Lessons from World War I
At Bracing Views WP, a reader wrote about the importance of providing "defensive weapons" to Ukraine in its war against Russia. Here was my response:
“These weapons” and “defensive weapons”: I assume you mean Javelin and Stinger missiles together with small arms, APCs, and the like.
But when you turn to tanks, jet aircraft, and long-range artillery and missiles, these are primarily offensive in nature.
Helping Ukraine to defend itself is most certainly defensible. Yet the weapons now being discussed so feverishly in the media are both offensive and overhyped. They’re being (over)sold as potential war-winners. As “magical.” They are not. And that was my point.
What I fear is a prolonged war in which neither side can win but which the Ukrainian side suffers most grievously because the war is being fought in their country.
People like Senator Lindsey Graham talk about Ukrainians fighting to the last man with our weapons. If all of Ukraine dies with our weapons in an effort to win, are we to count that as a victory? Sadly, some Americans would nod “yes,” because we are not the ones fighting and dying.
Meanwhile, American companies profit from the sale of these weapons, hence that apt descriptor from the 1930s: “the merchants of death.”
At Podcast By George, I talk about this article and other concerns:
i've watched the trailer for ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT a couple of times, and am not sure that i am ready to watch the entire movie. Just in the trailer, i was reminded of several things from my two years in Vietnam in the mid-60s that i had not given thought to in a long, long time. And may just choose to keep it that way for a while.
And from the trailer, i am also reminded of my reaction to the first time i saw the opening sequence of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, which also rang a few bells long thought buried.
In any event, AQOTWF should be mandatory viewing for any young American woman or man who is considering joining the American military as Cold War II heats up, and we up the number of troops sent to Taiwan.
And it should also be mandatory viewing for any American who thinks our war in Ukraine is a good idea.
All the miracle weapons in the world will not divert America from its collision course with Reality… :
TODAY'S DEBT CEILING IS TOMORROW'S DREADED DEBT BOMB:
The Odds Are Rising That The US May Soon Have To Borrow Just To Meet Its Growing Interest Payments. by Karl W. Smith / Bloomberg 022323
As disconcerting as the US’s current debt situation is, the outlook is even worse. When the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office updated its forecasts last week, IT ESTIMATED THAT DEBT HELD BY THE PUBLIC WILL CLIMB TO $46 TRILLION BY 2033 FROM $31 TRILLION CURRENTLY. THIS PUTS THE COUNTRY ONE STEP CLOSER TO THE DREADED “DEBT BOMB“ SCENARIO, WHICH WOULD MAKE TODAY’S BATTLE OVER WHETHER TO RAISE THE $31 TRILLION DEBT CEILING LOOK QUAINT IN COMPARISON.
In short, A DEBT BOMB OCCURS WHEN A COUNTRY’S BORROWINGS GET SO LARGE THAT IT HAS TO BORROW JUST TO SERVICE THE DEBT AND MEET INTEREST PAYMENTS. That, in theory, causes interest rates to rise, forcing a government to accumulate yet even more debt. In a sense, A DEBT BOMB IS A DEATH SPIRAL FOR A COUNTRY. There are ways out, but they’re all painful.
ONCE THIS PERNICIOUS CYCLE HAS STARTED, THE ONLY WAY IT CAN BE ARRESTED IS BY A SHARP INCREASE IN TAXES, AN EQUALLY SHARP DECREASE IN SPENDING OR A DEFAULT. The third scenario is unthinkable for the US, which oversees the world’s primary reserve currency. Congress would undoubtedly take the steps necessary to prevent a default, but a rapid rise in taxes and collapse in spending would almost certainly throw the country into a severe recession – or worse.
So, where do things stand?
Continued at https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2023-02-23/today-it-s-the-debt-ceiling-tomorrow-it-s-a-debt-bomb ; EMPHASES added.
World War II had its share of "wonder weapons", which Hitler imagined would win the war for Germany. The V-1/V-2 rockets and jet planes were such. The Soviets in contrast developed the impressive T-34 tank and produced the hell out of it. We did the same with Sherman tanks. In the end quantify was what mattered. As for carnage, our leaders don't care about it if it's happening to Ukraine soldiers and certainly not to Russians. They don't vote after all.
deposing the Kaiser, by a group of military leader ready to end the carnage was the path to armistice, along with the million American soldiers and thousands of new guns.
himars, f-16, tornadoes are more attempt to prove strr