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Ukraine-Russia Sanctions: Oil Embargo – Iran, Venezuela and Arab nations join Russia’s rally against the West

The long lines for Gas under President Jimmy Carter

The long lines for Gas under President Jimmy Carter

Posted 8March2022 TFIglobal ” Iran, Venezuela and Arab nations join Russia’s rally against the West “: Remember the long lines for Gas under President Jimmy Carter?
If Russia, the second-largest oil producer in the world, starts weaponizing crude oil exports too, then the US too could face problems. The US imports a lot of Russian crude oil. Last year, it imported an average of 209,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 500,000 bpd of other petroleum products from Russia.

Interesting Comments:

https://rumble.com/v1g440z-russia-further-advances-in-donbass-encircles-kharkov-kissinger-warns-us-of-.html
boby75bg, 15August2022

“Geopolitics for Dummies” – Chapter 2022, First edition. DemJoe + 6Chi (Demented uncle Joe and 6 Chihuahuas = G7) play a Poker game against a Bear and a Dragon. Chihuahuas have bad hands but are very keen on making big gains. Usually, the Bear and the Dragon do not bluff. If they have bad cards, they accept little humiliation and try to cut losses (See Chapters 2014-2021). A new round begins. The DemJoe is betting high followed by the 6Chi. This time the Bear plays tough but the Dragon remains calm. As the game progresses the Bear gets irritated by the barking Chihuahuas, shows some teeth and knocks on the neighbor’s door. Later, the Dragon is provoked by DemJoe to breath fire. Further, the game is intensified by exponentially rising stakes and this pushes the Bear and the Dragon to get closer. Suddenly, halfway through the game, DemJoe confuses everyone. He declares that they play game of chickens now, appearance is the most important and realities do not matter… Let see how the second half of Chapter 2022 will develop. One is clear, some Chihuahuas will get cold feet (no pun intended), innocent people will pay the price (as always), and puppeteers lurking in the dark will get filthy rich. (Disclosure – Editing of the chapter 2022 is greatly appreciated.)

Nefesh B'Nefesh: Live the Dream US & CAN 1-866-4-ALIYAH | UK 020-8150-6690 or 0800-085-2105 | Israel 02-659-5800 https://www.nbn.org.il/ info@nbn.org.il

Nefesh B’Nefesh: Live the Dream US & CAN 1-866-4-ALIYAH | UK 020-8150-6690 or 0800-085-2105 | Israel 02-659-5800 https://www.nbn.org.il/ info@nbn.org.il

It’s time to come home! Nefesh B’Nefesh: Live the Dream 1-866-4-ALIYAH


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Bolsonaro Asks WTO Not To Sever Russian Trade As 27 Fertilizer Ships Inbound 

by Tyler Durden 27April2022 – 01:00 AM https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/bolsonaro-asks-wto-not-sever-russian-trade-27-fertilizer-ships-inbound

The latest example of G-20 countries not bowing down to US pressure to halt trade relations with Russia comes from South America.

 

On Tuesday, in response to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s request for Brazil to increase more food exports, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro asked the WTO not to sever trade flows with Russia. He said there are 27 Russian vessels hauling fertilizer to Brazil.

 

Now, why would Bolsonaro go against the wishes of the US and EU politicians to eliminate trade with Russia?

 

Well, the South American country imports more than 85% of its fertilizer demand. Russia is its top supplier, and Belarus provides 28% of the total.

 

Restraining fertilizer consumption would be absolutely disastrous, crush harvest yields, and threaten the world’s food security. The country is a top exporter of coffee, sugar, soybeans, manioc, rice, maize, cotton, edible beans, and wheat.

 

This is more evidence that G-20 countries, such as Brazil, India, and China, widely known as BRICs, disregard US pressure to halt trade with Russia. Many of these countries are dependent on Russia and Belarus for commodities. In one chart, here is Russia’s commodity reach:

Russia's commodity reach:

Russia’s commodity reach:

Defiant G-20 countries imply the old economic order, in which the dollar’s centrality to global trade remains king, is fading. Numerous countries are already trading outside the dollar system (see & here) because Western sanctions isolated Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system. This has given rise to commodity-based currencies.

 

It remains to be seen if South American traders will use a Brazilian real-Russian ruble payment system for the fertilizer purchases.

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Chinese Oil Giant To Exit US, Canada And UK Over Fears Of Western Sanctions

by Tyler Durden 16April2022 – https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/chinese-oil-giant-exit-us-canada-and-uk-over-fears-western-sanctions

An odd thing happened this week: for obvious reasons, Russian usage of the Chinese yuan has been booming in recent weeks, with the Nikkei reporting that Russia boosted yuan holdings over dollar just before the invasion (having previously dumped all of its Treasury holdings all the way back in 2018 telegraphing what was coming to anyone who was paying attention), and even though Chinese trade with Russia has soared

 

China Exports-Import with Russia April 2022

China Exports-Import with Russia April 2022

… many Chinese companies had refused to side fully with Russia, amid concerns that they would be swept up in various secondary sanctions should the increasingly erratic Biden administration decide to lash out at Beijing.

 

That’s not the odd thing, in fact it is to be expected: after all, if you go after the king – in this case the king of global reserve currencies, the dollar, you better not miss and according to most experts, China is nowhere near ready to dethrone the US as the world’s biggest superpower (with or without the assistance of Russia). What was odd, is that Reuters reported that China’s top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC, was preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada and the United States, because of concerns in Beijing the assets could become subject to Western sanctions, industry sources said.

 

In other words, one of China’s largest and most important companies has decided to pull the plug before it absolutely has to, in what appears to be a clear indication that what comes next will be very troubling.

 

The United States said last week China could face consequences if it helped Russia to evade Western sanctions that have included financial measures that restrict Russia’s access to foreign currency and make it complicated to process international payments. Additionally, the US has also made very clear that any Chinese invasion of Taiwan will result in an identical response to that faced by Russia now. The implication: one of those two things may be about to happen.

 

Some background: according to Reuters, while companies periodically carry out reviews of their portfolios, the exit being prepared would take place less than a decade after state-owned CNOOC entered the three countries via a $15 billion acquisition of Canada’s Nexen, a deal that transformed the Chinese champion into a leading global producer. The assets, which include stakes in major fields in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and large Canadian oil sand projects, produce around 220,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, Reuters calculations found.

 

However, it now appears that CNOOC has had enough, and last month, Reuters reported CNOOC had hired Bank of America to prepare for the sale of its North Sea assets, which include a stake in one of the basin’s largest fields. That’s just the start, however, and Reuters adds that CNOOC has launched a global portfolio review ahead of its planned public listing in the Shanghai stock exchange later this month that is aimed primarily at tapping alternative funding following the delisting of its U.S. shares last October. CNOOC is also taking advantage of a rally in oil and gas prices, driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, and hopes to attract buyers as Western countries seek to develop domestic production to substitute Russian energy.

 

As it exits the West, CNOOC is looking to acquire new assets in Latin America and Africa, and also wants to prioritize the development of large, new prospects in Brazil, Guyana and Uganda, the Reuters sources said.

 

Even before its exit, CNOOC faced hurdles operating in the United States in particular, such as security clearances required by Washington for its Chinese executives to enter the country.

“Assets like Gulf of Mexico deepwater are technologically challenging and CNOOC really needed to work with partners to learn, but company executives were not even allowed to visit the U.S. offices. It had been a pain all along these years and the Trump administration’s blacklisting of CNOOC made it worse,” said the source.

And just to make it even clearer what’s coming, in its prospectus ahead of the initial public offering, CNOOC said it could face additional sanctions. “We cannot predict if the company or its affiliates and partners will be affected by U.S. sanctions in future, if policies change,” CNOOC said.

 

In the United States, CNOOC owns assets in the onshore Eagle Ford and Rockies shale basins as well as stakes in two large offshore fields in the Gulf of Mexico, Appomattox and Stampede. Its main Canadian assets oil sands projects are Long Lake and Hangingstone in Alberta Province.

 

All of the above is a very long-winded way to put what Rabobank’s Michael Every summarized in just a few words:

Reuters says China’s oil giant CNOOC is preparing to exit the UK, Canada, and US over sanctions fears. Why would it be retreating if China is not going to do anything that could cause it to be subject to secondary sanctions?

The answer? Because China will do things that will cause it to be subject to sanctions

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Israel Dumps The Dollar For China’s Renminbi

by Tyler Durden Apr 22April2022 – https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/israel-dumps-dollar-chinas-renminbi

Submitted by QTR’s Fringe Finance

Over the last 48 hours, China and Russia have taken big steps toward separating themselves from the monetary policy and economies of the west – and nobody has even noticed.

 

Those who have been reading my blog for the last couple of weeks know that I have been predicting that China and Russia would grow far closer economically, creating, in essence, a second global monetary system where the US dollar is no longer the reserve currency.

 

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article proclaiming that Russia would back the ruble with gold as a way to fight back against western economic sanctions. I also made similar predictions about the new digital Chinese currency last summer when I first started Fringe Finance.

 

This shift is happening as a result of the United States and the rest of the western economies foolishly thinking that they’re going to be able to effectively sanction Russia economically, despite the fact that Russia is a massive producer of oil and the country seems prepared to back its currency, the ruble, with this productive capacity.

 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we continue to run enormous deficits and have very little productive capacity, and even less to back our currency with. Our destiny seems to be to continue printing money regardless of the negative consequences. We’re nothing more than printing press junkies that won’t cease our inflationary addiction until we inevitably hit rock bottom.

US M2 Money Supply (via TradingEconomics)

US M2 Money Supply (via TradingEconomics)

 

US M2 Money Supply (via TradingEconomics)

If you haven’t read them yet, a couple articles that explain my position on Russia and China creating their own monetary system include:


Today’s post is not behind a paywall because I feel its contents are too important. If you enjoy my work, and have the means to support, I’d love to have you as a subscriber: Subscribe now


There’s been several new developments to this thesis over the last 24 hours.

 

First, it was little noticed yesterday when Bloomberg reported that “Israel’s central bank has made the biggest changes to its allocation of reserves in over a decade, adding the Chinese yuan alongside three other currencies to a stockpile that last year exceeded $200 billion for the first time ever.”

 

The report read:

Starting this year, the currency mix will expand from the trio of the U.S. dollar, the euro and the British pound to include the Canadian and Australian dollars as well as the yen and the yuan, which is also known as the renminbi. The additions mark a change in the Bank of Israel’s “whole investment guidelines and philosophy,” Deputy Governor Andrew Abir said in an interview.

 

Following discussions held by the monetary committee last year, the pound and the yen will account for 5% and the currencies of Canada and Australia will have 3.5% each. Under the new approach, the yuan’s proportion is set at 2% for 2022, according to the Israeli central bank’s annual report published at the end of last month.

 

To accommodate the changes, the euro’s share will fall to 20% — the lowest in at least a decade — from just over 30%, while the dollar will account for 61%, down from 66.5%. The pound’s weighting, by contrast, will almost double to 5%, returning to a level last seen in 2011.

 

The “dramatic” rise in Israel’s foreign-exchange reserves led the central bank to lengthen its investment horizon, Abir said. “We look at the need to earn a return on the reserves that will cover the costs of liability.”

 

Bank of Israel FX Mix 2020 - 2022

Bank of Israel FX Mix 2020 – 2022

In other words, Israel is reducing its exposure to the dollar and to the Euro to add exposure to the Renminbi.

 

And so perhaps isn’t just little old me here chipping away at my blog daily that has noticed that China and Russia could be on the verge of effecting meaningful change to the global monetary landscape. It sure seems like Israel is catching on.

 

I expect other countries to follow suit.

 

Then, another prediction of mine started to come to fruition this morning when it was announced that China was considering buying some of Shell’s Russian LNG assets. Bloomberg reported:

 

China’s key state-run energy companies are in talks with Shell Plc to buy its stake in a major Russian gas export project, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

 

Cnooc, CNPC and Sinopec Group are in joint discussions with Shell over the company’s 27.5% holding in the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas venture after the European firm said it would exit Russian operations following the Ukraine invasion

I had previously argued on my podcast and on my blog that even though the west was going to be ignoring Russian investments, there would definitely be a strategic buyer who would come in and scoop up what can only be described as long-term strategic energy assets from Russia.

 

Many people smarter than I am, including macro analyst Luke Groman, predicted that China would be the strategic buyer for such transactions. I agreed.

 

Now, it looks like that is exactly what’s happening. These purchases will only serve to knit China and Russia’s economies even closer together.

 

Liquified Natural Gas Shipping Tankers

Liquified Natural Gas Shipping Tankers

If the picture hasn’t come into focus, it soon will – even for most people that aren’t paying attention yet.

 

China and Russia continue on a cooperative path together: doing business together, backing their currencies with tangible commodities and, as I wrote just days ago, we’re in the process of watching the dollar become dethroned as the global reserve currency. We just don’t notice it yet.

 

The next prediction I have, that hasn’t yet taken place, is that China will back its digital currency with gold. I’ve predicted this since August of 2021, long before the current macro picture has emerged. Now, my convictions are even stronger.

 

When the rest of the world catches on to what is playing out here, there’s going to be a mad dash for gold, in my opinion. I still prefer gold over any fiat currency and, as I wrote weeks ago, consider miners to be one of the market’s truly undervalued sectors.

 

Thank you for reading QTR’s Fringe Finance . This post is public so feel free to share it: Share

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Escobar: Geopolitical Tectonic Plates Shifting, Six Months On…

by Tyler Durden, 25August2022 – 06:40 AM https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/escobar-geopolitical-tectonic-plates-shifting-six-months

Authored by Pepe Escobar,

Six months after the start of the Special Military Operation (SMO) by Russia in Ukraine, the geopolitical tectonic plates of the 21st century have been dislocated at astonishing speed and depth – with immense historical repercussions already at hand. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, this is the way the (new) world begins, not with a whimper but a bang.

Geopolitical tectonic plates shifting

Geopolitical tectonic plates shifting

 

The vile assassination of Darya Dugina – de facto terrorism at the gates of Moscow – may have fatefully coincided with the six-month intersection point, but that won’t change the dynamics of the current, work-in-progress historical drive.

 

The FSB may have cracked the case in a little over 24 hours, designating the perpetrator as a neo-Nazi Azov operative instrumentalized by the SBU, itself a mere tool of the CIA/MI6 combo de facto ruling Kiev.

 

The Azov operative is just a patsy. The FSB will never reveal in public the intel it has amassed on those that issued the orders – and how they will be dealt with.

 

One Ilya Ponomaryov, an anti-Kremlin minor character granted Ukrainian citizenship, boasted he was in contact with the outfit that prepared the hit on the Dugin family. No one took him seriously.

 

What’s manifestly serious is how oligarchy-connected organized crime factions in Russia would have a motive to eliminate Dugin as a Christian Orthodox nationalist philosopher who, according to them, may have influenced the Kremlin’s pivot to Asia (he didn’t).

 

But most of all, these organized crime factions blamed Dugin for a concerted Kremlin offensive against the disproportional power of Jewish oligarchs in Russia. So these actors would have the motive and the local base/intel to mount such a coup.

 

If that’s the case that spells out a Mossad operation – in many aspects a more solid proposition than CIA/MI6. What’s certain is that the FSB will keep their cards very close to their chest – and retribution will be swift, precise and invisible.

 

The straw that broke the camel’s back

Instead of delivering a serious blow to Russia in relation to the dynamics of the SMO, the assassination of Darya Dugina only exposed the perpetrators as tawdry operatives of a Moronic Murder Inc.

 

An IED cannot kill a philosopher – or his daughter. In an essential essay Dugin himself explained how the real war – Russia against the collective West led by the United States – is a war of ideas. And an existential war.

 

Dugin – correctly – defines the US as a “thalassocracy”, heir to “Britannia rules the waves”; yet now the geopolitical tectonic plates are spelling out a new order: The Return of the Heartland.

 

Putin himself first spelled it out at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. Xi Jinping started to make it happen when he launched the New Silk Roads in 2013. The Empire struck back with Maidan in 2014. Russia counter-attacked coming to the aid of Syria in 2015.

 

The Empire doubled down on Ukraine, with NATO weaponizing it non-stop for eight years. At the end of 2021, Moscow invited Washington for a serious dialogue on “indivisibility of security” in Europe. That was dismissed with a non-response response.

 

Moscow took no time to confirm a trifecta was in the works: an imminent Kiev blitzkrieg against Donbass; Ukraine flirting with acquiring nuclear weapons; and the work of US bioweapon labs. That was the straw that broke the New Silk Road camel’s back.

 

A consistent analysis of Putin’s public interventions these past few months reveals that the Kremlin – as well as Security Council Yoda Nikolai Patrushev – fully realize how the politico/media goons and shock troops of the collective West are dictated by the rulers of what Michael Hudson defines as the FIRE system (financialization, insurance, real estate), a de facto banking Mafia.

 

As a direct consequence, they also realize how collective West public opinion is absolutely clueless, Plato cave-style, of their total captivity by the FIRE rulers, who cannot possibly tolerate any alternative narrative.

 

So Putin, Patrushev, Medvedev will never presume that a senile teleprompter reader in the White House or a cokehead comedian in Kiev “rule” anything. The sinister Great Reset impersonator of a Bond villain, Klaus “Davos” Schwab, and his psychotic historian sidekick Yuval Harari at least spell out their “program”: global depopulation, with those that remain drugged to oblivion.

 

As the US rules global pop culture, it’s fitting to borrow from what Walter White/Heisenberg, an average American channeling his inner Scarface, states in Breaking Bad: “I’m in the Empire business”. And the Empire business is to exercise raw power – then maintained with ruthlessness by all means necessary.

 

Russia broke the spell. But Moscow’s strategy is way more sophisticated than leveling Kiev with hypersonic business cards, something that could have been done at any moment starting six months ago, in a flash.

 

What Moscow is doing is talking to virtually the whole Global South, bilaterally or to groups of actors, explaining how the world-system is changing right before our eyes, with the key actors of the future configured as BRI, SCO, EAEU, BRICS+, the Greater Eurasia Partnership.

 

And what we see is vast swathes of the Global South – or 85% of the world’s population – slowly but surely becoming ready to engage in expelling the FIRE Mafia from their national horizons, and ultimately taking them down: a long, tortuous battle that will imply multiple setbacks.

The facts on the ground

On the ground in soon-to-be rump Ukraine, Khinzal hypersonic business cards – launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or Mig-31 interceptors – will continue to be distributed.

 

Piles of HIMARS will continue to be captured. TOS 1A Heavy Flamethrowers will keep sending invitations to the Gates of Hell. Crimean Air Defense will continue to intercept all sorts of small drones with IEDs attached: terrorism by local SBU cells, which will be eventually smashed.

 

Using essentially a phenomenal artillery barrage – cheap and mass-produced – Russia will annex the full, very valuable Donbass, in terms of land, natural resources and industrial power. And then on to Nikolaev, Odessa, and Kharkov.

 

Geoeconomically, Russia can afford to sell its oil with fat discounts to any Global South customer, not to mention strategic partners China and India. Cost of extraction reaches a maximum of $15 per barrel, with a national budget based on $40-45 for a barrel of Urals.

 

A new Russian benchmark is imminent, as well as oil in rubles following the wildly successful gas for rubles.

 

The assassination of Darya Dugina provoked endless speculation on the Kremlin and the Ministry of Defense finally breaking their discipline. That’s not going to happen. The advances along the enormous 1,800-mile front are relentless, highly systematic and inserted in a Greater Strategic Picture.

 

A key vector is whether Russia stands a chance of winning the information war with the collective West. That will never happen inside NATOstan – even as success after success is ramping up across the Global South.

 

As Glenn Diesen has masterfully demonstrated, in detail, in his latest book, Russophobia , the collective West is viscerally, almost genetically impervious to admitting any social, cultural, historical merits by Russia.

 

And that will extrapolate to the irrationality stratosphere, as the grinding down and de facto demilitarization of the imperial proxy army in Ukraine is driving the Empire’s handlers and its vassals literally nuts.

 

The Global South though should never lose sight of the “Empire business”. The Empire of Lies excels in producing chaos and plunder, always supported by extortion, bribery of comprador elites, assassinations, and all that supervised by the humongous FIRE financial might. Every trick in the Divide and Rule book – and especially outside of the book – should be expected, at any moment. Never underestimate a bitter, wounded, deeply humiliated Declining Empire.

 

So fasten your seat belts: that will be the tense dynamic all the way to the 2030s. But before that, all along the watchtower, get ready for the arrival of General Winter, as his riders are fast approaching, the wind will begin to howl, and Europe will be freezing in the dead of a dark night as the FIRE Mafia puff their cigars.

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From The Royal United Services Institute https://www.rusi.org/
A unique institution, founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, RUSI embodies nearly two centuries of forward thinking, free discussion, and careful reflection on defence and security matters.

Royal United Services Institute

Royal United Services Institute

The Return of Industrial Warfare

Alex Vershinin 17 June 2022 https://www.rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/return-industrial-warfare

ammunition-heads


Can the West still provide the arsenal of democracy?

The war in Ukraine has proven that the age of industrial warfare is still here. The massive consumption of equipment, vehicles and ammunition requires a large-scale industrial base for resupply – quantity still has a quality of its own. The mass scale combat has pitted 250,000 Ukrainian soldiers, together with 450,000 recently mobilised citizen soldiers against about 200,000 Russian and separatist troops. The effort to arm, feed and supply these armies is a monumental task. Ammunition resupply is particularly onerous. For Ukraine, compounding this task are Russian deep fires capabilities, which target Ukrainian military industry and transportation networks throughout the depth of the country. The Russian army has also suffered from Ukrainian cross-border attacks and acts of sabotage, but at a smaller scale. The rate of ammunition and equipment consumption in Ukraine can only be sustained by a large-scale industrial base.

 

This reality should be a concrete warning to Western countries, who have scaled down military industrial capacity and sacrificed scale and effectiveness for efficiency. This strategy relies on flawed assumptions about the future of war, and has been influenced by both the bureaucratic culture in Western governments and the legacy of low-intensity conflicts. Currently, the West may not have the industrial capacity to fight a large-scale war. If the US government is planning to once again become the arsenal of democracy, then the existing capabilities of the US military-industrial base and the core assumptions that have driven its development need to be re-examined.

 

Estimating Ammo Consumption

There is no exact ammunition consumption data available for the Russia–Ukraine conflict. Neither government publishes data, but an estimate of Russian ammunition consumption can be calculated using the official fire missions data provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense during its daily briefing.

 

Number of Russian Daily Fire Missions, 19–31 May

Number of Russian Daily Fire Missions 19–31 May 2022

Number of Russian Daily Fire Missions 19–31 May 2022

Although these numbers mix tactical rockets with conventional, hard-shell artillery, it is not unreasonable to assume that a third of these missions were fired by rocket troops because they form a third of a motorised rifle brigade’s artillery force, with two other battalions being tube artillery. This suggests 390 daily missions fired by tube artillery. Each tube artillery strike is conducted by a battery of six guns total. However, combat and maintenance breakdowns are likely to reduce this number to four. With four guns per battery and four rounds per gun, the tube artillery fires about 6,240 rounds per day. We can estimate an additional 15% wastage for rounds that were set on the ground but abandoned when the battery moved in a hurry, rounds destroyed by Ukrainian strikes on ammunition dumps, or rounds fired but not reported to higher command levels. This number comes up to 7,176 artillery rounds a day. It should be noted that the Russian Ministry of Defense only reports fire missions by forces of the Russian Federation. These do not include formations from the Donetsk and Luhansk separatist republics, which are treated as different countries. The numbers are not perfect, but even if they are off by 50%, it still does not change the overall logistics challenge.

 

The Capacity of the West’s Industrial Base

The winner in a prolonged war between two near-peer powers is still based on which side has the strongest industrial base. A country must either have the manufacturing capacity to build massive quantities of ammunition or have other manufacturing industries that can be rapidly converted to ammunition production. Unfortunately, the West no longer seems to have either.

 

Presently, the US is decreasing its artillery ammunition stockpiles. In 2020, artillery ammunition purchases decreased by 36% to $425 million. In 2022, the plan is to reduce expenditure on 155mm artillery rounds to $174 million. This is equivalent to 75,357 M795 basic ‘dumb’ rounds for regular artillery, 1,400 XM1113 rounds for the M777, and 1,046 XM1113 rounds for Extended Round Artillery Cannons. Finally, there are $75 million dedicated for Excalibur precision-guided munitions that costs $176K per round, thus totaling 426 rounds. In short, US annual artillery production would at best only last for 10 days to two weeks of combat in Ukraine. If the initial estimate of Russian shells fired is over by 50%, it would only extend the artillery supplied for three weeks.

 

The US is not the only country facing this challenge. In a recent war game involving US, UK and French forces, UK forces exhausted national stockpiles of critical ammunition after eight days.

 

Unfortunately, this is not only the case with artillery. Anti-tank Javelins and air-defence Stingers are in the same boat. The US shipped 7,000 Javelin missiles to Ukraine – roughly one-third of its stockpile – with more shipments to come. Lockheed Martin produces about 2,100 missiles a year, though this number might ramp up to 4,000 in a few years. Ukraine claims to use 500 Javelin missiles every day.

 

The expenditure of cruise missiles and theatre ballistic missiles is just as massive. The Russians have fired between 1,100 and 2,100 missiles. The US currently purchases 110 PRISM, 500 JASSM and 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles annually, meaning that in three months of combat, Russia has burned through four times the US annual missile production. The Russian rate of production can only be estimated. Russia started missile production in 2015 in limited initial runs, and even in 2016 the production runs were estimated at 47 missiles. This means that it had only five to six years of full-scale production.

“If competition between autocracies and democracies has really entered a military phase, then the arsenal of democracy must radically improve its approach to the production of materiel in wartime

The initial stockpile in February 2022 is unknown, but considering expenditures and the requirement to hold substantial stockpiles back in case of war with NATO, it is unlikely that the Russians are worried. In fact, they seem to have enough to expend operational-level cruise missiles on tactical targets. The assumption that there are 4,000 cruise and ballistic missiles in the Russian inventory is not unreasonable. This production will probably increase despite Western sanctions. In April, ODK Saturn, which makes Kalibr missile motors, announced an additional 500 job openings. This suggests that even in this field, the West only has parity with Russia.

Flawed Assumptions

The first key assumption about future of combat is that precision-guided weapons will reduce overall ammunition consumption by requiring only one round to destroy the target. The war in Ukraine is challenging this assumption. Many ‘dumb’ indirect fire systems are achieving a great deal of precision without precision guidance, and still the overall ammunition consumption is massive. Part of the issue is that the digitisation of global maps, combined with a massive proliferation of drones, allows geolocation and targeting with increased precision, with video evidence demonstrating the ability to score first strike hits by indirect fires.

 

The second crucial assumption is that industry can be turned on and off at will. This mode of thinking was imported from the business sector and has spread through US government culture. In the civilian sector, customers can increase or decrease their orders. The producer may be hurt by a drop in orders but rarely is that drop catastrophic because usually there are multiple consumers and losses can be spread among consumers. Unfortunately, this does not work for military purchases. There is only one customer in the US for artillery shells – the military. Once the orders drop off, the manufacturer must close production lines to cut costs to stay in business. Small businesses may close entirely. Generating new capacity is very challenging, especially as there is so little manufacturing capacity left to draw skilled workers from. This is especially challenging because many older armament production systems are labour intensive to the point where they are practically built by hand, and it takes a long time to train a new workforce. The supply chain issues are also problematic because subcomponents may be produced by a subcontractor who either goes out of business, with loss of orders or retools for other customers or who relies on parts from overseas, possibly from a hostile country.

 

China’s near monopoly on rare earth materials is an obvious challenge here. Stinger missile production will not be completed until 2026, in part due to component shortages. US reports on the defence industrial base have made it clear that ramping up production in war-time may be challenging, if not impossible, due to supply chain issues and a lack of trained personnel due to the degradation of the US manufacturing base.

 

Finally, there is an assumption about overall ammunition consumption rates. The US government has always lowballed this number. From the Vietnam era to today, small arms plants have shrunk from five to just one. This was glaring at the height of the Iraq war, when US started to run low on small arms ammunition, causing the US government to buy British and Israeli ammunition during the initial stage of the war. At one point, the US had to dip into Vietnam and even Second World War-era ammo stockpiles of .50 calibre ammunition to feed the war effort. This was largely the result of incorrect assumptions about how effective US troops would be. Indeed, the Government Accountability Office estimated that it took 250,000 rounds to kill one insurgent. Luckily for the US, its gun culture ensured that small arms ammunition industry has a civilian component in the US. This is not the case with other types of ammunition, as shown earlier with Javelin and Stinger missiles. Without access to government methodology, it is impossible to understand why US government estimates were off, but there is a risk that the same errors were made with other types of munitions.

Conclusion

The war in Ukraine demonstrates that war between peer or near-peer adversaries demands the existence of a technically advanced, mass scale, industrial-age production capability. The Russian onslaught consumes ammunition at rates that massively exceed US forecasts and ammunition production. For the US to act as the arsenal of democracy in defence of Ukraine, there must be a major look at the manner and the scale at which the US organises its industrial base. This situation is especially critical because behind the Russian invasion stands the world’s manufacturing capital – China. As the US begins to expend more and more of its stockpiles to keep Ukraine in the war, China has yet to provide any meaningful military assistance to Russia. The West must assume that China will not allow Russia to be defeated, especially due to a lack of ammunition. If competition between autocracies and democracies has really entered a military phase, then the arsenal of democracy must first radically improve its approach to the production of materiel in wartime.

The views expressed in this Commentary are the author’s, and do not represent those of RUSI or any other institution.

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Ukraine aid scam: Only 30% of weapons shipped to besieged country have made it to the front lines

11August2022 by: https://www.naturalnews.com/2022-08-11-only-30-percent-weapons-ukraine-made-it.html

This article may contain statements that reflect the opinion of the author

(Natural News) Most weapons shipped to Ukraine have not made it to the front lines. This is something Republican lawmakers have warned about when they opposed a $40 billion aid package.

 

CBS quoted an NGO worker who said that only 30 percent of the Western weapons flooding into Ukraine are actually making it to the front lines of the country’s war against Russia. It later updated the report, saying that the NGO worker gave the assessment in late April and that the delivery has since improved.

 

However, the damage has been done.

 

“This is one of the reasons I voted ‘no,’” said Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Twitter, quoting the CBS News post.

 

She was one of 57 House Republicans who voted against the massive aid bill that was passed overwhelmingly in May with the support of all Democrats and most GOP lawmakers. The bill passed in Senate with a large 86-11 margin.

 

CBS noted that getting weapons to the troops involved navigating a complex network of “power lords, oligarchs and political players.” Amnesty International senior crisis adviser Donatella Rovera also told CBS that there is really no information on where the weapons are going.

 

There has been a growing number of reports about Ukrainian corruption during the war. (Related: US weapons package for Ukraine includes 100 KILLER DRONES.)

 

German newspaper Die Welt published extracts from Zelensky’s biography, detailing “corruption on an industrial scale” over offshore deals. The New York Times also reported about the “deep mistrust” between the White House and Zelensky.

 

Boebert: Majority of Ukraine aid is a scam

Meanwhile, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert said that scrutiny regarding the aid had been dismissed before the CBS report was released. “How many people were called Russian bots for saying this exact same thing since March? Now, when CBS says it, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever the case, glad the facts are out now. The majority of the Ukraine aid is a scam,” she tweeted.

 

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul delayed the Senate’s vote on the bill by insisting on adding a provision appointing an inspector general to monitor how the money was being spent, but colleagues refused to include the oversight requirement and passed the massive package just days later.

 

A U.S. intelligence official told CNN back in April that the arms shipments were dropping “into a big black hole” upon reaching Ukraine.

 

The 57 House Republicans who voted against the bill had been called out by critics for not supporting Ukraine.

 

Greene pointed out that the U.S. government had been sending billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine at a time when American mothers couldn’t even buy formula milk for their babies. But Democrat lawmakers accused her of “standing with President Putin” in the face of Russian aggression.

 

Visit WWIII.news for more news about corruption involving assistance for Ukraine.

 

Watch the video below about the CBS article and the corruption involving Ukraine aid funds.

CBS Deleted This Video Today “Arming Ukraine” (70% of the Weapons Being Delivered to Zelensky Go to the Black Market)

This video is from the Global Agenda channel on Brighteon.com.

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Pentagon Fails 5th Consecutive Audit Amid Ukraine Oversight Concerns

by Tyler Durden, 18November2022 – 12:00 AM https://www.zerohedge.com/military/pentagon-fails-5th-consecutive-audit-amid-ukraine-oversight-concerns

Dave DeCamp via The Libertarian Institute,

Amid concerns about the lack of oversight for US arms pouring into Ukraine, the Pentagon’s comptroller said that the department has failed its fifth consecutive audit.

 

The Pentagon began independent financial audits in 2017 and has failed everyone since. Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord told reporters that things didn’t look much different in the audit from the previous year and that it was “not the progress I would have hoped for.”

 

The audit of the Pentagon’s $3.5 trillion in assets and $3.7 trillion in liabilities concluded that the department’s internal tracking of money and arms is still not good enough for a passing grade. Pentagon officials have said they hope to pass their first audit by 2027.

 

When it comes to providing arms to Ukraine, McCord said arming the Ukrainians is an example of why there should be better oversight since they’re supplying a military that needs to replenish equipment quickly.

 

We’ve not been in a position where we’ve got only a few days of some critical munition left. Right? But we are now supporting a partner who is … that’s a, to me, a really great example of why it matters to get this sort of thing right, of counting inventory, knowing where it is and knowing when it is,” he said.

 

McCord said there haven’t been any examples of the US promising equipment to Ukraine that it doesn’t have in its stockpiles. But there is very little oversight of the weapons once they are shipped to Ukraine.

 

The State Department recently announced some oversight measures after over eight months of pouring billions of dollars worth of weapons into the country. As part of this effort, the Pentagon said its personnel have begun conducting weapons inspections inside Ukraine, marking the first official confirmation of a US military presence on the ground in Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24.

 

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