Gold Goats ‘n Guns
So, the G-7 leaders are in agreement, more war with Russia. Without actually saying exactly that, that was the main takeaway from he meeting of the most feckless leaders in the world.
They also pledged $600 billion they don’t have to fund global infrastructure projects to ‘combat China’s Belt and Road Initiative.’ One wonders where all this money and, in the case of Europe, energy is going to come from to fund all of this.
But the question I’ve had from the beginning of this obvious war of attrition the West wants to impose on Russia is the following: Do we have the stamina, in terms of real production capacity, to cash these checks our leaders are writing?
A major report from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), one of the oldest military think tanks in the UK emphatically said not in anyone’s wildest dreams. Alex Mercouris of The Duran did an amazing job of breaking down what RUSI thought about NATO’s ability to wage war vs. Russia’s current military tempo, days before this idea caught fire.
In short, the gulf between NATO’s annual munition production and weekly consumption by the UAF is staggeringly vast.
I told you at the outset of this war that Russia was absolutely engaged in a war of attrition against the West, hoping NATO would take the bait of a ground war in Ukraine. I didn’t have numbers to back this up, only the inference because of what I understood about Putin and his previous maneuvers against the West.
What’s obvious to me is the neocons and neoliberals controlling the West think they can turn Ukraine into a quagmire for Putin, but what if Putin thinks he can turn Ukraine into a quagmire for them?
Russia is not capable of conquering Europe. But he doesn’t need to to defeat them. He just needs to create a version of this map:
I knew that Putin wouldn’t commit Russia to this conflict if it couldn’t sustain fighting it. I also knew that the West would LIE OUTRAGEOUSLY about the level of corruption within the Russian society to play on the biases of marginally-informed American armchair generals.
Is the Russian system perfect? No. Is there corruption? Yes. But it’s complete nonsense to think it wouldn’t be uncovered and stripped out of all branches of the Russian military/industrial complex during the initial military gambit. The shifts made by Russia strategically and in terms of personnel have set it up for the long haul, fighting a type of war they are very good at and which the US and NATO left the UAF mostly defenseless against.
Now, with sanctions further hollowing out the US’s and Europe’s economies and the “leadership” of the buffoons that just met in Germany, Russia is in the driver’s seat to grind out a victory in Ukraine and leave the West depleted of weapons if the current situation goes on without a course correction.
The point made by RUSI is that it may not be possible to course correct in time (or ever) in the time frame needed to affect the outcome in Ukraine, absent an unthinkable escalation.
The exhaustion we thought we would put to Russia, is the ultimate form of ‘sanctions boomerang’ on the West. To listen to RUSI tell the tale, we’re the ones without the capacity to fight if the conflict widens.
And yet, to listen to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken or National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, you would think Russia is still on the verge of collapse.
Now the G-7 think they have the power to set a global price cap on crude oil. I’ve told you time and again that Davos really does believe they have some kind of monopsony power over Russia’s exports. They still believe that their thirst for energy, food, industrial metals, fertilizer, etc. gives them power over Putin.
I remind you of this pivotal scene in Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises:
And Putin is the moderate within Russian power circles. There are a hundred Banes waiting in the wings happy to snap the necks of the John Daggetts he no longer needs to sell oil and gas to.
I’ve watched Putin for years. I’ve seen him put pressure on his central bank and the bankers to reform the financial sector. I’ve seen him publicly dress down and reform major industrial oligarchs in metals production. Six plus years of military operations in Syria have given him a lot of data on how to execute a long-term strategy and find the break points of his logistics and operations.
And I’m sure that this war in Ukraine is as much another data gathering exercise for the capabilities of the West as much as it is a stress test on his own internal production systems.
Russia is now 4 months into this review. Lots of people have been fired, jailed, etc. The non-hackers are being weeded out. Operations are leaning out.
Now let’s look at the West.
The US under Biden is now amping up military spending, presumably to increase ammunition production levels. But it may not be. As Alex rightly points out, echoing points that Dexter White has discussed in the Gold Goats ‘n Guns newsletter, keiretsu or just-in-time manufacturing is how we operate here in the West. That system is under massive stress thanks to the supply chain breakdown created by Davos over COVID-19.
While sanctions may have limited Russia’s ability to procure or maintain a large arsenal of its highest technology tanks and/or airplanes, again as Dexter has pointed out, it may not be relevant here because this isn’t a war of bleeding edge technology.
It’s a WWI style artillery war, which we are not prepared to fight. Scott Ritter pointed out to me when we met at the recent Ron Paul Institute conference that NATO no longer trains in maneuver warfare. While Russia’s combined forces training is limited, as evidenced in its attack on Kiev in February, the US’s major advantage has been severely curtailed by lack of training and readiness over the past couple of decades.
So, what we have, overall, is a military picture with weak supply chains, limited ability to ramp production, and a military that hasn’t trained for sustained warfare on a mass scale.
This means that Biden’s expansion of the DoD’s budget to $813 billion this year may not even be what we think it means. Instead of being a buildup to fight a wider war, this may seriously be just the last dip at the trough before the whole system comes crashing down.
Remember, that Davos wants the US destroyed. It has assiduously hollowed out vital US manufacturing capability while simultaneously putting it in a fragile fiscal position with a divided and angry population.
The stage is set for internal conflict of a type and kind that we haven’t seen in over 150 years. And we’re supposed to fight a war with Russia, a nuclear and conventional military powerhouse?
This is leaving aside the reality that if NATO declares open war on Russia that Blinkered Blinken and the anti-Diplomats have pushed China into being paranoid about our intentions over Taiwan.
The real stress test is happening now. Ukraine is getting crushed under the weight of Russia’s ability to sustain an inhuman level of artillery bombardment. The RUSI article only touches on the potential for Russia to continue its production of the needed munitions, but one gets the idea that these things are cheap and fully domestically sourced.
This has forced into the open the massive shortfall of industrial capacity in the West as well as fracturing the political leadership as to what they should ultimately do here.
Half of them want to continue the war in perpetuity. The other half want a ceasefire. None of them would admit this at the G-7 meeting out of a need to not look weak or admit that the Russians have exposed them.
It takes a staggering amount of energy to fight a sustained war. The West is at the mercy of Russia to get that energy.
The next phase of this war is now the complete divorce of Europe from the Russian energy complex at prices that can’t keep Europe from sinking into depression if not outright depravity.
To achieve this, these out-of-touch narcissists think they can set a limit on what they will pay for a barrel of oil? I thought I’d heard it all in this life, but this is almost as delusional as the average Libs of TikTok video post Roe v. Wade’s demise.
The financial war of attrition against the West I’ve discussed at length for months is the reality of the day. Ultimately without energy or the money to procure or produce it, there is no real conventional war. Industrial warfare having returned, as is the premise of the RUSI article, has already determined the outcome in Ukraine.
This is just part of the reason why Henry Kissinger urged at this year’s Davos meeting to open up talks and begin the negotiations. It seems at this point his admonishments have fallen on deaf ears. Given the average age of the idiots making these decisions, this is, of course, not surprising.
Davos has set the US up for complete humiliation in Ukraine, sacrificed thousands of Ukrainians, bankrupted millions of Europeans and corrupted hundred of millions sustaining a vast bureaucracy incapable of responding to the growing needs of a failing system.
The sad part is this: They think they are #winning, because so much of this is going according to plan. They are missing the big parts about destroying the US too quickly in the process, if you want it to fight your war to cover your bankruptcy.
Russia and China will cut Europe off from global trade if Europe defaults on its debt, which ECB President Christine Lagarde just told the world she is ready to do. The Fed’s hawkishness is already destroying the Eurodollar markets, the source of Davos’ power.
The vestiges of US Federalism still function at a high enough level to thwart all of their plans. c.f. the SCOTUS decisions last week and Ron DeSantis’ track record as Florida Governor.
Speaking of DeSantis, he’s rapidly emerging as the front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2024.
So, in conclusion this is what I see next:
- Russia will not stop with their victory in Donbass
- They will take Nikolaev, Kharkov and Odessa (Note Russian spelling, screw the BBC!).
- Russia will not take the bait over Kaliningrad, but will cut off all gas to Germany.
- The German government will fall, but it won’t matter b/c the Greens, who set policy, control the Bundesrat.
- Russia will continue to not give Davos the excuse to start WWIII, even with Finland and Sweden entering the alliance.
- They will keep upping the stakes while further exposing the emptiness of their threats.
- The Biden Admin. will keep trying to start a war over Taiwan
- Eventually China will oblige them, even though they don’t want to.
- Bulgaria’s collapse is just the start of the end of the EU in Eastern Europe.
- NATO will either collapse or nukes will fly…. I’m still betting on the former.
- Erdogan caving over NATO expansion means Putin will oppose him in Syria.
- The Fed will continue raising rates while the ECB hangs on for dear life.
In desperation I expect a false flag provocation to force the Russians into a move or simply justify the Davos pulling us into their next war, i.e. another virus or chemical weapons attack this time blamed on Putin.
The goal of this project is an independent Europe, a broken US and vassalage for Asia.
They will achieve, at best, one of those three things. An independent, but broken Europe under the vassalage of Russia and China, the the US retreats and licks its wounds. That’s the future I see now, if the nukes don’t fly.