022/09/15/the-u-s-military-as-a-bull/

      “How will Russia behave Militarily to spare the total destruction of Ukraine, once it removes it’s rose tinted glasses, and starts operating within the Reality this is ALREADY a World WAR with the US and it’s 30 European NATO Nations adding so much fuel to the fire, after blocking the 2015 Minsk Peace Agreement from taking root?

      It’s only a matter of Time since the World is still on the escalation path!”

      Putin’s statement Yesterday confirms he finally took off his rose tinted glasses acknowledging it is already Armageddon/WWIII with the US and it’s 30 submissive European Vassals against Russia.
      US WAR PROPAGANDA will never tell the American People what’s really at stake in this US War no matter how often the West calls it Putin’s War.

      Putin continues, Already after the start of the special military operation, including the talks in Istanbul, the representatives of Kyiv reacted very positively to our proposals, and these proposals primarily concerned ensuring Russia’s security and our interests. But it is obvious that the peaceful solution did not suit the West, therefore, after certain compromises were reached, Kyiv was actually given a direct order to disrupt all agreements.

      Ukraine began to be pumped up with weapons even more. The Kyiv regime has launched new gangs of foreign mercenaries and nationalists, military units trained to NATO standards and under the de facto command of Western advisers.

      At the same time, the regime of repressions throughout Ukraine against its own citizens, established immediately after the armed coup of 2014, was strengthened in the most severe way. The policy of intimidation, terror and violence is assuming more and more massive, terrible, barbaric forms.

      Americans do themselves a disservice if they don’t read and understand Putin’s whole speech here:
      Text of Putin’s Speech on Ukraine
      September 21, 2022

      https://consortiumnews.com/2022/09/21/text-of-putins-speech-on-ukraine/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ….Americans do themselves a disservice if they don’t read and understand Putin’s whole speech here:…..
        As Jeff said Ray, the majority of Americans (and New Zealanders) won’t read Putins whole speech.
        “Better dead that Red”.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. The idea to take this action came to me just 3 days before Remembrance Day, November 11, 1985.
    I knew I wouldn’t have much Time interjecting these words into the Official commemoration in the hearing of the Governor-General, Prime Minister, Military Brass, the Ambassadors of the Nations, and Public.

    AFTER the Moment of Silence and the prayers by the 3 major Religions to God there should be no more War, and during the silence as the wreaths were laid at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, I took out my megaphone and slowly said these words,

    “Hear O people and Nations, even to the ends of the Earth, the Word of the LORD God, who is, and was, and is to come, The Almighty.
    The LORD has a controversy with the people.
    Do you do well to honour the dead, and yet, deny the God of the Living?
    Why do you follow the vain traditions of men, and make of no effect, the Principles of God?

    You come here for one hour, one day a year, in a great show of Public Patriotism, and then forgetting, go back to work and make the same careless mistakes made by the generations prior to the 1st and 2nd World Wars.
    Hitler is dead, but it’s his legacy that remains. A Soviet-American military-industrial complex consuming $trillions of dollars every year, holding the entire World hostage…………………”

    “Hostage” was the last word said perched on a bus shelter roof, as police got up and grabbed the megaphone. I was arrested for shouting, causing a disturbance, convicted and fined $250. I appealed without a lawyer to The Supreme Court of Canada.

    Today, this Material World is being held hostage to Nuclear incineration.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks Jeff, this is pretty well hidden from us Western internet surfers.
    RT has it, but in New Zealand my internet search engine won’t let me access it.
    It’s like our taskmasters don’t want us to see what he actually said.

    Vladimir Putin accused the West of engaging in ‘nuclear blackmail’ against Russia. And factually stating his country has ‘various weapons of destruction’ and will use ‘all the means available’ to them.

    Wonder how many westerner’s will carefully read Putin’s actual words without their “better dead than red” glasses on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When You Google “official transcript of putin’s latest speech on ukraine and nuclear weapons,” what do You get, Dennis? According to Google, i get “About 296,000 results (0.61 seconds)”.

      And You can’t access RT at https://www.rt.com/ ? When did that start; or has RT never been available down there?

      And very few Westerners will actually ~ let alone “carefully” ~ even read Putin’s speech. Let alone with any kind of glasses. Let alone even seriously even Thinking about it.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Yes your correct.

    When I read the first article in “Information Clearing House” this morning – “Russia is not Bluffing – Putin”.
    The first video in this article is Putin speaking on RT. And you can view it this way.
    But when you go to the official YouTube site – and use their search feature – it does not bring up this RT Video.
    The YouTube algorithm does not “recommend” it so it seems.

    Like

  16. Thanks to all for the links provided in the comments regarding Putin’s address…

    But to WJA’s subject, lavish spending on the military, I find it interesting that even as WW2 was raging, investigations were going on in Congress over military spending, conducted by no less than Harry Truman then a senator. The intent was to make sure the government was getting the production it wanted for the least amount of money, exactly the opposite of what has gone on for some time now.

    Believe it or not, in WW2 there were companies attempting to keep the government from dictating the use their production plants for the war effort. Now we have dedicated profit making plants that crank all kinds of things out for the military eagerly regardless of need and a Congress shrugging its shoulders regarding the impossibility of auditing the defense budget.

    This bit of history says much about the change from then to now. Then, it was the government that was undeniably in charge of business for the sake of national security in the name of we the people. Now it is business that is in charge of government for the sake of profit for the few at the expense of we the people. It continues because Congress is bought in our democracy of lobbies.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. FOREIGN AFFAIRS
    Holding Ground, Losing War
    Zelensky’s strategy of defending territory at all costs has been disastrous for Ukraine.
    September 22, 2022.
    By Douglas Macgregor. Co. (ret)

    “Washington always mistook Putin’s readiness to negotiate and limit the scope and destructiveness of the campaign in Ukraine as evidence of weakness, when it was clear that Putin’s aims were always restricted to the elimination of the NATO threat to Russia in Eastern Ukraine. Washington’s strategy of exploiting the conflict to sell F-35 fighter jets to Germany—along with large numbers of missiles, rockets, and radars to Central and East European allied governments—is now backfiring.

    The defense establishment has a long record of success in tranquilizing American voters with meaningless clichés. As conditions favorable to Moscow develop in Eastern Ukraine and the Russian position in the world grows stronger, Washington confronts a stark choice: Talk about having successfully “degraded Russian power” in Ukraine and scale back its actions. Or risk a regional war with Russia that will engulf Europe……

    As of this date, Kiev continues to oblige Moscow by impaling Ukraine’s last reserves of manpower on Russian defenses. Washington, insists President Biden, will support Ukraine “as long as it takes.” But if Washington continues to drain America’s strategic oil reserve, and ship American war stocks to Ukraine, the ability to protect and provision the United States will compete with supporting Ukraine.”

    Douglas Macgregor, Col. (ret.) is a senior fellow with The American Conservative, the former advisor to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, a decorated combat veteran, and the author of five books.

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/holding-ground-losing-war/

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Absolute bullshit in New Zealand’s mainstream media today!

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/300696875/us-president-joe-biden-sends-secret-nuclear-strike-warning-to-russias-vladimir-putin

    Who writes this inflammatory crap? The English ‘The Telegraph”.

    ..”in a televised national address on Wednesday, implicitly threatened a nuclear strike.” No he didn’t! Did you guys even read his speech?

    Note, they even admit this is crap!…..”US intelligence officials have indicated there is currently no sign Russia is moving its nuclear weapons to get ready for a strike”

    “There has been concern Russia could opt to use a small tactical nuclear weapon, sometimes referred to as a “battlefield nuke”.” Where is the evidence for making this statement? The authors offer none!

    “Analysts believe Putin could do so if he believed his own position is under threat”….hyperbolic rubbish! Which analysts are these?

    “He said any Russian weapons “including strategic nuclear weapons and weapons based on new principles” could be used. That was taken to be a reference to hypersonic weapons”…….Again zero evidence!

    Just paragraph after paragraph of… ‘be afraid… “be afraid”,,, of the evil Russkies! And the gullible Kiwi’s eat this stuff up!

    Ending with a threat of course….”We should tell the Russians now if they were to use nuclear weapons, however, America and Nato air power would be made available to Ukraine and, essentially, the entire Russian military presence in Ukraine would be decimated.”

    And “‘Dead man walking’: Putin’s war becoming an all-or-nothing conflict for the Russian ruler”,,, they blurt out! Clueless! They obviously have not read Colonel Douglas Mcgregor’s analysis in the American Conservative.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. But not a much bullcrap as in today’s New York Times……

    “….American officials briefed on highly sensitive intelligence said that behind the scenes Putin is”….yadda yadda! The same American officials briefed on highly sensitive intelligence about Saddam’s WMD I guess eh!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Permit me to share what is easily one of the most important, enlightening, and frankly disturbing things that i have learned of and about in quite some time.

    And that is what is termed in the business as “Cognitive Warfare.”

    If Information Warfare seeks to control what its Target Audience Thinks it Knows; and if Psychological Operations Warfare seeks to control what its Audience Believes it Believes; then Cognitive Warfare seeks to control HOW its Target Thinks and Believes.

    The following is the beginning of an excellent Introduction to Cognitive Warfare: the Concept, the Theory, and the Practice. This was published in October, 2021, four months before America’s and NATO’s war with Russia in Ukraine officially started … :

    BEHIND NATO’S ‘COGNITIVE WARFARE’: ‘Battle for Your Brain’ Waged by Western Militaries by Ben Norton

    NATO is developing new forms of warfare to wage a “battle for the brain,” as the military alliance put it.

    Western governments in the NATO military alliance are developing tactics of “cognitive warfare,” using the supposed threats of China and Russia to justify waging a “battle for your brain” in the “human domain,” to “make everyone a weapon.”

    The US-led NATO military cartel has tested NOVEL MODES OF HYBRID WARFARE AGAINST ITS SELF-DECLARED ADVERSARIES, INCLUDING ECONOMIC WARFARE, CYBER WARFARE, INFORMATION WARFARE, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE.

    Now, NATO is spinning out an entirely new kind of combat it has branded COGNITIVE WARFARE. DESCRIBED AS THE “WEAPONIZATION OF BRAIN SCIENCES,” the new method involves “HACKING THE INDIVIDUAL” BY EXPLOITING “THE VULNERABILITIES OF THE HUMAN BRAIN” in order to implement more sophisticated “SOCIAL ENGINEERING.”

    Until recently, NATO had divided war into five different OPERATIONAL DOMAINS: AIR, LAND, SEA, SPACE, AND CYBER. But with its development of cognitive warfare strategies, the military alliance is discussing a new, SIXTH LEVEL: THE “HUMAN DOMAIN.”

    A 2020 NATO-sponsored study of this new form of warfare clearly explained:

    “While actions taken in the five domains are executed in order to have an effect on the human domain, cognitive warfare’s objective is to make everyone a weapon.”

    “The brain will be the battlefield of the 21st century,” the report stressed. “Humans are the contested domain,” and “future conflicts will likely occur amongst the people digitally first and physically thereafter in proximity to hubs of political and economic power.” [ Full study at https://www.innovationhub-act.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/20210122_CW%20Final.pdf ]

    While the NATO-backed study insisted that much of its research on cognitive warfare is designed for defensive purposes, it also conceded that the military alliance is developing offensive tactics, stating, “The human is very often the main vulnerability and it should be acknowledged in order to protect NATO’s human capital but also to be able to benefit from our adversaries’ vulnerabilities.”

    In a chilling disclosure, the report said explicitly that “THE OBJECTIVE OF COGNITIVE WARFARE IS TO HARM SOCIETIES AND NOT ONLY THE MILITARY.”

    With entire civilian populations in NATO’s crosshairs, the report emphasized that WESTERN MILITARIES MUST WORK MORE CLOSELY WITH ACADEMIA TO WEAPONIZE SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMAN SCIENCES and help the alliance develop its cognitive warfare capacities.

    The study described this phenomenon as “the militarization of brain science.” But it appears clear that NATO’s DEVELOPMENT OF COGNITIVE WARFARE WILL LEAD TO A MILITARIZATION OF ALL ASPECTS OF HUMAN SOCIETY AND PSYCHOLOGY, FROM THE MOST INTIMATE OF SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS TO THE MIND ITSELF.

    Such all-encompassing militarization of society is reflected in the paranoid tone of the NATO-sponsored report, which warned of “an embedded fifth column, where everyone, unbeknownst to him or her, is behaving according to the plans of one of our competitors.” The study makes it clear that those “competitors” purportedly exploiting the consciousness of Western dissidents are China and Russia.

    In other words, this document shows that FIGURES IN THE NATO MILITARY CARTEL INCREASINGLY SEE THEIR OWN DOMESTIC POPULATION AS A THREAT, FEARING CIVILIANS TO BE POTENTIAL CHINESE OR RUSSIAN SLEEPER CELLS, dastardly “fifth columns” that challenge the stability of “Western liberal democracies.”

    Continued at https://www.globalresearch.ca/behind-nato-cognitive-warfare-battle-brain-waged-western-militaries/5758601 [EMPHASES added.]

    Liked by 3 people

  21. “The Russians…….have no illusions that the US military support for Ukraine is confined to mere shipments of weapons or limited to financial transactions. On August 2, the Russian Defense Ministry accused the US of being “directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine”. The Ministry’s statement was citing an admission by Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence, Vadym Skibitsky, who told the British Telegraph newspaper that “Washington coordinates HIMARS missile strikes.’

    When American weapons are provided and operated by American military experts, and when the movement of Russian forces is monitored by American satellite coordinates, one should easily conclude that the US is indeed at direct war with Russia”

    https://original.antiwar.com/ramzy-baroud/2022/09/23/leading-from-behind-is-washington-at-war-with-moscow/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This comment thread has become very confusing for me…thanks for this Dr. Ramzy Baroud piece. I met him 4-5 years ago here in Honolulu, and I told him that his “My father was a (Gazan) freedom fighter” was (and remains) one of the seminal “resistance” books of my life. Here, and very much across the board, my sensing is that Dr. Baroud (as he often does, to be sure, and well) and we few other sane ones need to stop nibbling around the edges and confront the reality that we must cleanse ZioOccupied WashDC of the neocons — too many of whom are Zionist and Jewish — who’ve been around since the 1970s…aggrandizing power and influence, and gloating over the results of their “full-spectrum global dominance” scheming, to the extent that they’re omnipresent and omniscient, and “cleansing” is a fantasy indulged in by old, “quietly despairing” guys like me. Name it, and they’re there — here, there, everywhere — embedded, “entangled” in the duopolistic fabric of America, moving seamlessly through the revolving doors of thinktankdom to officialdom and back….

      Perhaps nuclear Armageddon is the only way forward to “cleansing,” and I say bring it on. Dr. Baroud and his fellow Palestinians (we’re all Palestinians now) will feel, on the way out, a measure of freedom, and release….

      Like

      1. Robert: i’m glad You modified Your statement about the Neocons to read “too many of whom are Zionist and Jewish,” as opposed to the standard “Most or All of whom are Z & J.”

        America’s and the rest of the Planet’s Ruling Political Class Elites and their Systems of Rule include lots of very important and influential individual, organizational, and institutional centers of wealth and power that are neither “Zionist” ~ whatever that means ~ nor “Jewish” ~ whatever That means. That “duopolistic fabric of America” has lots of threads that are neither.

        And i am Very aware of the role Israel plays [and has played for over 100 years since the Balfour Declaration] in the grander scheme of things regarding first British and then and now American influence, domination, and control of the Middle East and its resources. It ~ from its conception, inception, and very beginning ~ has been and remains a Forward Operations Base for Anglo-American interests.

        i spent two years there [1980-1982] as part of the boots-on-the-ground implementation of the Carter-Begin-Sadat Peace deal, and was there when Israel “liberated” Lebanon of Yassir Arafat and the PLO in June, 1982. And a close Israeli friend of mine explained to me just before he left to command a platoon of Israeli tanks across the Golan Heights:

        “This whole thing ~ Everything ~ could have been avoided if it hadn’t taken Moses forty years to find the one place in the whole area that does not have oil.”

        In any event, i’m curious: What makes You think that a nuclear Armageddon will rid this nation and Planet of those same Ruling Political Class Elites and their Systems of Rule? If history is any gauge, won’t there always be somebody ready to take up the mantle of leadership, domination, and control?

        Liked by 1 person

  22. ‘As We Move Closer To WW3, It’s A Good Time To Reassess Our Priorities In Life’

    As the US empire continues to escalate aggression against both Russia and China, as Moscow warns that “strategic nuclear weapons” may be used to protect the territories it plans on annexing from eastern Ukraine even as Washington prepares to ramp up its proxy war spending in that nation once again, as nuclear-armed powers which refuse to compromise with each other accelerate toward direct confrontation with nobody’s foot anywhere near the brake pedal, it’s probably a good time to pause and re-evaluate our priorities in life.

    One who is sincere and courageous about having an authentic relationship with reality will take seriously the very real possibility that this could all be ending fairly soon. They will face this possibility directly and let it inform the way their humanity expresses itself in the world, rather than compartmentalizing away from it and avoiding it…………………………………

    https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/as-we-move-closer-to-ww3-its-a-good

    Like

  23. ‘In Ukraine, the US is dragging us towards war with Russia’
    The Guardian Tue 13 May 2014

    Why do we tolerate the threat of another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a “brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis”, as if the truth “never happened even while it was happening”.

    Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his “updated summary of the record of US foreign policy” which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders……..

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/13/ukraine-us-war-russia-john-pilger

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The most revealing few sentences of Cockburns piece:

      “To perform its allotted task in the scheme, the F-35 absolutely depends on a “Mission Data Load” comprising vast files of maps, electronic signals, information about threat missiles, not to mention data about F-35 and other friendly systems in the relevant area of operations. These must be updated in the plane’s software on an almost daily bases as new intelligence comes in. Unfortunately, there is just one facility in the entire world for updating the vital loads: the United States Reprogramming Laboratory, a small facility at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. As Dan Grazier confirmed to me recently “it is taking them six months to update the data load for just one region, in which time the entire situation might have changed.”

      What this means is truly depressing Bill.

      Like

  24. “UNTETHERED” AIR FORCE GENERAL: “WHEN YOU KILL YOUR ENEMY, EVERY PART OF YOUR LIFE IS BETTER”

    “The pile of our nation’s enemy dead, the pile that is the biggest, is in front of the United States Air Force.”

    An aerospace industry conference took on more of a tent revival feel on Wednesday when an Air Force general took the stage and sought to fire the audience up about the existential threat he said China posed to the American way of life and the urgent work needed to defeat it.

    “I’m untethered as of now,” said Gen. Mike Minihan, the head of Air Mobility Command, in his keynote address at the Air & Space Forces Association’s Air Space & Cyber Conference at National Harbor, Maryland. “I do have something to say. I can’t see the clock, I’m going to go ‘till I go. I’m finally that rank.”

    The general’s speech was titled ‘The Mobility Manifesto,’ and he turned up the volume as high as the title implies.

    Continued at https://taskandpurpose.com/news/air-force-general-mike-minihan-mobility/

    Like

    1. Phew! Not ever having been in the military this is hard for me to get my arms around. Maybe I should not be commenting here. For me these guys talking about mental health is a little ironical.

      And all this demonizing the Chinese is way over the top eh? To kill someone you have to dehumanize them first – that’s how it works eh? And you have to have an enemy to have purpose – so that would be the Chinese and Russians, I guess.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/making-china-a-us-enemy-is-counterproductive/2019/07/02/647d49d0-9bfa-11e9-b27f-ed2942f73d70_story.html

      I little bit comforting to see these two comments in the comment section:

      “I appreciate the general and his enthusiasm. However, the general should be careful about talking about killing so loosely. Killing is necessary for most military victories, but it does not make your life or marriage better. Many of the people that actually do the killing suffer in silence for our freedoms. Many have problems they live with forever. Many are too proud to seek help or make a VA claim. Anyone that has killed multiple times in combat will understand this.”

      Reply

      “Except sociopaths and psychopaths.”

      Like

      1. Maybe You are right, Dennis,

        Having never been in the military ~ let alone combat ~ maybe You should not be commenting about something about which You know absolutely nothing. Particularly the mental status of those who know all about what is involved in killing in order to stay alive.

        Like

    2. The really interesting thing is that this General is not ~ nor has he ever been ~ a jet fighter or bomber pilot, but the flyer of C-130s and other cargo planes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This suggests he’s overcompensating, Jeff.

        He’s been a trash hauler, as we say, but now he’s trying to pose as a tough guy. Few things are sadder …

        Liked by 2 people

  25. But you know this Jeff…

    The AC-130J is the fifth generation gunship replacing the aging fleet of AC-130U/W gunships. AC-130 gunships have an extensive combat history dating back to Vietnam where gunships destroyed more than 10,000 trucks and were credited with many close air support missions. Over the past four decades, AC-130s have deployed constantly to hotspots throughout the world in support of special operations and conventional forces. In South America, Africa, Europe and throughout the Middle East, gunships have significantly contributed to mission success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The General in question flew C-130 and other Cargo planes, not Gunships.

      And Dennis, please don’t try to tell me about C-130s or C-130 Gunships. Having jumped from them at least 20 times in my career, and having seen them in action from the ground up close and personal on numerous occasions in Vietnam, i know all about them.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. “They are tailor-making an air force to kill you,” Minihan said, about China. “Not you, hypothetically, you! Look in the mirror. You!”

    Hosted by CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans, featuring guests from across the world that are working towards peace. This episode on China Is Not Our Enemy is in conversation with Chris Hedges, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, author, and TV host.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Wonder when we are going to see a debate between the warmonger General Mike Minihan and Chris Hedges on PBS television about the existential threat China poses to the American way of life and the urgent work needed to defeat it.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Welcome to the new World. We live now by the jungle law. The style promoted by US since WW2
    Now American hegemons please don’t be surprised when your policy is adopted by other Nations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When the US went to the United Nations Security Council asking for the Legal Authority only the UNSC can give, to invade Iraq and remove Saddam, that Legal Authority was denied the US.

      With the delusional belief in it’s own exceptionalism, the US invaded Iraq anyway, in violation of the same International Law Russia is demonized for breaking.
      With that illegal invasion, the US undermined the existing Rules Based Order as represented by the United Nations since WWII, ushering in the Law of the Jungle to the Middle East and the World.

      The rest is recent History!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. My wife and I joke: “Ukraine: GOOOOOOOOD. Russia: BAAAAAAAAAAD.” That’s all you need to know.

          And when our gas prices go up or an item in the supermarket is missing, we know who’s responsible: PUTIN.

          Like

          1. I don’t know if these Hitler parodies are familiar to your readers Bill?
            Some people take a dim view of them.
            But I think they are very clever,

            Like

  29. Wow! this is a little different from what the mainstream media has been dishing up!
    I usually am not keen on this guy, Jordan Peterson – but holy cow!
    Poor old Piers Morgan was left stumbling for words and looking perplexed!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The message the West does not understand.
        You cannot win against the powers you cannot say no to.
        Russia and China cannot be intimidated. They are not going anywhere!
        We are hoisted on the petard of our won foolishness.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So many of our products are now “Made in China.”

          So much energy now comes from Russia.

          I’m not sure the goal is to “win.” The goal is profit and power, market share and money. In raising the specter of China and Russia as twin evils, the military-industrial complex is winning — winning ever more money and power. It comes at a high cost, of course, to people like us, but they don’t care.

          They’ll lose if things get our of hand and we all nuke ourselves, but until then, the MIC is winning. So are the richest among us, as more and more money gets diverted to weaponry and war (or preparing for war).

          They (the MIC and Company) only lose when China and Russia aren’t enemies; they lose in conditions of peace. Thus we never hear of peace. Peace is just dismissed as impossible.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. The “goal” has never been to “win,” Bill; whatever “win” means any more, or ever meant.

            The goal has not been to Win any of these wars, but simply to HAVE them. That is the most effective, efficient, and efficacious way to make all that profit, power, and market share happen. And that’s why we never hear of Peace.

            And that’s where the “Congressional” part of the MICC comes in: the folks who write the checks. And that is ~ once again, yet, and still ~ where, when, and how We, those People like us bearing that cost, come into the equation because: The ONLY reason any of this Bullshit has been, is, and will continue to go on is because the American People have let it go on.

            And now, for the first time in anybody’s lifetime, the bills are starting to come due.

            The real question right now is: What ~ if anything ~ can wake a critical mass of the American People up to what is really going on here and now? And then: What ~ if anything ~ can be done to change that before sheer inertia takes over, and America’s collision course with Reality becomes unavoidable?

            And that, of course, leads to the first question: What exactly IS actually, really going on? And exactly how are the American People supposed to find this out; this thing called “Truth”?

            Liked by 2 people

  30. Once again, The Lady Caitlin nails it…:

    Future Generations, If There Are Future Generations,
    will scarce believe that our species once stockpiled armageddon weapons on purpose,
    once built our entire civilization around economic models that could only result in the destruction of our biosphere,
    once permitted corporations who profit from war to successfully lobby policymakers to start more wars,
    once warehoused living beings in factory farms where they were tortured and brutalized,
    once starved children to death with sanctions because their rulers disobeyed our rulers,
    once made policies which kept people poor so they’d be financially coerced into facilitating military mass murder,
    once let people go hungry and homeless if they didn’t have enough imaginary numbers in their bank accounts,
    once stripped this planet of biodiversity and old growth forests to turn the gears of an imaginary economy instead of collaborating with our ecosystem.

    Future generations, if there are future generations,
    will look back in perplexity at our omnicidal madness,
    at our blind subservience to the very worst among us,
    at our remarkable ingenuity in always finding groundbreaking new ways to hate each other,
    at our fanatical devotion to competition and control when we knew that all we really wanted was to be loved,
    at the way we’d marginalize and outcast those who thought differently from the rest of us even though we knew full well that our way of thinking wasn’t working,
    at the way we’d spend our lives feeding insatiable hungry ghosts only to wind up on our deathbeds wondering why we feel dissatisfied,
    at the amount of energy we’d pour into not experiencing the beauty which surrounds us in every moment and rejecting the gifts we were being showered with from every direction,
    at the herculean effort we poured into keeping enlightenment from crashing in,
    at our nonstop desperate flailing attempts to be anywhere but here and now,
    at the amount of work we put into avoiding being at ease.

    Future generations, if there are future generations,
    I am so glad that you made it past all the many obstacles we put up between our present age and your birth.
    Praise be to you and your parents
    for cleaning up our mess,
    for setting things right,
    for becoming conscious,
    for valuing a healthy world,
    for getting humanity to where you’re at now
    so that the real adventure of our species could begin.

    Future generations, if there are future generations,
    thank you for your kindness and compassion as you gaze back on us through the records we have left you.
    It might not be immediately obvious,
    but some of us here saw what you’re seeing from there.

    https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/future-generations-if-there-are-future

    ###

    Liked by 2 people

  31. ‘The US empire is accelerating toward global conflict on two fronts’

    Vladimir Putin has announced that referenda will be held in four regions of the eastern part of Ukraine whose populations will now vote on whether to join the Russian Federation, much like the Crimea referendum of 2014 which resulted in Russia’s annexation of that territory. Putin announced that 300,000 additional troops will be mobilised for the war to help facilitate this action, which is a major escalation in the conflict by any measure.

    Putin also issued a stern nuclear warning that’s being hysterically spun by empire managers as a shocking and unprecedentedly bellicose threat, but if you read what he actually said it’s clear that he’s really reminding the west of the same principles of Mutually Assured Destruction that have been in place for generations, and isn’t expressing any position that western nuclear powers don’t also hold:
    Nuclear blackmail was also launched. We are talking not only about the shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which is encouraged by the West, which threatens a nuclear catastrophe, but also about the statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO states about the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia – nuclear weapons………………..

    https://johnmenadue.com/the-us-empire-is-accelerating-toward-global-conflict-on-two-fronts/

    Liked by 2 people

  32. One reason the MICC, et al, get away with all this carnage is because the American People have significantly more pressing problems in Their Real World that keep them very occupied… :

    WHAT DO AMERICANS CARE ABOUT? NOT A COLD WAR WITH RUSSIA AND CHINA: Americans’ Top Security Concerns Include Safety At Home And Protecting Jobs by Katrina vanden Heuvel / The Washington Post

    The Biden administration will soon release its National Security Strategy, which is being revised in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The document will no doubt trigger a renewed debate about how the United States should gear up for a new Cold War against Russia and China. But BEFORE WE PLUNGE INTO A GLOBAL GREAT-POWER COMPETITION, IT’S WORTH RECALLING PRESIDENT BIDEN’S PROMISE TO CREATE A “FOREIGN POLICY FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS” AND TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT MOST CONCERNS AMERICANS.

    Congress is about to add tens of billions of dollars to the military budget. Unrepentant hawks scorn this as inadequate, urging a 50 percent increase, or an additional $400 billion or more a year. Aid to Ukraine totals more than $40 billion this year, and counting. A new buildup is underway in the Pacific. BIDEN SUMMONS AMERICANS TO THE GLOBAL BATTLE BETWEEN DEMOCRACY AND AUTOCRACY, IMPLYING THAT U.S. SECURITY DEPENDS ON SPREADING DEMOCRACY — AND, IMPLICITLY, REGIME CHANGE — WORLDWIDE.

    AMERICANS, IT IS SAFE TO SAY, HAVE DIFFERENT — ONE MIGHT SUGGEST MORE PRACTICAL — CONCERNS, as revealed in a recent Quinnipiac University poll. Asked about THE MOST URGENT ISSUE FACING THE COUNTRY TODAY, 27 PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS — THE HIGHEST NUMBER — RANKED INFLATION AS NO. 1, WHILE ONLY 2 PERCENT RANKED UKRAINE AT THE TOP. In a range of Economist-YouGov polls over the past month, the top foreign-policy concerns included immigration and climate change.

    The foreign policy “blob” may be gearing up for a global Cold War, but Americans are focused on security at home. According to a survey by the nonpartisan Eurasia Group Foundation, NEARLY HALF OF AMERICANS THINK THE UNITED STATES SHOULD DECREASE ITS INVOLVEMENT IN OTHER COUNTRIES’ AFFAIRS; ONLY 21.6 PERCENT WOULD INCREASE IT. NEARLY 45 PERCENT WOULD DECREASE U.S. TROOP DEPLOYMENTS ABROAD; ONLY 32.2 PERCENT WOULD INCREASE THEM.

    Polls, of course, are merely snapshots — and war fever can transform opinion. However, a 2021 REPORT by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs reported many of the same priorities. FAR MORE AMERICANS (81 PERCENT) SAID THEY WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THREATS FROM WITHIN THE COUNTRY THAN FROM OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY (19 PERCENT). Among foreign policy goals, more than 75 PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS RANKED PROTECTING AMERICAN WORKERS’ JOBS AND PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, RESPECTIVELY, AS VERY IMPORTANT. RANKED LOWEST WERE “HELPING TO BRING A DEMOCRATIC FORM OF GOVERNMENT TO OTHER NATIONS” (18 PERCENT) AND “PROTECTING WEAKER NATIONS AGAINST FOREIGN AGGRESSION” (32 percent).

    What would a sensible strategy for the middle class look like? A recent paper from the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft — “Managed Competition: A U.S. Grand Strategy for a Multipolar World — offers a good start. The author is George Beebe, a former head of the CIA’s Russia analysis unit who is currently director of grand strategy at the institute.

    Continued at: https://scheerpost.com/2022/09/25/what-do-americans-care-about-not-a-cold-war-with-russia-and-china/ [EMPHASES added.]

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Yeah, this is exactly where its at eh Jeff! This is a great article.
    Sadly, Bidens promises were not worth the paper they were written on.

    I know New Zealand has its problems. But they are 100% domestic problems.
    We don’t have the huge burden on our backs of grand hegemonic foreign policy goals.
    Nor are we engaged in a Global Great-power Competition. We don’t have to “win” anything.
    Our leaders are not gearing up for a global Cold War.
    A war that is not stealing from our domestic challenges at home everyday to the detriment of our middle class.

    But with only 5-million people on these little islands on the bottom of the World at the end of the day we matter very little in the big picture. And of course, all Kiwi’s hope and pray it can stay that way.

    Like

    1. Hmmmm. Given Y’All’s neighbors across the Tasman Sea, You Kiwis may have little choice in how You fit into that “big picture”… :

      U.S. PULLS AUSTRALIA DEEPER INTO ITS PLANS FOR WAR AGAINST CHINA: The Indicators That Preparations Are Being Made For War Are Coming Thick And Fast by Bevan Ramsden

      SYDNEY, Australia— Previous governments have committed close to one-quarter of a billion dollars on so-called defense, but the items suggest war preparations coordinated with the U.S. and aimed at containing or confronting China militarily. Here are some of these commitments:

      Upgrading the Royal Australian Air Force’s Tindal aircraft runway to take U.S. B1 bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
      Cost: $1.1 billion;
      Building a huge fuel site in the NT to power U.S. fighter jets.
      Cost: unknown;
      Acquiring 135 U.S. M-1A2C Abrams Tanks.
      Cost: $3.5 billion;
      Producing/acquiring high-speed, long-range missile defense systems.
      Cost: $9.3 billion.
      Acquiring eight nuclear-powered submarines at a cost, which experts predict, will blow out to $170 billion; these hunter-killer subs are designed for operation at long distances from Australia and are too large to be effective in the relatively shallow coastal waters of Australia.

      $10 billion is to be spent building a port on the east coast of Australia to service nuclear-powered submarines, and we are told it will be made available to the U.S. and U.K. for servicing their nuclear-powered and probably nuclear-armed submarines.

      Seventy-two, F-35 fighter bombers are to be purchased from the U.S. at a cost of $10 billion, or more, if the predicted blowout on costs occurs.

      Australia is purchasing nine frigates at the cost of $35 billion.

      THE COST TO AUSTRALIA OF HAVING OVER 2,000 U.S. MARINES STATIONED IN NT EACH YEAR IS UNKNOWN as questions by the Independent and Peaceful Australian Network (IPAN) to the Minister for Defence evoked the answer: “IT IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND CANNOT BE DIVULGED.” THESE FOREIGN TROOPS STATIONED ON OUR SOIL ARE NOT UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT. THEY TAKE THEIR ORDERS FROM THE U.S. INDO-PACIFIC COMMAND, WHICH HAS RECENTLY ESTABLISHED A REGIONAL HQ IN DARWIN.

      Continued at https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/u-s-pulls-australia-deeper-into-its-plans-for-war-against-china/ [EMPHASES added.]

      Liked by 1 person

  34. And you know thinking about it……
    This Article could have a better title..
    How about “Americans need to stop wanting to be the World’s policeman.”

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Trump: We don’t want to be the policemen of the world
    BY BRETT SAMUELS – 04/30/18 2:09 PM ET

    “President Trump on Monday said the U.S. should no longer serve as the “policemen of the world.”

    “We more and more are not wanting to be the policemen of the world,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

    “We’re spending tremendous amounts of money for decades policing the world, and that shouldn’t be the priority,” he said. “We want to police ourselves and we want to rebuild our country. And the president understands that.”

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/385521-trump-we-dont-want-to-be-the-policemen-of-the-world/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is about the only other thing Trump has ever said that i can recall ever 100% agreeing with. Along with:

      ~ Back in early 2017 when he said something to the effect that “the [First American] Civil War could have been avoided”; ie, that it didn’t necessarily need to happen. [ https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-ap-top-news-slavery-jackson-tn-state-wire-4d0e9994c6e445c689025e40a8a4308b ]

      ~ Also back in early 2017 when asked on CNN about Vladimir Putin as “a killer”: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump replied. “I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe, so you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, a lot of killing, a lot of stupidity,” Trump said. [ https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/04/politics/donald-trump-vladimir-putin ]

      ~ A Tweet in early October, 2019, that went: “The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE…..IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY! We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. There were NONE!”
      [ https://rattibha.com/thread/1181905659568283648?lang=en%5D

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeff, I reckon if one was so inclined one could argue that – if Trump had been elected President for a second term this Ukraine/Russia conflict would have been avoided, and we would not be in the verge of a nuclear WW3.

        Along with his oft expressed willingness of having friendly relationships with Putin, and his recognition that the US’s fighting and policing in foreign wars had been futile and unnecessary, he also advocated pulling the US out of NATO.

        “Donald Trump was considering pulling out of NATO and cutting the US’s alliance with South Korea if he won the 2020 election, according to an account of his private meetings with top aides.”

        https://news.yahoo.com/trump-planning-withdraw-us-nato-183526580.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAKRRo8ATB9LtUrOcPQNa23X_vIlWMPpcO8NTkZcOKLwyK3DQZdTsQR0M–V7oCe-rkYnDHVoFhMxIJzmDkwKseEBZ6ksorpYQAz5WJGnZzRV-RsjgwkyM36hMrinq8gEY-wmOth0frz8Mvj4v7-e-KX-pc9ly_V3aO1j_p70yRHJ

        There is no doubt this would have neutered NATO and called that rabid dog off of Russia’s doorstep. And Putin would not have been provoked to defend Russia’s sovereignty.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dennis: One can argue just about anything one wants when dealing with hypotheticals. eh? The old ditty “If Ifs and Ands were Pot and Pans, there’d be no need for Tinkers” comes immediately to mind.

          “What Ifs” are great fun, but seldom lead to a real understanding of what actually did or did not happen.

          And has anybody else corroborated what was allegedly anonymously reported to have been said by Trump on NATO and South Korea in those “private meetings with top aides”?

          In any event, do You think the decision to leave NATO would be left entirely up to the President? What do You think all those folks in the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex and Secrecy-Surveillance-Security Panopticon might have to say about that? NATO isn’t exactly the Paris Climate Agreement.

          And if there wasn’t a War in Ukraine with Russia, there would no doubt be a War someplace else with Somebody else. With the end of The Forever War in Afghanistan, the MICC and SSSP were definitely ~ if not desperately ~ in the market for a new “threat” and “enemy”; even if they had to create one.

          Which ~ as it turns out ~ they had been working on doing since 2014.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Jeff, the Kiwi’s have always been just as much US sock puppets as our friends across the ditch in supporting the US MIC. (The Kiwi’s are all on board with helping the Ukraine fight Russia until the last dead Ukrainian.)

        That is until the New Zealand people saw the futility of the New Zealand RNZAF having combat aircraft. In 1999, the right wing National Government selected an order of 28 F-16A/B aircraft to replace it’s fleet of aging A-4 Skyhawks – but this procurement was cancelled in 2001 following election of the Left wing Labour Government under Helen Clark. This was followed by the disbanding of No 2 and No 75 Skyhawk squadrons, selling of the A-4’s, and removing the RNZAF’s air combat capability.

        However old habits die hard, and the poor Kiwi’s can’t break the habit of funneling money to the US MIC.

        “New Zealand has agreed to buy four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol planes, Defence Minister Ron Mark said on Monday, strengthening surveillance capabilities as it works to counter the rise of new powers, such as China. New Zealand is responsible for patrol and rescue missions in an area of the Pacific Ocean bigger than Europe and plans to step up its engagement in the South Pacific, where it is losing sway over small island nations to China.

        Mark said the aircraft were acquired from the United States through its foreign military sales program and would cost NZ$2.34 billion ($1.6 billion), including training costs. They would be operational in 2023.”

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-newzealand-defence-procurement-idUSKBN1JZ07J

        New Zealand needs to be spending $2,340,000,000 on these POS like it needs a hole in its head. That they will have any effect on what China does is ridiculous. And you know this NZ$2.34-billion is a low-ball number.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. And as for our friends the Aussies – many here in the antipodes are not too happy, thinking that all this Australian extraordinary defense spending on US stuff, and war preparations coordinated with the U.S. and aimed at confronting China militarily – just paints a huge red bulls eye on the backs of all Ozzies and Kiwi’s.

            Like

  36. Patrick Lawrence provides a very clear and cogent analysis of the War in Ukraine in light of Putin’s and Biden’s speeches last week… :

    IN THE TERRAIN OF WORD WAR III

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) advanced decisively into Russian-held territory in northeastern Ukraine two weeks ago, exposing the weakness, incompetence, and cowardice of Russian soldiers and officers. The tide of this war has turned. The Russian army is on the way to defeat, and President Vladimir Putin could go down with it.

    Was it that way? Or was it this way:

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine, with the aid of U.S. intelligence, identified a region from which the Russians had more or less withdrawn, leaving its defense to cursorily trained militias from Luhansk, the northernmost of Ukraine’s two breakaway republics. The AFU thus advanced against next to no resistance. The course of the war has not fundamentally changed.

    We do not know precisely or certainly what happened, and how, in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine during the first two weeks of September. I incline to the latter version of events, but never mind that. None of this matters as much as it did even a few days ago.

    Suddenly, abruptly, we know something vastly more important: Recent Ukrainian advances, under whatever conditions they were achieved, now prove a tripwire, over which the U.S. and Russia, possessing the world’s largest nuclear arsenals, have stumbled into the gravest threat of world war at least since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and probably since the victories over Japan and Europe 17 years earlier.

    A pair of speeches on Sept. 21—Putin to his nation, President Biden to the U.N. General Assembly hours later—bring us face to face with this grim new reality. They are “must” to read or hear for anyone concerned with the direction geopolitical events now take.

    Continued at https://scheerpost.com/2022/09/25/patrick-lawrence-in-the-terrain-of-word-war-iii/

    Liked by 1 person

  37. I trust US Colonel Douglas Macgregor’s take on what has happened Jeff…

    “At the end of 1942, when the Wehrmacht could advance no further east, Hitler switched German ground forces from an “enemy force-oriented” strategy to a “ground-holding” strategy. Hitler demanded that his armies defend vast, largely empty and irrelevant stretches of Soviet territory.

    “Holding ground” not only robbed the German military of its ability to exercise operational discretion, and, above all, to outmaneuver the slow, methodical Soviet opponent; holding ground also pushed German logistics to the breaking point. When holding ground was combined with endless counterattacks to retake useless territory, the Wehrmacht was sentenced to slow, grinding destruction.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, (presumably with the advice of his U.S. and British military advisors), has also adopted a strategy of holding ground in Eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces immobilized themselves inside urban areas, and prepared defenses. As a result, Ukrainian forces turned urban centers into fortifications for what became “last stands.” Sensible withdrawals from cities like Mariupol that might have saved many of Ukraine’s best troops were forbidden. Russian forces responded by methodically isolating and crushing the defenders left with no possibility of either escape or rescue by other Ukrainian forces.

    Moscow’s determination to destroy Ukrainian forces at the least cost to Russian lives prevailed. Ukrainian casualties were always heavier than reported from the moment Russian troops crossed into Eastern Ukraine, but now, thanks to the recent failure of Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kherson region, they’ve reached horrific levels that are impossible to conceal. Casualty rates have reached 20,000 killed or wounded a month.

    Despite the addition of 126 howitzers, 800,000 rounds of artillery rounds, and HIMARS (U.S. rocket artillery), months of hard fighting are eroding the foundations of Ukraine’s ground strength. In the face of this disaster, Zelensky continues to order counterattacks to re-take territory as a means of demonstrating that Ukraine’s strategic position vis-à-vis Russia is not as hopeless as it seems.

    The recent Ukrainian advance to the town of Izium, the link between Donbas and Kharkiv, seemed like a gift to Kiev. U.S. satellite arrays undoubtedly provided Ukrainians with a real-time picture of the area showing that Russian forces west of Izium numbered less than 2,000 light troops (the equivalent of paramilitary police, e.g., SWAT and airborne infantry).

    The Russian command opted to withdraw its small force from the area that is roughly 1 percent of formerly Ukrainian territory currently under Russian control. However, the price for Kiev’s propaganda victory was high—depending on the source, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 Ukrainian troops were killed or wounded in a flat, open area that Russian artillery, rockets, and air strikes turned into a killing field.”

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/holding-ground-losing-war/

    Like

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