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Let me give you a scenario. The United States military occupies Iraq and is trying to quash an Islamic insurgency. We then discover that Iran is providing weapons, vehicles and explosives to those Islamic rebels. Do you think the United States would see that as a casus belli to retaliate against Iran? You bet your ass Washington saw this as an act of war against the United States. The George W. Bush administration started providing funding and support to a terrorist groups in Iran, the MEK, and stepped up its denunciation of Iran as a terrorist state.
So why in the world of the sane does the United States and NATO think that they can send advanced weapons to Ukraine for the purpose of killing Russians. If we use the principle the US followed in Iraq, Russia is fully entitled to treat the US and NATO as supporters of terrorism. This is the principle of “What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”
Today’s media events, with the US and Germany announcing they were going to send tanks — the M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 respectively — to Ukraine. But those tanks will not arrive any time soon. The Germans might be able to deliver the Leopard 2s to Kiev by the end of March, but that does not mean they are ready for the battlefield. The US Army requires a prospective crew member of a tank to undergo 22 weeks of training (that is five and one-half months). Even with that training under one’s belt, the new tank crew needs at least two more months of unit training to learn how to fight with the tank in a company (there are 14 tanks in a US Army company) and in a battalion (there are 3 tank companies in a battalion).
There is no place in Ukraine where the tank training can be done that is beyond the reach of Russia’s missiles. That means the Ukrainian soldiers who will be trained to operate these tanks will be away from Ukraine for at least six months, if not longer. Today’s announcement means that the M1 Abrams and Leopard 2s cannot be used in combat in Ukraine before next September unless they are being staffed by trained NATO soldiers.
Joe Biden insists that this is purely a gesture to help Ukraine defend itself and that it is not a threat to Russia. What delusional nonsense!! Tell that to a Russian soldier or tanker facing off against a NATO supplied tank with a NATO tank team inside.
Apparently the Germans did not get the word that this is not a threat to Russia. Germany’s Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, said that Europe is at war with Russia:
But the most important thing is that we do not play the blame game [in Europe] because we are fighting a war against Russia, and not against each other.
Baerbock’s declaration that “we are fighting a war against Russia,” gives Moscow the legal justification under international law to attack the tank training bases in Poland, Germany and the United States. I do not believe that Russia is going to do anything rash. They have time to plan and weigh options.
What is truly astonishing is that the United States and its NATO allies are talking so openly about what they are doing. Normally, a country contemplating war or escalating a war will hide what they are doing until an attack or a campaign is launched. Ditto for deception and feints. The NATO crowd eschews those principles and is more focused on playing the public relations game — e.g., pretend you are doing something meaningful that can change the strategic picture on the ground for Ukraine. If Las Vegas or the bookies in London are looking for a new bet to attract gamblers they might want to offer a chance to wager how long a M1 Abrams or Leopard 2 will survive on the ground in Ukraine. I will put my money on two days. What do you think?
If we continue on this trajectory the moment will arrive when Russia decides to close its diplomatic missions in the United States and Europe. If that happens, the shooting war in Ukraine will expand to other countries. A horrible prospect.
Brian Berletic provides an excellent discussion of this issue:
One final important point. The United States no longer has the ability to produce more M1 Abrams tanks in any meaningful quantity:
The US Army planned to end production at the Lima Army Tank Plant from 2013 to 2016 in an effort to save over $1 billion; it would be restarted in 2017 to upgrade existing tanks. General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), which operates the factory, opposed the move, arguing that suspension of operations would increase long-term costs and reduce flexibility. Specifically, GDLS estimated that closing the plant would cost $380 million and restarting production would cost $1.3 billion.. . . .
In late 2016, tank production and refurbishment had fallen to a rate of one per month with fewer than 100 workers on site. In 2017, the Trump administration ordered military production to increase, including Abrams production and employment. In 2018, it was reported that the Army had ordered 135 tanks re-built to new standards, with employment at over 500 workers and expected to rise to 1,000.
Reporting from Ron Paul Institute.