A Great Boondoggle

Back during the Cold War, specifically in the Reagan years, the media used to love reporting on military boondoggles. The format of the story required a few budget items that would strike the normal person as outrageous. Perhaps it was a hand tool that cost tens of thousands of dollars. This tool was part of a weapons system budget that was being criticized for its cost. Perhaps it was a mundane items like a toilet seat or a hammer that would cost thousands of dollars.

The main reason for these stories was to promote the charade that the two parties were locked in serious opposition. The Democrats pretended to be against the military, while the Republicans were pro-military. In reality, both parties were fully owned by the military industrial complex, but the demands of the Cold War required the two parties to maintain the aura of a lively democracy. The free world was open and debated things, while the Soviets were closed to debate.

We no longer see stories like this, despite the fact that for the last thirty years America has spent over a trillion on war per year. Officially the war budget is a trillion a year, but no one seems to know how much is really spent. There never has been an official accounting of the Afghanistan debacle or the war in Iraq. America technically has a budget, but no one knows what is in it. At this point, it is an abstract concept even to the people who vote on it Congress.

Those old stories about military contractors ripping off the taxpayer also served as a distraction from larger issues. America had shifted after Vietnam away from fielding a military to fight a large scale war to a military built for small wars. That meant a change in the tools of war. Instead of inexpensive machines that a recruit could be quickly trained to operate, the machines would be complex and require years of training, but they would be unusually lethal.

A simple example is the tank. In the Second World War the tank was the symbol of the opposing armies. America produced massive numbers of Sherman tanks that overwhelmed the technically superior German tanks. The Tiger was superior than the Sherman, but not better than a swarm of them. The Abrams tank, developed in the 1980’s for the new army, was a technological marvel. It is big and complicated, but unusually lethal in the right hands.

Another way of putting this is the American army was transitioning from the shotgun approach to war to the rifle approach to war. Instead of firebombing cities, the American military will hit the military targets in the city. Instead of indiscriminately attacking the enemy positions, it would hit key points with pinpoint accuracy. This would require new weapons that pushed the edge of military technology. The new smart military would require new smart  and expensive weapons.

Over the last thirty years this approach looked smart. In the first Iraq invasion the American military attacked and destroyed a big army in the desert, without suffering any serious losses. Smart missiles knocked out their air defense system and smart bombs destroyed key infrastructure. The smart air force pinned down the Iraqi army while waves of Abrams outflanked them. By any measure, it was an amazing display of the new smart army versus the old dumb army.

The thing no one bothered asking is whether this new smart military would look good against a more serious opponent. Instead, it has been thirty years of applause as the American war machine beats up on hand picked opponents. Launching cruise missiles from destroyers that hit targets in Baghdad is not the same thing as hitting targets in China from the South China Sea. Destroying tanks in the Donbas is a different task than strafing them in the Iraqi desert.

The war in Ukraine is giving as a clue on this front. In theory the West is about to send main battle tanks to Ukraine. Whether this actually happens is questionable as it takes a long time to train a crew on an Abrams or Leopard tank. It will take months to get the infrastructure in place just to operate them in the rear, away from Russian drones, artillery and missiles. The Pentagon thinks they can get Abrams in the field by 2024 but they are not making any promises.

The thing that no one really wants to say, but is painfully obvious, is that the smart tanks are not much use without smart operators and a massive technological infrastructure to sustain and control them. In fact, the Abrams tank may not be suited for the fighting in the Donbas for the simple reason it is too fragile. This is a high intensity ground combat and this tank is simply unfit for these conditions. In other words, it is more of a show pony than a workhorse.

A similar story is unfolding with other weapons. The Russians have been using their missiles to knock out Ukrainian air defenses and utility systems. The West has promised to send new air defense system, but it turns out that they are so expensive and complicated that few of them actually exist. The lead time to make new missiles and their launchers is years. In one case, the lead time for a single missile is close to three years.

It is not just the wonder weapons that are in short supply. Land wars are about the industrial capacity of the combatants. In land war, both sides will use massive amounts of ammunition in an effort to degrade the opponent. Some estimates say that the Ukrainians expend five thousand artillery rounds per day in some areas, while overall the total is twice that number. Reliable reports say the Russians currently outgun the Ukrainians by a factor of ten.

The problem for the West and specifically America is there is nowhere near enough military industrial capacity to meet Ukraine’s demands. The Pentagon is asking for bids to build new capacity, but that will take years. The Ukrainian army will be history long before it happens. Putting that aside, the new capacity is a fraction of what an army would need in a land war. Instead of spending billions on the F-35 program, the Pentagon should have been making artillery shells. Whoops.

It turns out that the logic of the new technological army rested on Francis Fukuyama being right about the end of history. The trillion dollar whiz-bang army would never have to fight a serious opponent. Russia would be parted out and China would be flying the rainbow flag of diversity. The new technological army just needed to look good in shorts, not actually perform on the field. It also had to make the friends of the imperial government obscenely rich.

Like so much that has happened since the end of the Cold War, the American war machine is something of a scam. It was built on the assumption that the narratives the ruling class was spinning were a reflection of reality. Instead, those narratives simply secured their position atop the new world order. They had little connection with the reality of what was happening in the world. As a result, the imperial war machine is unfit for the task of defending the empire.

The irony here is that it proves Pat Buchanan was right. As he heads into retirement, he is seeing his warnings come true. The great de-industrialization of America has turned the country into a paper tiger. A century ago, America was the arsenal of democracy, but now it is unable to make much of anything. Like so much about the last thirty years, the military industrial complex is just another grift. It is a trillion dollar boondoggle, a great con on the American people.

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195 thoughts on “A Great Boondoggle

  1. OT: zman, google is going to be broken up. what is going on there, they are loyal to the regime, and interfered in the elections as requested. this looks like what happened in china, with all the tech billionaires being displaced.

    • Maybe that’s the point. Google will be broken up and it’s assets sold off, it’s employees scattered, but most importantly its data “lost”. Where are all those incriminating records? We don’t know anymore – and neither will anyone else. Google might have turned into Oswald, hence the need to send in Jack Ruby.

    • Throughout history cronies and sycophants of autocratic regimes have been granted special privileges, financially and materially rewarded.

      And throughout history whenever some cronies grew wealthy enough to pose a threat to their regime patrons, even if they outwardly appeared loyal, those cronies were knocked down a notch at best, and became official enemies at worst.

      I suspect that is what, and all, that is happening with Google now.

      • Somewhat akin to the US kicking around a tiny country to send a message, perhaps it is partly .gov reminding .com who calls the tune.

  2. Today as for the last few weeks the FT has run opinion pieces about Davos: “Everything is fine!” citing Business Leaders optimism. Shades of Norman Angell and “the Great Illusion” that war could never be fought, it was so expensive. Published in 1909, it was tremendously influential in shaping the opinions of the WWI leaders. No place illustrates this thinking like the FT. They believe that War, in its ugly form, can never EVER hit home in the form of shattered cities, radioactive wastes, starving citizens, marauding lawless packs tied by blood slaughtering those outside. Europe and America are safe and secure. Boris Johnson assured everyone at Davos that Putin would never use nukes. He just wouldn’t dare. And if there is one man you can trust, its Boris Johnson.

    Meanwhile the Green Party German Foreign Minister, Annelina Baerbock, has stated that Germany is at war with Russia, and of course will send tanks and conduct war with Russia by other means. The tanks are not meant for Eastern Ukraine, they will not arrive in time, but Western Ukraine for some marshaling force to invade Belarus and then Russia. If we are lucky the US will NOT use nukes nor stage a “shock and awe” air assault on Russia’s defense systems, and it will resemble the Donbass writ larger, with the predictable ultra-high casualties on the America, Polish, and German forces. Instead of global nuclear war. But even then, it won’t end there.

    Putin knows (because he’s been told by Merkel and others repeatedly) that there is no deal for him or Russia. That the end goal is Russia defeated and broken up, and run by the West, and him removed from power and tried by the victors. That means his play, and he will have to play it, is to go as far West as he can. To the Rhine perhaps, if he can break the West’s military in Western Ukraine and Belorussia. Perhaps to the English Channel. Or perhaps to Ireland. The Arsenal of Democracy got outsourced to China. And who will fight for “you’ll own nothing, have no privacy, eat the bugs bigot while you use the pronouns and watch some black tranny shaking their thing on streaming services.”

    At any rate, Putin and Russians both know they will have to fight the West the rest of their lives, as long as the West exists in one form or another. THAT means no Cold War 2.0, but now for something completely different. Cue animation and circus noises. War is very likely to arrive in very unpleasant ways right at our and the elites doorstep.

    • We can put aside whether or not Russia is capable of going all the way to Ireland, because it would turn nuclear long before they got there.

    • well it’s going to be a short war because the west eu armies are out of ammo
      (along with not being willing to actually fight). i don’t think it will be all that difficult to expel aino from europe.

    • Between current events and Whiskey’s analysis, the trailer for Tom Clancy’s Endwar takes on a terrifying new relevance:


      Don’t bother buying the actual game though. I tried it out on Steam and found the user interface is not all that good.

    • Whiskey you are 100% correct, as are Mr. Zoar and Karl.
      The Ukie army is shot. Toast, done. Obvious to anyone with eyes, its all NATO over there now. Including the boots on the ground.
      There will be no peace with the West for Russia. Behave accordingly; they have, are, and will continue. Putin gets it, as do most average Russians, so this notion in the West that Putin is on the ropes domestically shows how disconnected they really are… but its all just propaganda for you and me, I don’t think they believe it themselves.
      The West is out of boolits. The MIC totally missed the “quantity has its own qualities” argument with all the hitech toys. Russia is fighting a war of attrition. How do you think that one will play out? The evidence is already out there, hence the West collectively shitting their pants – they see now they can’t win.10:1 firepower superiority beats a 6:1 kill ratio of your cute toys over time, which is what a war of attrition is.
      I would have thought we would irradiate the donbass before losing this war, as its literally existential, but seeing them cower and creep out of the goat herders in Afghanistan? US Military is all faggots and trannies, they get off on being a simp. We won’t nuke em. They’ll march as far west as they want. The War is the excuse and cover the elites need, they WANT the war with russia so they can get away with all their other shennanigans. Thats why its going to happen. Russia is not the aggressor, its inverted, like everything Satan touches.

    • The West will have collapsed under its own stupidity long before Putin pops his clogs. It will probably look very different even by the end of 2023. Things can’t go on like this. As a bonus, I’d like to see Soros live just long enough to see all his plans crumble to dust.

  3. OT:

    Meanwhile, the CDC wing of the administrative state is busily building out the control grid via ICD (medical billing) codes denoting the unjabbed and partially jabbed:


    I think Dr. Malone is correct these codes have the potential to make jab-ports a fait accompli.

    I suppose you can try to avoid reporting into the system. That will probably get you the, “unjabbed,” code by default.

    • A literal apartheid system, then.

      Continuation of soft war, while being funded by the hard war money laundering.

      • Hi, Apartheid was a policy of separate development. The intent was for different groups to develop their own reality apart from the dictates of others. Perhaps a good idea – unfortunately it was hijacked by politicians.

  4. Mayo Pete is typical of so many inside the Beltway. They just know they are the brightest, best and beyond comprehension by mere mortals. So few with any real world experience, over-promoted, useless eaters to a person.
    Has any one of them met a payroll, or done a lick of work that an ordinary person would respect?

  5. Oh dear.

    Z/ You really are out of your lane.

    1. The Abrams performs fine, but any tank and all ground mere targets without air parity. In short there’s no point in throwing tanks away, it is true the logistical tail is back to Poland and that’s too far. Any tank requires logistics, here’s the beloved Sherman Tank people think was so simple, actually its as complicated as any other tank or machine.
    Here’s the Sherman FM.
    It takes months to learn to operate a tank, the Ukrainians don’t have months. The Sherman’s never swarmed the German tanks BTW, the Air Force did, they broke through and devastated the rear areas and German logistics as designed. The Sherman was never a Tank on Tank duel design. Oh and the Germans had no air, game over.

    2. The MIC only existed in WW2, Ike was warning of potential danger, his main point in speech was Scientific Technocrats taking over, see Fauci.
    Or Robert McNamara.

    3. Most of the military’s money is spent on its payroll, not equipment.

    4. The Top 5 defense firms together in 2020 made $286B , Walmart alone $523B (The ever shrinking fighting Force, Arnold Punnaro). The mythical MIC together makes half of Walmart.
    Again, 60% of budget is spent on personnel.

    5. What MIC there was dismantled in 1994 by SecDef Perry, that’s The Last Supper when he told the Defense industry (which was never very profitable) they would be allowed to go under, and to consolidate. They did, and our industrial base went with it except for small batches. That’s why we can’t build out faster- we have to re-industrialize. We actually are, that’s the only benefit of this nonsense. America is rapidly reindustrializing and reshoring since COVID, war just seals the deal.

    • I read your #2 point that the MIC “only existed during WW2” and immediately tuned out to anything else you wrote all of which may have been true.

      Because if you don’t work for Raytheon, Boeing, McDonnel Douglass, or Lockheed then I don’t know who you -do- work for? MIC is just a WW2 era meme, right? Got it. Just stop…

    • Wrong on so many levels, study more and try again. First and worst , no MIC? really, try harder. Then read your history books and try youtube, there were plenty of tank-on-tank battles on the march through France. Read a little bit about Michael Wittman and many other SS tankers in Normandy. Tigers and Panthers slaughtered Allied tanks regularly. Air power was overwhelming but it wasn’t everywhere all the time.

    • That’s Walmart’s worldwide revenues, not earnings. Earnings were around $140B. Don’t know where you got your numbers for top 5 MIC.

    • Vaxx, the air force did not breakthrough and devastate the rear areas. In “Fire In The Ashes” T.H. White interviews the Reich production minister. The American “precision daylight bombing” was in fact entirely unproductive. Anything within a quarter mile of the target was declared a “direct hit.” It wasn’t until the Americans started bombing long straight targets like highways and railroads that they started hitting anything at all. Germany had a very distributed manufacturing system, but when they couldn’t get all the parts in one place to build something that production collapsed.
      The English night raids were just crimes against civilians as we’re the major fire bombing like Dresden.

  6. I’m going to belabor a point inspired by J. Dobson down there at the bottom.

    I think this is a true boondoggle.
    Just as high-speed rail in California isn’t the point, victory in Ukraine isn’t the point; victory in South America and Canada is the real goal. Europe will be pimped out.

    The Ukraine boondoggle is a means to wash money back into elections and the surveillance state.

    Revolucion Socialista is happening all over the resource-rich South and Canadia (and here.) How? By elections.

    We’re seeing a quiet takeover that doesn’t need a military- so our military’s state of readiness is irrelevant. Ukraine is just the flashy explosions in the Hollywood movie.

    Now, the biggest gangs are just fighting over street corners. Locking down their respective home turfs is the priority of the new order.

    I’d say the multipolar world has already tacitly been recognized, the territories already roughly parcelled out. A little gas money, a little hardware money, providing the skim funding elections, media, judges, and pandemics: Beyond War, the perfected world. We’re watching the season playoffs.

    • If the dollar’s status as global reserve currency wasn’t so essential to GAE’s finances, it would be easier to believe that GAE is ceding some areas to its rivals.

      • They didn’t have a choice in the matter….
        And it looks more and more as if a lot of that is intended as well, by the WEF and their push for a single global reserve currency that is entirely digital. The basket of currencies SDR is coming… now you no longer control your money as a sovereign nation, you answer to unelected bureaucrats in Belgium. Gee, where have I seen THIS before?

    • think about the real beneficiary of the Ukraine war. Germany is being destroyed by the sanctions . they are going to be completely de-industrialized. the Us has self(((bank int. capital ))) deindustrialized. so that leaves china as the last man standing in manufacturing. sure they have problems , but with US manufacturing gone , germany/france/ were their last real competitors. now they will own it all. want to defend tiawan? where will you get your spare parts for the military? they all come from china.

      • The currency and the manufacturing is why I think the players have already bowed to the inevitable.

        They aren’t going to get all the marbles…just ours.
        Next comes time to secure the gains and fortify the barricades. Right now, they have to pacify their holdings.

        • Ehh. How do that?
          They’re laundering the weapons thru gangs as mentioned below, and bringing in the footsoldiers to use them.

          Both in here and Europe.

        • I’ve believed for a while this is going to be Cold War 2.0, but this time the part of the Soviet Union will be played by the United States.

          • That’s a very good way to put it.

            UKR instead of Angola and Vietnam: they were fought during the Cold War.

      • Hi, You confuse (as does the American military) China with Asia.
        More is produced in Asia than in China. Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Phillipines, Korea, Japan etc – far greater than China.
        The China abuse is just an American political ruse. Unfortunately the American population accept the ruse without checking the facts.

  7. I often wonder if this isn’t in the back of the smarter politicians’ minds when it comes to our southern border. Acknowledging that 99.9% of them like things exactly the way they are now, the 0.1% who have put any thought into the matter have doubtless concluded that actually securing the border would require deploying the army down there, at least initially…

    …and that’s a problem, because I’d bet pretty good money that the Mexican cartels would hand the National Guard’s asses to them. The cartels as they are now could do that; wait a year or two, until the new and improved cartels are upgunned with all the crap we sent to Ukraine (and the Ukes immediately sold on the black market). Getting a few Apache helicopters or Abrams tanks blown up by some illiterate weed smuggler might just be the last blow to AINO’s legitimacy.

    • On another thread, I suggested that AG Holder’s gun-running scheme into Mexico was, instead of a program to track and interdict weapons smuggling into the hands of the cartels, a high sign to the cartels that the Deep State could do business with them. And what better course of action as a follow-up to that would be the current comprehensive shredding of border integrity. Install their people here in numbers, and pour the fetanyl into the country, hell, fly them to every corner on the Deep State’s air transit, and simultaneously, as you suggest, equip these forces with military grade weaponry right here, guaranteeing that the local comstabulary would be outgunned. Then the locals in those areas would have to call in the federal “forces of order” to “help”. Posse Comitatus out the window, the federal occupation forces in place by “citizen” request.

      Given the Deep State’s already demonstrated malevolence, I don’t think that my theory is far-fetched at all.

    • Tactically, sure. Logistically, no. The fundamental problem the cartel would have would be it’s reliance on it’s opponents supply chain, which is ultimately self-defeating.

      • Disagree. It only needs heavy weaponry long enough to establish itself, that is, to buy off the cops, judges, and politicians. From that point it becomes self-sustaining.

        Gangs with corporate monopoly support structure, Cartels, in other words: this is end-stage capitalism.

    • Pat Buchanan’s retirement will be the pivotal point in my own personal timeline. Leave all the past hopeful conservative change and push back behind. It feels like Skynet is finally being activated.

    • The border has any number of “simple”, yet effective solutions short of a military intervention. Cartels are nasty, but they are still a bunch of low IQ buffoons who are brave (cruel?) when ganging up on the defenseless, but little more. In a one on one with a trained and equipped force, they are not a problem.

      First, the overwhelming majority of IA’s are turning themselves in at the border. They claim “refugee” status and are then “processed”. Stop this—since by law they have reached asylum at least when they touched foot in MX. MX will stop allowing free travel across their country when we turn these folks back at their northern border. We can also sweeten the pot with some $$$ for MX troubles. Trump proved this aspect of my recommendations does work.

      Second, for the remaining IA’s that sneak through, the BP can round them up—finish the wall which helps throttle the IA’s into patrolable spots. These folk should be immediately deported, not given court dates to plead their case. Or if they must be given Court appearance, increase the Courts such that all can have an appearance in 49 hours. Better yet, let them plead their case from their home country. Folks who’ve crossed the border and were once deported should be given 5 years in prison, no exceptions.

      Third, *all* employment must go through E-verification process. 5 years in prison for not doing so to company CEO, no exceptions.

      Fourth, family reunification must be stopped. This is a simple fix to the Federal law, not necessarily treaty obligation. Family reunification was sold as children caring for aging parents, but now is more likely to allow anchor babies to keep parents in the country. It also allows for brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles to arrive and settle. I’ve read that one “immigrant” can account for another dozen in this manner.

      Fifth, no welfare benefits for non-citizens. Penalty for abuse, deportation, no exceptions. This is said to be the law now—non-sense.

      Sixth, no citizenship for any IA/refugee who is granted a resident VISA. They must also apply for legal citizenship/entry/VISA in their home countries, wait their turn among their fellow countrymen—who did not leave their countries for a “back door” entry. This will further reduce incentive to bend the rules and enter illegally and also the perverse incentive for importing *new* Democrat voters. (If I had my druthers, permanent residency would *never* entail citizenship. Citizenship is a right of birth, not an award. This is the case for most of the non-western world.)

      Word will spread down to SA that the “benefits” of “immigration” have dried up and they will stop coming. Cartels can do what they like, but the people will see no benefit in contracting for their services.

      • Don’t underestimate the Cartels as low IQ buffoons, the same mistake was made with “low IQ” goathumpers in Afghanistan.

      • Mexico needs to be held to account as well. Sure the corrupt government here is allowing turdworlders to cross the border, but the Mexicans are allowing them to get there in the first place. They’re absolutely aiding and abetting the whole mess.

      • Very good ideas. Now get someone to implement them. Even supposedly GOP Abbott is enforcing the Texas borders.

    • I totally concur, Karl, this was a masterful analysis that I read elsewhere a couple days back.

  8. Scintillating post, as always. One book I found useful was Andrei Martyanov’s “Losing Military Supremacy”, which I believe was written about five years back.

    The USA violated the first law of “Scarface”: “Don’t get high on your own supply.” In this case, the Fukuyama thesis. Both in terms of military-industrial capability and psychology, the USA is not prepared for confrontation with a peer or near-peer. Maybe it never has been, but we can quibble about that.

    As for the military budget, to paraphrase Everett Dirksen (and being mindful of the corrosive influence of inflation), “a trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon we’re talking about real money.” My sneaking suspicion is that most members of Congress who vote on these matters are innumerate and don’t even know the multiplication table. But this, alas, is the idiocratic present.

    • Psychologically it is unprepared because it is unwilling to bleed. This is why it is guaranteed to lose a ground war against a near peer like Russia. You can’t hold ground if you aren’t willing to bleed. And that’s an entirely separate issue from material readiness.

      In terms of psychology, the 1991 gulf war was probably the worst thing to ever happen to the GAE military.

      • “Psychologically it is unprepared because it is unwilling to bleed.”

        Couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve been saying for years that US society is unwilling to countenance casualties. It’s a lesson the US military learnt during Vietnam. It’s why US dead were brought back in the stealth of night from the Middle East fifteen years back. And one major reason why there’s unwillingness to countenance casualties is that these wars are not existential ones, where USA’s existence is on the line. These are wars of choice fought to preserve a shaky hegemony, which might benefit only those at the top. The wars have been pushed by armchair neocon strategists with their heads up their asses.

        • The is also the issue of domestic feminization. Masculine societies are, at heart, warrior societies. Feminine societies such as AINO’s are societies of nurses.

          • Very true, very true.
            Men conquer, women nurture.
            Not being sexist, women can be great leaders and men can raise a family, but it is their inherent nature that guides the road they travel.

    • I agree. And right now, we’re also violating the second rule of Scarface. Never underestimate the other guy’s greed!

    • The military budget needs to be trillions in order to sufficiently wet the beaks of all the insiders and middlemen involved. They feel the impact of inflation too, you know, and a million doesn’t go as far as it used to…

    • The US fell for its own Special Forces BS, thinking that every problem can be sorted by inserting Seal Team 6 and slotting a few natives. Even if you agree with the official Bin Laden assassination narrative, the effect of SF on battle outcomes is minimal. Oh, well, at least we have the F35.

  9. As late as the 1980’s this country had certain protections for button manufacturers because buttons were necessary for military uniforms. Regulations like this were put into place by a generation that, during WW2 was washing and re-using their aluminum foil (disgusting but necessary). They knew the massive resource levels that would have to be dumped into a war machine at a moment’t notice. By the 80’s they were displaced by all the types we see today who couldn’t be more different.

    Even old boomers seem to have been genuinely shocked by the supply chain issues over the last few years. And this is nothing! If you think about it, outside of weather events, and going-out-of-business sales, when was the last time any born and raised “‘Muricahn” had ever seen the back of a shelf at a large chain store? We’ve had a 70+ years of stuffed shelves. A people like this, not understanding or caring “where” it came from will naturally be ambivalent to the great tearing out of every last part of our industrial base.

    Now we look around and see F35 chips made overseas etc, and like any other dying empire, do what we do best, which is throw a trillion dollars at chip manufacturers to build chips domestically. Employing expensive corporate welfare at an issue and getting mediocre results, years later. Because absolutely no one in power wants to upset the interlocking treaties that are the real cause of this issue, which is a broken tariff system, and telling “free traders” in the “Heritage” Foundation that they’re full of it, and their grand design is failing. Too much money is at stake. Foreign donor money. Charlie Trie and the Lippo Group should have been a wake-up call in the 90’s. It wasn’t. The Loral Corp. scandal was by far Clnton’s biggest scandal, no one cared, because all they cared about was the penis and vagina scandal. The wholesale treason involving technology transfer for cash? Nah! Give me more penis and vagina, which is really all we’ve cared about as a people since the ’60’s.

    • I predict a return of washing and reusing viable aluminum foil. After all, who mines and processes bauxite, and then smelts it, a fantastically energy-intensive industrial process?

      Can’t do that powered by solar panels, windmills, and unicorn fart gas, can you? Besides the jaw-dropping stupidity, I think that there are deeper motivations at play, and not far to seek.

      • Aluminium and copper!
        These fools have no idea how much copper they’re going to need, and we’ve already seen what happens when you don’t wear enough tinfoil.

  10. The US government is a joke. Outside a nuclear exchange, they have virtually no ability to seriously take on the Russians. I live in a city with an air force base, so we always have expensive, shiny wiz bangs flying overhead daily – whoopdedoo. The fact is, the Air Force hasn’t even had an opponent to speak of since Korea – and a lot of those pilots had WW2 experience to boot. I have no doubt the Russian AF is as large and well trained as ours. So how is the going to work out? This government and military “leadership” just need to go – they’re as useless as tits on a boar…

    • what makes your think that our nukes have been competently maintained ? we have been phoning it in on everything else. I’d bet we are phoning it in on that too. Who knows if any of them will work.

      • Your point is a good one. The last time I looked at the Nuclear Surety Report in 2017, it was warning that the Department of Energy would have difficulty certifying the effectiveness of the nuclear weapons stockpile in the near future. The weapons were built with an expected shelf life of about 20 years, and we’re well past that now. Since there’s no testing, it’s not entirely clear that the weapons would work, or give the expected explosive yield, as intended. I think Russian nuclear weapons tended to be simpler and perhaps they are more reliable, but weapons design is obviously a highly classified subject;

        • The Russians are also well ahead of us with hypersonic weapons, which if true would render conventional nukes useless.

      • Tritium goes bad pretty quick, and I vaguely recall reading somewhere that we didn’t have the nuclear plant capacity anymore to transmute enough to maintain our full stockpile of bombs in working condition. Plus they want to use it for their new fake and gay nuclear fusion “breakthrough”.

  11. Since the Maidan coup and the Minsk accords happened in 2014, it’s indisputable that the GAE was planning this adventure as far back as 2013. But one can safely assume it was planning it much farther back. I know (personally) retired US military contractors who were in Ukraine training their troops as far back as 2007. The Great Russia Hoax of 2016, in hindsight, fits into prepping the propaganda battlefield, but I digress.

    So we should be able to agree that this was at the very least a decade in the planning, but probably closer to two decades. At a minimum.

    Yet evidently, during all that time, no one in the GAE gave very much of a thought to the military logistics which would be necessary to wage a war in Ukraine. It beggars belief. Because clearly the grand strategy was there, has been there for a long time.

    But one sees this same mentality among the eggheads who occupy the power centers these days, that they can snap their fingers and make something so. Just to cite one example of many (for brevity), remember early last year when the Biden administration decreed that gasoline would be 15% ethanol instead of 10? There were those of us who said that just because one issues such a decree from on high, it doesn’t mean the the refineries can make it so in any short time frame. And guess what, it still hasn’t happened. This is but one of many such examples of current regime thinking. They seem to have little to no understanding of complex systems. As we often say, not serious people.

    It becomes very believable that they simply assumed that the US military machine would be dominant, merely because it has been seen as such for so long. It defies common sense, yet the facts are what they are. They’ve been planning this show a long time, and here we are.

    • It was “Just-in-Time” logistics for the military brass and civ leadership, too. I was there. They were fascinated with the new, trendy, “cost-saving” systems that have weakened our civilian supply network just wasn’t “sexy” to have large depots (or commercial warehouses) stacked with years of things.

      • The moral repugnance of TPTB to having ready supplies goes beyond just the corporate management consultant McKinsie clique at the dot-gov level. They’ve been railing against homesteaders, preppers, and other pejoratively named groups for decades. If you have more than 2 weeks cash reserves, you’re immoral doubleplus ungood. If you have more than 4 rolls of toilet paper, you’re a mentally ill horder. Etc. There is a deeper, underlying hatred of self-reliance and independence, the ant versus cricket thing.

        • There’s always been an odd convergence of the desires of both big corporations and big government in terms of what kind of people they wanted to deal with. The perfect employee is a well paid but also high living spendthrift who depends absolutely on getting the next paycheck. The perfect Democrat voter is a broke unemployed dumbass who will starve if his EBT card stops working. It’s really the same person, just in slightly different forms. The former is the high(er) IQ phenotype while the latter is the low IQ version. Dependency is the scourge of both.

    • Zbigniew Brzezinski was planning this back in the ’70’s.
      Soro’s was making the case for NATO expansion East in the 90’s so the the body bags wouldn’t be coming home to the West.
      The US, of course was fucking around in Russia in 1917.

  12. The Pentagon failed a fifth consecutive audit in November, when it could only account for 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets.

    It cannot track its spending either. $220B in spending was unaccounted for last year, and according to the GAO, this could be extremely understated.

    Russia has an annual defense spend of something like $65B.

    I don’t think we’re getting much value here.

    • If there’s no punishment in not keeping the books then there’s no point in doing so, and that’s the most charitable take. All throughout GAE it does it’s level best to frustrate the efforts of what “do-gooders” exist who want to save the system (that is, if they exist at all).

    • The US accounts for something like 38% of global military spending and the Pentagon doesn’t have adequate stockpiles of artillery shells etc to send to the incredibly courageous grifter state of The Ukraine so that its noble borders can remain inviolate against the evil Vladolf Putler.

      • And this sort of focused strategery is why serious, historically and culturally informed military men such as Col. (ret.) Douglas MacGregor can find no place in that den of thieves. Their warnings and action plans to address these fatal flaws are not welcome there.

      • “The US accounts for something like 38% of global military spending”

        Try 50%.

        There are hundreds of billions of military expenditures in non DoD budgets. Nuclear weapons in the Dept of Energy for example.

  13. That is only HALF of it too. But.. the current military is infested with bronies, furries, queers (but I repeat myself), affirmative action she-boons… and smart white guys no longer sign up. The best, most experienced ones are bailing out in droves and taking early retirement.

    If this continues… you will be leaving your defence to perverts and morons. The US Navy is already starting to rust.

    • What are you saying? Sending out effeminate men wearing lipstick with dildos mounted to their rifles won’t send the Chinese or Russians running?

  14. I don’t know if it was mentioned yet, but a trillion dollar boondoggle sounds like it needs a trillion dollar coin.

    I see what Z did there…..

    You sneaky Pete!

  15. The Zman:
    “The new technological army just needed to look good in shorts”

    “I’ve seen your tits your opinion is invalid.”

    “You have a cold
    You tested positive for AIDS, faggot”
    Somehow, in the long run, I think we’re gonns win

  16. You think they made a mess of the military. There are parts of the country you go through and see the mess they have made. This is only just the beginning.

    I remember a recent trip into Heathrow. The shell is some post-modern architecture. The promotional displays say Shakespeare and show some fancy monuments, but the people in them say Mogadishu, Yemen, Chad. The entire staff, particularly the security staff, is Pakistani.

    How is that going to work out? You bring in foreigners in the name of getting new tax cows to shore up a retirement and welfare system ponzi scheme. You give them government jobs – more net liabilities. You pay to house and feed them. You tell them the country you brought them to is evil and responsible for you homeland’s plight. You tell them, take this as your homeland and btw, we hate the indigenous/native people here, and you should too. Many of the jobs you give them are in security/law enforcement.

    How could that go wrong?

    Major American metro airports are rapidly descending into the same hellscape. Outside of the shopping mall portion of the Fascist Cathedral that this new religion has as its triumphant house of worship, go to the underbelly of it – baggage claims; taxi pickups; car rentals; lost luggage counter. It isn’t America and it isn’t European. I had a bad feeling when TSA was instituted. I had an even worse feeling when they introduced the line where you could pay to avoid the Unconstitutional taxpayer funded shakedown line – seeing how the sheep just accepted the institution of a second class citizenry and a special tax to opt out of, “The War on Terror.” Once that was accepted, they knew they could

    The same people who provide the equipment and training for this security state scam, train our FBI. America was sold to the highest bidder. In Britain it looks like the airport section was sold to Pakistan as part of some new Alien Patronage System.

    What these people have done is a crime of epic proportions and will cause a monumental series of catastrophes.

    One last note. Yesterday I overheard an American Boobusina saying how there is no way her family could make it after the lockdowns and the inflation at the grocery store. She was an Bidenette. She said something to the effect of, “Trump was an asshole but at least I had money left over and could live.” She went on to say that so many have become Republicans that she fears there will be no reform. Talk about a deluded person. I did a presentation for my posterity about TGR that shocked them into action – and I chalk that up as a success. In putting that together there was an endless, bottomless amount of genocidal, virtiolic anti-white invective. After putting together an hours worth I left a few more days worth on the cutting room floor. It made the point.

    Back to this Boobusina, it is amazing how Trump is an asshole trumps everything and yet she willingly casts her vote and support for people who openly propose and implement genocide against her and the children she struggles to feed. It is an interesting manner of distinguishing between a friend and an asshole.

    God help us. We are going to need it.

    • Ask her to tell you WHY he’s an asshole. Then ask her to describe any single Trump policy. I guarantee she can’t answer either question.

      “Because he’s a racist!”. That’s always the standard answer. There is no fixing them. They will fully deserve the horrible fate awaiting them.

      • “Major American metro airports are rapidly descending into the same hellscape. ”

        The US is a lot more diverse than the UK…

        Merkins always do this: identify a problem which is more pronounced in their country and then pretend those nefarious Europeans have it worse and are also somehow responsible for normalizing the issue.

        The dark night of hellscape is always descending in Europe and yet lands in America first.

        • “The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States but lands first in Europe.”
          Was that Gunter Grass who said that?

      • Or he cheated on his wife. Wives maybe. They can’t name anything. It’s ingroup thinking and they have no reason when they are confronted with an out group person, just rage. It’s so crazy

        Though I know a couple unvaxxed hardcore trump fans and I they just ignore
        him promoting the vax. Also crazy

        • “Though I know a couple unvaxxed hardcore trump fans and I they just ignore
          him promoting the vax. Also crazy”

          Exactly. I don’t get this either. People have lost all ability to independently think.

  17. “America produced massive numbers of Sherman tanks that overwhelmed the technically superior German tanks. The Tiger was superior than the Sherman, but not better than a swarm of them.”

    Because I like you Z man, I won’t go all tank nerd 🤓 on this thread. I’d just add the Tiger, Tiger II (aka King Tiger), and Panther were technologically superior when they ran. The German love of technological superiority via complexity should’ve been a warning (as anyone who ever seriously turned wrenches on a German made car could tell you).

    (And the Panzer divisions would’ve LOVED an engine i their tanks as reliable as the Ford GAA V8 in the A3 version of the Sherman or the V-2 V12 in the T-34).

    To your point, equipment eventually gets too expensive to risk using. It’s like the guy who lays down $1 Million on a rare Ferrari. It gets placed in a heated garage because I can’t DRIVE the thing. I mean, if it gets in an accident……….

    What happens when a $50-100 Million M1A2 (spitballing, I don’t know what a Main Battle Tank costs) gets knocked out by Ivan or Haji or Han with a $50K (again, spitballing) anti-tank missile? How much of that are you going to risk? Besides the fact that weapons systems are often pulled from the line and upgraded (for a tank you’d add a new main gun, additional armor over the turret and hull, new computer systems, etc.), blow ’em up and you’ll have to buy new. A quick bing shows we have ONE, count ’em ONE tank factory in the US (The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio) that as of 2019 (the latest stats I can find) was producing 11 tanks a month. Sounds like we’d be lucky to get one a day, much less one an hour (or even less time) like we did in WW2.

    And airplanes? Oh man, imagine losing a half-billion to billion dollar airplane to a $500K SAM. And it’s not like we have Willow Run in Ypsilanti, MI rolling a B-24 off the line every hour.

    Perhaps we’ll have peace because it just costs too much to go to war. I mean, I don’t want my Ferrari scratched man. 😏

    • Because I like you Z man, I won’t go all tank nerd 🤓 on this thread. I’d just add the Tiger, Tiger II (aka King Tiger), and Panther were technologically superior when they ran. The German love of technological superiority via complexity should’ve been a warning (as anyone who ever seriously turned wrenches on a German made car could tell you).

      Totally agree. In fact, the parallel between the Abrams and Tiger II is a good one, but I did not want to veer into tank-talk, but it would be a good topic for another day.

      • “but it would be a good topic for another day.”

        Understand and it would be interesting. There’s this blogger you link to that keeps promising an open tank thread, but the best we got was an airplane thread. 😏

        • Hehe.

          If a gentleman ever wants to understand the complete difference between a manager’s vision and an engineers understanding of a problem, he ought to familiarize himself with Guderian’s comments on Moustache Guy’s, ahem, tank designs.

          Pretty sure one was like a ship on caterpillar tracks. I also believe there was a Proof-of-Concept of something called The Maus – which was also rather large, but not ship-like!

          • Yes, Mustache Man had to shove his fingers into every project, especially your referenced Landkreuzer.

            If the Ruskies couldn’t get this multi turreted monster to work:

            And the if Frenchies couldn’t get this older multi turreted monster to work:

            The fact that someone dreamed up a ONE THOUSAND TON tank mounting a battlecruiser turret and there was serious thought to building it shows you how out to lunch the Little Corporal was:

            And granted, his “expertise” added additional armor plate (and weight) to the Panther and Tiger II which overstressed the engine and transmission intended for them.

            That is, when the slave labor wasn’t “skipping quality control” and actively sabotaging the final product.

          • I saw the remaining Maus in the Kubinka Tank Museum outside Moscow. It was a functioning vehicle, but at 100 tons, it was far too heavy and expensive to produce to be useful. The Landkreuzer was the size of a naval destroyer, but never got past the mock-up stage.

          • He did the same thing with regard to battleships. I was reading in a book around thirty years ago that when he first inspected the Bismarck, he told the Grand Admiral on the ship (I think his name was Raeder.) that he envisioned a ship with thirty-inch guns. Raeder later admitted to one of the other officer that he didn’t have the heart to tell Hitler that even if we could construct a ship like that, there’d be no port to hold it because it would displace so much water.

      • Ukraine began the war with about 3200 tanks, per Big Serge on Twitter who is usually reliable.) What happened to them? If a high percentage of them are out of commission, will 100 or so NATO tanks really help?

        • I am increasingly skeptical of Ukraine’s numbers. The Russians have been weirdly meticulous in counting how many men and machines they think they have knocked out. Either they have knocked out far more men and machines than they have claimed or the Ukrainians had much less than they claimed in this war.

        • “Ukraine began the war with about 3200 tanks, per Big Serge on Twitter who is usually reliable.”

          To paraphrase Slick Willie, it depends what the definition of “tank” is. Towards the end of WW2 the German military’s definition of “tank” got very malleable. It went from what most people who know what a tank is agree on to “Any vehicle with tracks and a BFG mounted on it.”

          Perhaps Ukraine’s “Tanks” include tanks, armored personnel carriers, self propelled guns, and even armored cars (military, not civilian).

      • Tank-Talk with Z and Mmack. It has a ring to it.

        Btw, I discovered the other day that RamZPaul did a parody of Diamond and Silk called Ruby and Wool. It is good to keep a sense of humor about us.

        Operation Nosedive is tough to swallow!

        • The On Armor podcast with Z-Man and mmack.

          Nice ring to it, but I think Z is a solo act and only works with existing podcasters.

          Alas, I don’t believe you’ll hear us debate the relative merits of the T-34 versus M4 Sherman, or the M-48 Patton versus T-55.

    • Something like 80% of all new BMWs are leased. Audi and Mercedes are right behind them in the 70-75% range. Apparently, they have decided this is their optimal business model.

      So, all three of the big German marques now build their cars to be somewhat reliable for the first two leases, or about 30 to 50k miles.

      After that mileage, they don’t care.

      They are able to do this because the modeling and simulation tools are so good they can analyze every part in the vehicle and determine how cheaply they can make them from plastic so that say, 80% last for two lease periods.

      In the past, manufacturers could not do this, so they would design parts from metal with significant margins of safety built in.

      This is why we see certain late 80s to mid-00s vehicles holding, or even rising in value on the used market.

      • Wild Geese: A college friend’s boyfriend had a BMW – and in 1978 that was my first knowledge/experience of the brand, and I was suitably impressed. Now it’s one of the favored vehicles for upwardly mobile subcons, Han, and the various rappers/drug lords. I’ll pass.

        Even the ever-reliable Toyota has foundered on all the new green initiatives and by listening to American soccer moms’ ‘safety’ concerns. Just had to drop hundreds to repair soy-based wiring chewed by rodents (of course not enough to exceed our deductible so cost was entirely out of pocket). Since all vehicles have used soy since 2000, that’s another plus for older vehicles. Just be sure to check the carfax given Florida hurricanes and now Cali flooding.

          • No, a few years back they decided to go all greenie and use soy based wire coatings instead.
            Rodents like soy.

    • they also over-engineer their cars. was watching a YT video and a mechanic was saying that the engines have such tight tolerances, that after a couple of years the various parts get worn enough that you can never get them back in spec; i.e. they will not run correctly or reliably.

      • Car Wizard had a video where he made the point that it’s not a good idea to service transmissions that are sealed for life.

        The reasoning was that the wear material that gets suspended in the fluid becomes part of the system that keeps the transmission shifting.

        If you remove the old fluid with material and replace it with clean new fluid you’ve radically changed the system, so of course it will start slipping, or worse.

        • That was always the case with old “serviceable” (drop Ye Olde Transmission Pan, replace gasket and filter, refill fluid [Car nerd 🤓 alert 🚨: Even older cars had drainable torque converters. A modern drop pan, replace filter and fluid, seal ‘er up and refill change still leaves the old gunk in the TC]) automatic transmissions. If you didn’t change the transmission fluid it became “varnish” full of gear shavings and gunk that filled the spaces between the gears. Change out the varnish and yes, you’d get slipping or at the least, your transmission gaskets and seals would leak like a sieve.

          The “sealed for life” BS a was something I encountered with my last Ford. It was a 2013 I bought used and owned nearly seven years. In the last year it started leaking ATF. I went to buy some stop-leak to add and WTF 🤬 is the dipstick tube?!?!?! “Oh yeah, your transmission is Sealed for Life.

          Trade In Time! 😏

        • When I was a child bicycle racer, scary grinding noises and the occasional violent pedal-to-the-shin taught me that cleaning or replacing my chain (without also replacing everything it touched) was a really bad idea.

          The engineers old enough to have spent their youth injuring themselves are all retiring soon.

  18. The U.S. war machine of the past thirty years is a joke. We spent billions and billions for the ability of some drone operator at an Air Force base in Nevada to push a button and blow up some hapless goatfucker driving through the desert in a Hi-lux eight thousand miles away, but ended up losing the war anyway to guys equipped with little more than AK-47s and RPGs.

    The U.S. military is suffering from the same inflated sense of competence that the British suffered from in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was one thing for them to shoot down spear-chucking Zulus and Sudanese, but they found it was not quite so easy when they confronted other white people like the Boers and the Germans.

    If the U.S. ever gets into another peer-to-peer war, we’re going to get our asses handed to us.

    Unfortunately, as the Empire implodes, all that technology we used to kill brown people in the Middle East will increasingly be used against white people at home. It may not be good for winning wars outright, but it is still pretty deadly when you are on the receiving end of it.

    • “The U.S. military is suffering from the same inflated sense of competence that the British suffered from in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was one thing for them to shoot down spear-chucking Zulus and Sudanese, but they found it was not quite so easy when they confronted other white people like the Boers and the Germans.”

      Reminds me of a scene in the finale of Blackadder Goes Forth:

      George: You know, that’s the thing I don’t really understand about you, Cap. You’re a professional soldier, and yet, sometimes you sound as though you bally well haven’t enjoyed soldiering at all.

      Edmund: Well, you see, George, I did like it, back in the old days when the prerequisite of a British campaign was that the enemy should under no circumstances carry guns — even spears made us think twice. The kind of people we liked to fight were two feet tall and armed with dry grass.

      George: Now, come off it, sir — what about Mboto Gorge, for heaven’s sake?

      Edmund: Yes, that was a bit of a nasty one — ten thousand Watusi warriors armed to the teeth with kiwi fruit and guava halves. After the battle, instead of taking prisoners, we simply made a huge fruit salad. No, when I joined up, I never imagined anything as awful as this war. I’d had fifteen years of military experience, perfecting the art of ordering a pink gin and saying “Do you do it doggy-doggy?” in Swahili, and then suddenly four-and-a-half million heavily armed Germans hoved into view. That was a shock, I can tell you.

      • Edmund, George, Baldrick, and Captain Darling end up dying in the final episode as they go over the trenches, poor buggers.

        • Britain was the main allied power in WW1 and according to the Germans was primarily resposible for their defeat.

          Also, kinda funny Merkins calling the British arrogant considering your claims of winning WW2 all by yourselves and then getting beat down in the Vietnam war where most of the commanders were the “hypercompetent” WW2 vets. Wars are a lot harder to win when you don’t come in after most of the heavy lifting has already been done by your allies.

          The Zulus and Boers were better armed than native Americans…

          Imagine getting your history from a BBC comedy.

          • Bismarck was confronted with a fifth column of jewish communists / unionists sabotaging his ports, his rail, his factories, and counterfeit currency. Your history is incomplete and incorrect. The Brits would never have won that war

    • To add insult to injury, they are rolling over and forfeiting the homelands of those they are charged as a first duty to serve, to the endless hordes of spear chucking losers they once rolled over.

      The sooner some inside group that sees the threat to their children and the desecration of all their ancestors sacrificed so we can live, makes an appropriately vicious move against them the better.

      This makes me sick!

  19. There won’t be any Abrams MBT’s in Ukraine. As for the Leopards, it won’t be the first time German tanks were left burning and/or abandoned on the Steppes.

    • I’m waiting for the first pictures to show up of a Leopard manned by a Ukie crew with some Azov/Nazi symbols painted on it. Imagine how that will go over with the Russians. They’re already talking it up as a Great Patriotic War II, Berlin will be lucky to be standing after that.

  20. I know zero about military hardware, but I do have a fair amount of experience with family and neighbors who were career military. And I can say with confidence that the military is mostly – this is important, mostly – a giant welfare program that contributes about as much to society as digging a hole and filling it again, over and over and over.

    That said, there is a slice of the military that contains extremely capable men who are extremely motivated. We’re not just talking about the Navy Seals. Pilots, their crews, submarine crews, tank crews, technicians, etc. These guys are no joke.

    But they’re a very small part of the military. The rest is filled with lifers punching the clock doing make-work jobs. Blacks, in particular, love the military since it gives them a middle to upper-middle class life without having to produce anything.

    Go a military base and you’ll see. They’re like a small town with stores, gyms, places to eat, urgent care, etc. It’s why military people are so loyal. They live separate lives. Everything is handled for them.

    If you’re willing to put up with a lot bureaucracy and moving every couple of years, the military offers you a very easy life.

    • A good comment, Citizen.

      So we can reason that the mass of the Army is effectively Not Really Prepared to go toe-to-toe with any (roughly) equal opponent anytime soon.

      I hear the same things when I speak to many military personnel over here. Like you say, everything taken care of.

      It’s timely, because I have been reading a lot about the Waffen SS of late, and in particular the intense selection, training and propaganda these fellows were subjected to. It certainly seemed that that particular war machine knew that effective training and brainwashing were keys to a decent fighting unit – amongst other things. Although, by no means am I disregarding the abilities of the Wehrmacht.

      Now, no doubt modern militaries have the Leftist brainwashing, but it doesn’t seem to me that many of the run-of-the-mill Army types really are going to die for that.

      Guess what I’m saying is how FNG it all is: our media drums into us “We’re at war!”, “Nasty Putler!”, but in reality nobody really much cares. Certainly, it doesn’t seem like our militaries take this seriously. Just more marketing to smooth over the politicians until the next gubmint gibs.

      • When you have a professional, permanent military, you have to create a permanent world for them to live in. They have to sleep somewhere. Okay, build barracks.

        But, wait, they can’t live in barracks for the next 20 years, so build them apartments. But, wait, the officers don’t want to live in apartments, so build them houses. Well, we should build them a store on base so they don’t have to drive so far. What about a movie theater. What about a gym. Etc.

        You have a whole army to take care of the army because the actual army isn’t off somewhere fighting. It’s here, so it needs to be taken care of.

        Over time, the bulk of the military isn’t meant to fight but to take care of the small portion of the military that would do the actual fighting. Permanent militaries that don’t go anywhere are just hard to maintain.

      • Orange Frog –

        What the Waffen SS were able to accomplish especially on the Eastern Front was astounding, they were able to hurl back often three to five x their number.

        Even during the offensive @ Kursk – which the Ivan’s knew was coming – they made impressive gains in in the face of prepared positions. AH had to call it off due to the Sicily invasion.

        As far as tanks for the Ukies, what about the logistical support? Tanks need a lot of that so does that mean U.S./German maintenance crews are deployed behind the lines in the staging areas? That those support personnel will be killed in some fashion is a foregone conclusion. Then what?

        Sure they can train Ukies to do it but that takes a lot of time.

        • I suspect that you’re correct. American and German maintenance crews will be deployed behind the lines, at least until they can train Ukrainians crews.

          This whole thing reeks of panic. The Ukrainians are running out of equipment – and probably men. So we give them a whooping 100 tanks that they don’t know how to use or maintain. The tanks will be destroyed in a few months, which is fine because we can’t supply them for much longer.

          It’s just so pointless.

          So, what happens when it becomes obvious that the Ukrainians are going to lose? Hopefully nothing, but my fear is that the Poles and Americans roll into western Ukraine as part of a “humanitarian” mission to help refugees. We’d claim that we’re not there to fight, just to keep people from starving or freezing to death.

          Will the neocons really just let this go? I hope so, but I’m not too certain.

          • Citizen –

            That would seem to be both a dangerous & foolhardy escalation.

            I could say “God help us” but what’s the point? As renowned Biblical Scholar recently noted, “we’re currently under God’s Judgment”; his observation as to why everything is falling apart.

      • They have no intention of sending US troops into combat with Russia. That’s the Ukrainians’ job and they seem willing to do it (or rather, to press gang their population into doing it).

        Effete Romans and Byzantines employed barbarians in much the same way on the borders of their empires.

    • “And I can say with confidence that the military is mostly – this is important, mostly – a giant welfare program”

      Absolutely true. I personally know a white man who was a full-time helicopter mechanic in the National Guard, now on “disability” for “bad knees” from standing on concrete floors in the hangar.

      I personally overheard an enlisted NCO last year (nonwhite, Pacific Islander I think) speaking to another person last year, saying he was eligible to get out in a couple of years and and planned to apply for disability. Verbatim quote: “Hey, I’ll play the game, why not? it’s $4000 a month, tax free.”

      • Yeah, there’s a lot of disability claims. People don’t realize that 7% of the federal budget goes to pension benefits for retired military and fed govt workers. That’s ~$40 billion, half of which goes to retired military.

        Russia entire defense budget before the war was ~$65 billion. So, our military pensions cost us about 1/3 of the entire Russian military budget.

        • Whoops that’s $400 billion, not $40 billion. So, we spending ~$200 billion retired military pensions and benefit or more than 3X the entire Russian military budget.


      • Ditto for my brother in law . Did 20 years. Retired at 39. Pension and health care for life and now has over a dozen disability claims, seeing which ones will stick.

    • Maybe a year or two ago, it came out that the Pentagon was telling the White House that it was not ready to fight these wars that Brandon’s team was pushing for. My first thought was, WTF, we have a standing military that costs us between $800+ billion, and it can’t do the one thing it is meant to do? This is patently absurd, but also completely normal. It’s one of those things that nobody really is supposed to question.

      I know that “woke” military ads got a lot of press in conservative circles recently, but to me, much more instructive are the ads for companies like USAA. USAA is essentially GEICO for the military. These ads are on constantly, especially during sporting events. They tout their exclusivity as they are designed first and foremost for “the military community.” The ads do not portray soldiers who are out there fighting and winning wars, or who just got done with their service and need help. They are showing people living comfortable middle-class lives in a suburb somewhere, who need insurance like any middle class griller. This is the military these days.

      • Mycale: I had the distinct displeasure of dealing with USAA yesterday. Called three times. First time I got a joggerette who could barely string two words together. After being put on hold repeatedly and listening to her say ‘what . . . what?” I said “I’m hanging up now” and did so. Second time I got a jogger who hung up on me when I told him he was not my friend so not to refer to me by my Christian name. Third time I got a polite joggerette who might have had an IQ of 87 and finally reported my potential claim (since invalidated by repair bill just shy of $500 deductible).

        As soon as we move we’re changing insurance companies. After 30 years of paying too much we’re now dealing with a company at least as 24/7 blaq as McDonalds. New insurance, new bank, new phone # and email. And we’re leaving no forwarding address.

    • Absolutely agree. Plus there’s the PTSD/disability grift where veterans can get lifetime payouts for mild eczema.

  21. The US military is designed to be a decapitation force. It’s talent is to kill specific individuals with the intent of eliciting surrender via loss of leadership. Consequently, it has a weapons profile which can achieve these goals. But it cannot fight (or win) a conventional engagement against a peer enemy in major ground operations. Should that scenario arise, it must resort to nukes to avoid defeat. This is exactly how the mafia operated; it relied upon intimidation/threats and the occasional targeted murder to keep everyone in line. Failing that, it’s scorched Earth time and everybody dies.

    And all of this is immoral in addition to being stupid and suicidal. But there is one silverlining. The tools of selective kill are universal and can be applied in many venues, not just foreign countries that you want to exploit. For example, chemotherapy started out as blunderbuss type medications that overwhelmed cancers, but now are highly specific and can target individual cell types and masses. Ditto for triangulated 3 laser therapies. You just have to identify the cancer cells and implement a focused remedy.

    We now live in a society that encourages men to compete in women’s sports, use women’s bathrooms, and stage drag queen story hours in libraries for predatory purposes. I think we are at late Stage 3 or early Stage 4 cancer. The remedy can’t come soon enough.

  22. I read Edward Luttwak’s book on the Roman Empire not that long ago, and I know that book has its detractors and criticisms, but one thing I took away from it was the the empire got a lot of mileage out of simply existing. The Roman Empire itself put enough fear into enough potential adversaries and vassal kings that it could operate its military much more efficiently and send it to places where it needed to be, instead of all over. This is great because sending a military to go fight a war is expensive and difficult, and carries a lot of downside risk. Over time, this advantage got chipped away, both by a little and a lot at times. Eventually the empire had to actually go fight those wars with all those downsides, and the deficiencies became more clear to the enemies.

    The US, since the end of Vietnam, has been doing what tough guy Jonah Goldberg articulated in 2002 when he said that “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” It worked great in Grenada and Iraq, of course, but not so great in Syria and Afghanistan. The GAE’s opponents do not seem to be as afraid of taking it on as it used to. Soon it is going to actually go and fight real opponents.

    • ” Soon it is going to actually go and fight real opponents…” and lose catastrophically in an empire-ending debacle he Romans never suffered.

    • Rome instilled fear because its military exploits were astounding in their effectiveness, brutality and scale. I love our people and I love our country (defined as 1970 and before). I do not denigrate us.

      However, the US never did anything close to what Rome did in terms of military exploit and accomplishment. Even just a month of routine operations in Caesar’s conquest of Gaul is far more impressive in efficiency and outcome than anything our military ever did. They defended their own too. The Syrians killed Krakus. They finished another civil war, then marched out and crushed Syria just to tell them, “Never ever ever ever and we do mean NEVER, touch one of our own.”

      We’ve done great things as a nation, and we have some great people in select spots in our military. Overall, there is just no comparison to Rome. It is the leadership of this former nation that has to go. After they go, we’ll heal and strengthen ourselves and then get serious about dealing with the many others that must and will go to.

    • I would expect much of the welfare minded armed forces to conveniently not show up for a real war.
      “they aint payme nuff fo this shit”

      • One of the few funny moments in The Day After Tomorrow was the black guy deserting and driving off instead of staying to guard the missile silo after they launched. Then once his jeep failed from the electromagnetic pulse trying to run on foot.

  23. Per Compsci’s comment yesterday, in 2018, Forbes reported that Abrams production in Lima, OH was one per month, mainly to keep the plant open and retain the specialized workforce.

    As for the Abrams (and Leopards) on the battlefield, the Russians will use drone corrected artillery fire to wipe them out.

    This is why artillery has long been known as, “The Queen of the Battlefield.”

  24. Had to do a double take there at the end – Zman stated ‘arsenal of democracy’ – first glance read it as ‘debauchery’ (though I suppose one might rightly assume is actually the case)

    • In addition to being quite funny, “Arsenal of Debauchery” would make for a great band name.

      • It probably exists as the name for the support and coordination network for drag queen story hour brigades.

  25. The maintenance requirements for these wonder weapons always gets conveniently left out of the discussion as Zman points out. The average person would be shocked to see the actual calculation of mission hours vs maintenance hours. Sending tanks to Ukraine involves a lot more than just delivering them.

    For example, say a fighter jet goes out on a 3 hour mission. Keep in mind this mission isn’t a Top Gun thrill ride with yank and bank maneuvers, just a regular flight. After this flight, it can be expected to be in a maintenance cycle of 6-8 man-hours before getting released safe for flight operations again. That is also dependent on no discrepancies found during post-flight. So many systems need to be checked after a flight: hydraulics, avionics, flight surfaces, etc. If a component needs replacing, then the jets availability for missions is at the mercy of the supply system getting those parts.

    While the flashy videos show these machines doing incredible stunts it is amazing how much work and support takes place in the background to keep them operational. So, who’s gonna keep the tanks running?

    • The Abrams tank is more fragile than a race car. In order to operate it, it requires a repair crew, which requires vehicles. You also have to have equipment to transport the broken tank back to your repair facility. Then you have to stock things like engines, because it is easy to blow an engine in one of these things.

      • I would further add the simple need for fueling/ transportation. Considering the tanks will most likely have to be transported across Ukraine before they are even in the combat zone, they will make quite the target for an air power. The US has had the luxury of destroying opposing air defenses or offenses first. This is not the case in Ukraine; in fact, the opposite is true: Russia can attack through air nearly at will. The complex network needed to transport and maintain is simply not there in Ukraine, and any attempts to ad hoc one will probably make quite the tasty target. What a mess.

        • From what I read, the tanks also have an insane heat signature, so any of these guys rolling without overwhelming air support is just going to be a heavy coffin.

        • No worries— they’ll soon run on electric unicorn farts, and Gaia will shower the faithful with blessings. Onward to New Zion/Utopia/pipe dream!

      • You might also wish to consider a more fundamental logistical problem: getting leopards/abrams to the battle zone.
        You don’t just jump in, start up and drive to the front (even assuming that the roads/bridges in Ukraine will withstand the weight of tanks a third again heavier than the heaviest Russian equivalent.
        And repair facilities? Anywhere in Ukraine can and will be targetted by Russian stand-off weapons. Poland is the nearest space that’s “safe”. For the moment, at least.

        • Yep. The Russians have been knocking down the rail system for months now. The Ukrainians have brought old diesel locomotives out of museums because of electricity problems. By now, the Russians should know they cross into Ukraine and be able to take them out long before they cross the Dnieper River.

          My guess is the Pentagon has come up with a plan to send Abrams that would be scrapped due to serious structural problems. These will be used to show the pols, but they will never reach the battlefield. This buys the MIC time.

          • Additional time to secure another multi-billion dollar “Ukraine aid package,” to be precise. The MIC probably realizes this grift cannot last twenty years like Afghanistan (it is dubious the United States itself has that much shelf life), so they are stealing heavily in the early innings.

    • The same people taking care of the US donated howitzers: the Poles. By which, of course, I mean NATO in Poland, by which I mean regular US army. They’ll be cycled back regularly as long as the railroads work.

      Lots of mercenaries over there now as well. No one wants to talk about actual numbers, but with 150,000 dead Ukrainian regular army, what can be left?

      Europe seems to have forgotten the hard lessons of the 30 Years War and the Treaty of Westphalia that took a very dim view of non-state armies…for very good reason.

    • “…so, who’s gonna keep the tanks running?”

      Well, the brave and intelligent white guys who operate the machine have been told they are racist and know that brown/ blacks/ females/ gays will get all promotions.

      Support staff is all brown/ black/ female/ gay. When things break, the browns will bring Mexican efficiency, the blacks African impulse control, the females will get pregnant and the gays will do gay things.

      The Chinese and the Russians are blessed with an enemy like the GAE.

      • Wouldn’t that be something if some of the key personnel are descendants of Confederate veterans or just stalwart sons of the South who feel intense motivation now that all memory of their ancestors are being erased as a top priority.

        In the meantime, FBI diversicrats will pick up the slack now that memorandum in Times New Roman will no longer be bogging them down with mental anguish. Garfinkle just keeps racking up accomplishments along with the rest of the indispensible ones of incredible intelligence that this world just can’t do without. Operation Nosedive!!!!

  26. And as Ed Dutton says, IQ keeps dropping 1 point a decade. So since the end of WWII, that’s 8 points. For the troops and the leaders. Compare Cordell Hull to Blinken.

  27. I’m the future, does someone in congress just flip a coin ($1T) to the secretary of defense each year? Maybe two coins?

    • At least War Bonds were more honest, voluntary, and allowed the little guy to “be patriotic” while making a small return eventually (if your country won)

    • Re the trillion dollar coin flip, I’ve long advocated for just this thing. Send a trillion or whatever each year on the first day of January to the Pentagon and have them dole it out to the military industrial complex as they deem fit, no accounting or proof of production required, just a pledge not to drag the nation into a war for the next 365 days. It would make for a safer world and a more stable country. They are going to steal whatever comes their way anyhow so just make sure there is a string to maintain peace. Win/win.

      I realize, of course, that the chicken hawks/neoliberals/neoconservatives require scenes of death and destruction to achieve full sexual release, but maybe virtual reality is advanced enough now to provide fungible wank material. If not, dedicate some VR research funding to that along with the MIC bribery.

  28. > Perhaps it was a mundane items like a toilet seat or a hammer that would cost thousands of dollars.

    Back thirty years ago, we had some lessons on protest music at school. This Tom Paxton song “Sold a Hammer to the Pentagon”, I still remember to this day.


    This was back when libs had some talent. It’s fun and catchy without the angry moralizing.

  29. “The irony here is that it proves Pat Buchanan was right.”

    He and Ron Paul restored my faith in America after the termites of the W. Administration pissed on her endlessly.

    I’d like to believe that the American military isn’t a bloated paper tiger; I think we’re about to find out soon.

    • “The irony here is that it proves Pat Buchanan was right.”

      Pat was right about all of the big issues. In addition to de-industrialization, he was right about immigration, our meddling foreign policy, the war on our culture. We can’t say we weren’t warned.

  30. “The West has promised to send new air defense system, but it turns out that they are so expensive and complicated that few of them actually exist. The lead time to make new missiles and their launchers is years. In one case, the lead time for a single missile is close to three years.”

    That’s very interesting, do you have any details on these systems and the numbers involved?

    • I forget the name of the system, but Douglas MacGregor has been talking this quite a bit. The Patriot is another good example. The wait time for a new missile is two years. If we collected all of the patriot systems on earth and installed them in Ukraine we are out of missiles in two months and will not be able to make new ones for years.

      • I think they’re talking about the NASAMS system. I don’t know anything about it but I assume it’s expensive complicated and doesn’t work that well in real life.

    • My first thought was “GAE makes an air defense system?”. Since they’re so used to dominating the skies I can imagine this is very much a back-burner project.

  31. Clausewitz wisely told us that “war is a mere extension of policy by other means”. Yes, the expensive hi-tech armed forces are an issue, as Zman observes so well. But crappy, muddled politics are equally to blame in my view.

    Before the first shot is fired, the politicos have to articulate a concept of what victory looks like in political terms. In this regard, we see the massive failure of American policy over the last 30 years. The high-tech “victory” in Iraq slowly dissolved into an uneasy political stalemate between Shiite and Sunni factions in Iraq, with Iran lurking and our diplomats hunkered in the Green Zone. We need not talk about the fiascos in Libya and Syria.

    Afghanistan was such an epic clusterfail that it really defies analysis. As Kipling foretold, certainly the “odds are on the cheaper man”. All the technology in the world crumbled before Bronze Age culture.

    The number one predicate for a rational military policy is humility. And yet these geniuses never learn from their mistakes. Our politics basically boil down to: “We should rule the world, no questions asked”. No military can enforce this doctrine.

    • Afghanistan was a failure only if you view it in conventional military terms. If seen as a 20-year revenue stream for the MIC, it was a smashing success.

        • It certainly is a stellar item on the resumes of all of those political generals as they seek roles in the MIC. Now there is somebody who knows how to bring in business!

  32. Maybe 2023 will be the year the debauched American empire truly gets it’s ass handed back to them. Sadly that just makes life that much worse for all of us, and not all of us deserve it.

    • “[A]nd not all of us deserve it.”

      If Russia nukes San Francisco, I’ll be breaking out the marshmallows.

    • It is a good bet the militaristic tyranny in charge turns on the population when it gets humiliated.

      • I’ll call and raise you one.

        That *is* the backup plan.

        Win or lose, Ukraine doesn’t really matter; what Cloward-Piven demands is that they get their people in place before the real show starts, with a ready excuse to use them.

        This is about the conquest of the West. Russia, China, all that are distant opportunities to scam a few bucks while Latin and North America, and Europe, are being turned into Fortress Oceania.

        • Who needs cold, distant resources in Siberia when we have two whole continents?

          South America is rich in resources. Europe, a bauble to buy off the other powers.

        • Their mission is near complete unless things go horribly awry, in which event the great sorting underway will prove worthwhile.

        • The two go hand in hand, of course. Here’s to hoping you are right about the fallout although that outcomes seems dubious given the current composition of the military.

        • You mean Defense Department’s DARPA, the primary developer of the Covid “vaccine” bioweapons program?

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