Saturday 24th of February 2024

staying with the basics.... not reinventing the wheel, for victory................

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that "Russian defense industries annually produced as many missiles for air defense systems as other manufacturers in the world combined“, emphasizing: ”This builds confidence in Russia's victory in Ukraine."

Addressing workers at the Obukhov plant of the Almaz-Antey missile industry consortium in St. Petersburg, Putin noted that " Russia produces three times more air defense missiles per year than the United States ».

He also added that "Russian defense industries produce air defense missiles for various purposes in about a year, like all military industrial establishments in the world", noting that "Russian production is comparable to world production as a whole".

Putin continued: "From the point of view of the final result and the inevitable victory, there are many things that have not disappeared, which are the basis of Russia's victory, the most important of which is the unity and cohesion of the Russian people."

Similarly, Putin hailed "the courage and heroism of the fighters in the special military operation on the front line and applauded the work of the military-industrial complex, institutions, the people and the entire economy, because each of these links: industry, the state of the public financial system and the social sphere, support for families who require special attention from the state and health care, all of these elements create the basis for effective development and victory", pointing out that "victory is guaranteed without a doubt."

Regarding the current Ukrainian authorities, Putin said: "The authorities glorify Stepan Bandera, who was an accomplice of Hitler", adding that "the Ukrainian army continues to use death squads to prevent its soldiers from retreating or surrendering, and continues to fire on civilians in Donbass and surrounding areas."

Putin noted "that he has every reason to call the current regime neo-Nazi even more to provide assistance through the armed forces to those who consider themselves part of Russian culture, who are native speakers of the Russian language and who cherish everything as much as they cherish their own culture and traditions", emphasizing that he can only "protect them."

Putin said that "the level of efficiency of Russian industrial enterprises allows them to replace the products of foreign manufacturers, who left the domestic market."

During his meeting today with the veterans, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the breaking by the Russian army of the siege of the German forces and their allies of the city of Leningrad (currently St. Petersburg) Putin confirmed, yesterday Tuesday, that “the dynamics of the Russian economy was positive last year, and the gross domestic product fell for 11 months by 2,1%" expecting "that it climbs by the end of the year to 2,5%."

source: Al manar

 

 

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expensive path to failure......

By William Hartung / TomDispatch

Late last month, President Biden signed a bill that clears the way for $858 billion in Pentagon spending and nuclear weapons work at the Department of Energy in 2023.  That’s far more than Washington anted up for military purposes at the height of the Korean or Vietnam wars or even during the peak years of the Cold War. In fact, the $80 billion increase from the 2022 Pentagon budget is in itself more than the military budgets of any country other than China. Meanwhile, a full accounting of all spending justified in the name of national security, including for homeland security, veterans’ care, and more, will certainly exceed $1.4 trillion. And mind you, those figures don’t even include the more than $50 billion in military aid Washington has already dispatched to Ukraine, as well as to frontline NATO allies, in response to the Russian invasion of that country.

(RUSSIA IS IMPLEMENTING RESOLUTION 2202: By resolution 2202 (2015), the Council called on all parties to fully implement the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements”, adopted on 12 February 2015 in Minsk, Belarus.  Firmly convinced that the resolution of the situation in eastern regions of Ukraine could only be achieved through a peaceful settlement to the current crisis, the Council welcomed the declaration by the Heads of State of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, France and Germany in support of the “package of measures” and their continuing commitment to implement the agreements.)

The assumption is that when it comes to spending on the military and related activities, more is always better. 

There’s certainly no question that one group will benefit in a major way from the new spending surge: the weapons industry. If recent experience is any guide, more than half of that $858 billion will likely go to private firms. The top five contractors alone — Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman — will split between $150 billion and $200 billion in Pentagon contracts. Meanwhile, they’ll pay their CEOs, on average, more than $20 million a year and engage in billions of dollars in stock buybacks designed to boost their share prices. 

Such “investments” are perfectly designed to line the pockets of arms-industry executives and their shareholders. However, they do little or nothing to help defend this country or its allies.

Excessive Spending Doesn’t Align with the Pentagon’s Own Strategy

The Pentagon’s long-awaited National Defense Strategy, released late last year, is an object lesson in how not to make choices among competing priorities.  It calls for preparing to win wars against Russia or China, engage in military action against Iran or North Korea, and continue to wage a Global War on Terror that involves stationing 200,000 troops overseas, while taking part in counterterror operations in at least 85 countries, according to figures compiled by the Brown University Costs of War project.

President Biden deserves credit for ending America’s 20-year fiasco in Afghanistan, despite opposition from significant portions of the Washington and media establishments.  Unsurprisingly enough, mistakes were made in executing the military withdrawal from that country, but they pale in comparison to the immense economic costs and human consequences of that war and the certainty of ongoing failure, had it been allowed to continue indefinitely.

Still, it’s important to note that its ending by no means marked the end of the era of this country’s forever wars.  Biden himself underscored this point in his speech announcing the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. “Today,” he said, “the terrorist threat has metastasized beyond Afghanistan. So, we are repositioning our resources and adapting our counterterrorism posture to meet the threats where they are now significantly higher: in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.”

In keeping with Biden’s pledge, U.S. military involvement in IraqSyria, and Somaliaremains ongoing. Meanwhile, the administration continues to focus its Africa policy on military aid and training to the detriment of non-military support for nations facing the challenges not just of terrorist attacks, but of corruption, human rights abuses, and the devastation of climate change.

Consider it ironic, then, that a Pentagon budget crafted by this administration and expanded upon by Congress isn’t even faintly aligned with that department’s own strategy. Buying $13 billion aircraft carriers vulnerable to modern high-speed missiles; buying staggeringly expensive F-35 fighter jets unlikely to be usable in a great-power conflict; purchasing excess nuclear weapons more likely to spur than reduce an arms race, while only increasing the risk of a catastrophic nuclear conflict; and maintaining an Army of more than 450,000 active-duty troops that would be essentially irrelevant in a conflict with China are only the most obvious examples of how bureaucratic inertia, parochial politics, and corporate money-making outweigh anything faintly resembling strategic concerns in the budgeting process.

Congress Only Compounds the Problem

Congress has only contributed to the already staggering problems inherent in the Pentagon’s approach by adding $45 billion to that department’s over-the-top funding request. Much of it was, of course, for pork-barrel projects located in the districts of key representatives. That includes funding for extra combat ships and even more F-35s. To add insult to injury, Congress also prevented the Pentagon from shedding older ships and aircraft and so freeing up funds for investments in crucial areas like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.  Instead of an either/or approach involving some tough (and not-so-tough) choices, the Pentagon and Congress have collaborated on a both/and approach that will only continue to fuel skyrocketing military budgets without providing significantly more in the way of defense.

Ironically, one potential counterweight to Congress’s never-ending urge to spend yet more on the Pentagon may be the Trumpist Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives. Its members recently called for a freeze in government spending, including on the military budget. At the moment, it’s too early to tell whether such a freeze has any prospect of passing or, if it does, whether it will even include Pentagon spending. In 2012, the last time Congress attempted to impose budget caps to reduce the deficit, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that a giant loopholewas created for the Pentagon. The war budget, officially known as the Overseas Contingency Operations account, was not subjected to limits of any sort and so was used to pay for all sorts of pet projects that had nothing to do with this country’s wars of that moment.

Nor should it surprise you that, in response to the recent chaos in the House of Representatives, the arms industry has already expanded its collaboration with the Republicans who are likely to head the House Armed Services Committee and the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee.  And mind you, incoming House Armed Services Committee chief Mike Rogers (R-AL) received over $444,000 from weapons-making companies in the most recent election cycle, while Ken Calvert (R-CA), the new head of the Defense Appropriations Committee, followed close behind at $390,000.  Rogers’s home state includes Huntsville, known as “Rocket City” because of its dense concentration of missile producers, and he’ll undoubtedly try to steer additional funds to firms like Boeing and Lockheed Martin that have major facilities there.  As for Calvert, his Riverside California district is just an hour from Los Angeles, which received more than $10 billion in Pentagon contracts in fiscal year 2021, the latest year for which full statistics are available.

That’s not to say that key Democrats have been left out in the cold either.  Former House Armed Services Committee chair Adam Smith (D-WA) received more than $276,000 from the industry over the same period.  But the move from Smith to Rogers will no doubt be a step forward for the weapons industry’s agenda. In 2022, Smith voted against adding more funding than the Pentagon requested to its budget, while Rogers has been a central advocate of what might be called extreme funding for that institution. Smith also raised questions about the cost and magnitude of the “modernization” of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and, even more important, suggested that preparing to “win” a war against China was a fool’s errand and should be replaced by a strategy of deterrence. As he put it:

“I think building our defense policy around the idea that we have to be able to beat China in an all-out war is wrong. It’s not the way it’s going to play out. If we get into an all-out war with China, we’re all screwed anyway. So we better focus on the steps that are necessary to prevent that. We should get off of this idea that we have to win a war in Asia with China. What we have to do from a national security perspective, from a military perspective, is we have to be strong enough to deter the worst of China’s behavior.”

Expect no such nuances from Rogers, one of the loudest and most persistent hawks in Congress.

Beyond campaign contributions, the industry’s strongest tool of influence is the infamous revolving door between government and the weapons sector. A 2021 report by the Government Accountability Office found that, between 2014 and 2019, more than 1,700 Pentagon officials left the government to work for the arms industry. And mind you, that was a conservative estimate, since it only covered personnel going to the top 14 weapons makers.

Former Pentagon and military officials working for such corporations are uniquely placed to manipulate the system in favor of their new employers. They can wield both their connections with former colleagues in government and their knowledge of the procurement process to give their companies a leg (or two) up in the competition for Defense Department funding. As the Project on Government Oversight has noted in Brass Parachutes, a memorable report on that process: “Without transparency and more effective protections of the public interest, the revolving door between senior Pentagon officials and officers and defense contractors may be costing American taxpayers billions.”

Pushing back against such a correlation of political forces would require concerted public pressure of a kind as yet unseen.  But outfits like the Poor People’s Campaign and #People Over Pentagon (a network of arms-control, good-government, environmental, and immigration-reform groups) are trying to educate the public on what such runaway military outlays really cost the rest of us.  They are also cultivating a Congressional constituency that may someday even be strong enough to begin curbing the worst excesses of such militarized overspending.  Unfortunately, time is of the essence as the Pentagon’s main budget soars toward an unprecedented $1 trillion.

A New Approach?

The Pentagon wastes immense sums of money thanks to cost overrunsprice gougingby contractors, and spending on unnecessary weapons programs.  Any major savings from its wildly bloated budget, however, would undoubtedly also involve a strategy that focused on beginning to reduce the size of the U.S. armed forces.  Late last year the Congressional Budget Office outlined three scenarios that could result in cuts of 10%-15% in its size without in any way undermining the country’s security interests. The potential savings from such relatively modest moves: $1 trillion over 10 years. Although that analysis would need to be revised to reflect the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, most of its recommendations would still hold.

Far greater savings would be possible, however, if the staggeringly costly, remarkably counterproductive militarized approach to fighting global terrorism (set so deeply and disastrously in place since September 11, 2001) was reconceived.  This country’s calamitous post-9/11 wars, largely justified as counterterror operations, have already cost us more than $8 trillion and counting, according to a detailed analysis by the Costs of War Project.  Redefining such counterterror efforts to emphasize diplomacy and economic assistance to embattled countries, as well as the encouragement of good governance and anticorruption efforts to counteract the conditions that allow terror groups to spread in the first place, could lead to a major reduction in the American global military footprint. It could also result in a corresponding reduction in the size of the Army and the Marines.

Similarly, a deterrence-only nuclear strategy like the one outlined by the organization Global Zero would preempt the need for the Pentagon’s three-decades-long plan to build a new generation of nuclear-armed missiles, bombers, and submarines at a cost of up to $2 trillion. At a minimum, hundreds of billions of dollars would be saved in the process.

And then there’s Washington’s increasing focus on a possible future war with China over Taiwan. Contrary to the Pentagon’s rhetoric, the main challenges from China are political and economic, not military.  The status of Taiwan should be resolveddiplomatically rather than via threats of war or, of course, war itself. A major U.S. buildup in the Pacific would be both dangerous and wasteful, draining resources from other urgent priorities and undermining the ability of the U.S. and China to cooperatein addressing the existential threat of climate change.

In a report for the Project on Government Oversight, Dan Grazier has underscored just who wins and who loses from such a hawkish approach to U.S.-China relations. He summarizes the situation this way:

“As U.S. and Chinese leaders attempt to jockey for position in the western Pacific region for influence and military advantage, chances of an accidental escalation increase. Both countries also risk destabilizing their economies with the reckless spending necessary to fund this new arms race, although the timing of just such a race is perfect for the defense industry. The U.S. is increasing military spending just at the moment the end of the War on Terror threatened drastic cuts.”

When it comes to Russia, as unconscionable as its invasion of Ukraine has been, it’s also exposed the striking weaknesses of its military, suggesting that it will be in no position to threaten NATO in any easily imaginable future.  If, however, such a threat were to grow in the decades to come, European powers should take the lead in addressing it, given that they already cumulatively spend three times what Russia does on their militaries and have economies that, again cumulatively, leave Russia’s in the dust. And such statistics don’t even reflect recent pledges by major European powers to sharply increase their military budgets.

Forging a more sensible American defense strategy will, in the end, require progress on two fronts. First, the myth that the quest for total global military dominance best serves the interests of the American people needs to be punctured. Second, the stranglehold of the Pentagon and its corporate allies on the budget process needs to be loosened in some significant fashion.

Changing the public’s view of what will make America and this planet safer is certainly a long-term undertaking, but well worth the effort, if building a better world for future generations is ever to be possible.  On the economic front, jobs in the arms industry have been declining for decades thanks to outsourcing, automation, and the production of ever fewer units of basic weapons systems. Add to that an increasing reliance on highly paid engineers rather than unionized production workers.  Such a decline should create an opening for a different kind of economic future in which our tax dollars don’t flow endlessly down the military drain, but instead into environmentally friendly infrastructure projects and the creation and installation of effective alternative energy sources that will slow the heating of this planet and fend off a complete climate catastrophe.  Among other things, a new approach to energy production could create 40% more jobs per dollar spent than plowing ever more money into the military-industrial complex.

Whether any of these changes will occur in this America is certainly an open question. Still, consider the effort to implement them essential to sustaining a livable planet for the generations to come.  Overspending on the military will only dig humanity deeper into a hole that will be ever more difficult to get out of in the relatively short time available to us.

 

READ MORE:

https://scheerpost.com/2023/01/17/what-price-is-defense-americas-costly-dysfunctional-approach-to-security-is-making-us-ever-less-safe/

 

 

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a dare from the west......

IT IS FASCINATION TO READ THE "FOREIGN" MEDIA. PRESENTLY THERE IS DISCREET DARE POSSIBLY COMING FROM MI6 AND THE PENTAGON, FOR RUSSIA TO USE ITS LATEST HARDWARE IN UKRAINE — AND TEST IT AGAINST THE NEW MILITARY STUFF THAT THE WEST IS PUMPING INTO UKRAINE.

SUCH ARE THE T-14 AND T-15 RUSSIAN TANKS WHICH ACCORDING THE WESTERN MEDIA ARE "DEFICIENT". THE SAME APPLY TO RUSSIA'S SU-57 STEALTH FIGHTERS. THE DARE IS ON. HOPEFULLY RUSSIAN WON'T RUSH ANYTHING... THE WESTERN MEDIA HAVE POINTED OUT THAT THE SU-57 DON'T ENTER THE UKRAINIAN AIR SPACE "BY FEAR OF BEING SHOT", BUT USE ROCKETS VERY EFFICIENTLY S0 FIRED FROM THE RUSSIAN TERRITORY.

SO WHAT'S THE BEEF? DARE IS A TRAP.....

THE WEST WOULD LIKE A FEW T-14 BEING BLOWN UP TO PROVE A POINT.  WHY WOULD RUSSIA PROVE ITSELF SINCE IT'S DEFINITIVELY WINNING ON THE DIFFICULT BATTLEFIELDS WHERE EVEN DONBASS TINY VILLAGES UNDER UKRAINIAN REGIME ARE FORTIFIED LIKE HITLER'S ATLANTIC WALL? ADDING THESE TANKS IN THE MELEE WOULD NOT IMPROVE THE PRESENT STYLE OF WARFARE (SEE ARTICLES ON THIS SITE). SO WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT T-14s?

LIKE ALL NEW MILITARY HARDWARE, IT HAS HAD SOME TEETHING PROBLEMS BUT NOTHING INSURMOUNTABLE.

 

Russia may deploy its new T-14 Armata tanks in Ukraine, British intelligence said Thursday.


But it is "unlikely to trust" the tank in combat given problems in its development, it said.


Per the update, the Armata will most likely just be there to show off in propaganda footage.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-wants-armata-tank-ukraine-but-scared-to-use-combat-2023-1

 

https://fr.businessam.be/t-14-armata-russie-char-plus-puissant-du-monde-ukraine/

 

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MEANWHILE:

 

Russia’s new T-14 Armata wonder-tank has all it takes to dominate the combat market

 

BY 

Mikhail Khodarenok

 

At the MILEX-2021 military exhibition in Minsk this week, the Russian Uralvagonzavod plant will present its T-14 Armata tank, a universal armored engineer vehicle, alongside a host of other advanced military hardware.

The T-14 Armata is Russia’s newest battle tank, featuring an unmanned turret and based on the Armata heavy military tracked-vehicle platform. Both the T-15 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the T-16 Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV) are designed on the same platform. 

It is the world’s first tank with a groundbreaking new layout. Previously, tanks the world over followed the conventional design, in which the crew sits in the hull and the turret close to munitions and fuel tanks, an obvious danger to those in the vehicle. The T-14’s revolutionary design significantly increases the survival rate for crews on the battlefield. For the first time, the crew of three (commander, gunner, and driver/mechanic) will sit in a protected pressurized compartment in the front part of the vehicle, separated from fuel and munitions. 

 

The T-14 is equipped with a unified on-board information and control system (BIUS) for armored vehicles, designed to comply with the principles of network-centric warfare. The main element of this open architecture system is the digital information exchange network which covers all components, nodes, systems and subsystems or ‘communicants’. The network has a standard interface connecting all these communicants. 

The BIUS receives information from all sensors in real time; the network can issue control commands to all motors and servomechanisms, while collecting status data from all control systems. In other words, the network has, in digital form, all the tools required to control and operate the tank. Through the BIUS, elements of the Joint Tactical Level Command and Control System (ESU TZ) are built into the vehicle, enabling it to create a unified reconnaissance and information field for battle groups that consist of different types of military forces – perfect for use in battalion tactical groups (BTGs), for example. 

BTGs equipped with Armata-family vehicles can significantly reduce the number of command cycles, and have greater offensive capabilities and increased tactical flexibility. 

 

READ MORE:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/527402-russia-t14-armata-wonder-tank/

 

 

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unfazed........

by Valentin Vasilescu

Recall that at the beginning of the special operation, the Ukrainian ground troops had 4 army corps (200,000 men) each comprising 8 to 9 brigades of tanks, mechanized infantry, artillery, marine infantry . During the special operation, Ukraine carried out 9 rounds of mobilization. In 2022, it received weapons, ammunition and equipment, mainly of Soviet production, from NATO countries to equip two additional corps (100,000 men), composed of reservists. During all this time, Russian forces used 180,000 troops in Ukraine. This enabled Ukraine to launch a successful counterattack in the Kharkov region in September.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, held at Germany's Ramstein military base, that: This is not the time to slow down, this is the time to increase our efforts. We will not give up and we will not waver in our resolve to help Ukraine defend itself against imperial Russian aggression. ". The indicative list of weapons that NATO countries will transfer to Ukraine includes:

  • 14 Challenger 2 tanks;
  • 600 Brimstone missiles;
  • 30 AS90 155mm self-propelled guns;
  • 200 infantry fighting vehicles/armoured personnel carriers;
  • 200 Senator armored vehicles;
  • 1 NASAMS air defense battery;
  • 14 Leopard 2 A4 tanks;
  • 100 BMP Bradleys;
  • 100 M113 tracked armored personnel carriers;
  • 18 x 155mm self-propelled guns, M109A6;
  • 250 M1117 armored vehicles;
  • 138 HMMWV SUVs;
  • 100 Stryker wheeled armored personnel carriers;
  • GLSDB ammunition;
  • 36 howitzers of 105 mm;
  • 1 Patriot missile/air defense battery;
  • 6 NASAMS air defense batteries;
  • 18 MLRS HIMARS;
  • 40 AMX-10RC wheeled tanks;
  • Bastion armored vehicles;
  • 1 SAMP/T anti-aircraft/missile defense battery;
  • Several 155 mm Caesar wheeled self-propelled guns;
  • 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles;
  • 1 Patriot anti-aircraft and missile defense battery;
  • 3 Iris-T anti-aircraft defense batteries + 3 TRML-4D radars;
  • 2 TRML-4D radars;
  • 16 x 155mm Zuzana-2 wheeled self-propelled guns;
  • 120 T-72M tanks;
  • 1 Patriot anti-aircraft and missile defense battery;
  • 50 CV-90 infantry fighting vehicles;
  • 12 x 155mm Archer wheeled self-propelled guns;
  • 26-30 Dana-M2 152 mm wheeled self-propelled guns;
  • 10 x 70mm FH155 howitzers;
  • 10 D30 122 mm howitzers.

 

On an approximate calculation, it is theoretically a question of arming from scratch a new Ukrainian army corps (50,000 soldiers). In practice, part of the weapons will compensate for the losses suffered by Ukrainian military units on the front line.

Surprisingly, the Russian authorities are not fazed by this massive transfer of weapons to Ukraine, most of which are modern and Western-made. There are two possible reasons for this reaction.

The first is related to the fact that the Russian army will be able to test "live" the vulnerabilities of modern Challenger 2 and Leopard 2 A4 tanks, Bradley and Marder BMPs, which are in large numbers in the NATO armies that could participate to an invasion of Russia. It is for the same reason that Russia is interested in GLSDB ammunition and Patriot and SAMP/T long-range AA systems.

A second reason is that Russia has only revealed to a limited extent the potential of its new research and jamming complexes. For example, NATO's E-3 AWACS aircraft were unable to alert Ukrainian air defenses on January 17 to the wave of Russian-launched cruise missiles. This was the first time that Russia used jamming complexes capable of creating impenetrable zones for NATO air and satellite reconnaissance assets.

It is therefore possible that Russia is keen to detect by satellite the moment of entry of these weapons into Ukraine and to follow their route to strike them. The Liana satellite system, consisting of several Lotus-S and Pion-NKS radar and electro-optical research satellites, is linked to the Meridian-M communication satellites. They are in a highly elliptical (Molnya) orbit of 900 × 39,000 km. This allows them to stay most of the time over an area of the northern hemisphere that includes all of Ukraine. The Liana satellite system has a very high resolution, and is able to track objects the size of a bicycle.

Valentin Vasilescu

 

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