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Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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Rather than me bang on repeating myself about our decline into the world of '1984' and the poverty that will come with it, here's someone banging on about it in a Duran YouTube video they put out the other day. The guest's name on the show is Garland Nixon, who I've never heard of before, but a quick internet search reveals he is a Radio Talk show Host and Political Analyst from Washington DC; so there y'go. He talks a lot of sense, and by that I mean he agrees a lot with me, which is kind of my definition of talking a lot of sense.

It's an hour long video, but it's a very good interview and time flies. From 8 mins to 15 mins he talks about the Russian decision to withdraw its troops back from Kherson City to the east bank of the Dnieper River and what might happen next. But the best bit for me is from 16 mins onwards where he talks about the US mid-terms, the sameness of the Democratic and Republican parties, and the bigger political aspect of the war, the deindustrialisation of the EU, the US poaching EU industry, and the US eating its allies. I've said this all before in one post or another, and in one thread or another, but it's nice to hear a professional speaker articulate it so well.



Withdrawal from Kherson

My view on the withdrawal from Kherson is they should never have created a bridgehead there in the first place. Bridgeheads are springboards on which to quickly launch major offences. To create a bridgehead and just sit there defending it is a waste of resources and is just asking for the enemy to pick off your supply lines. We didn't know at the time the bridgehead was formed that Russia didn't have enough troops to launch an offensive and barely enough troops to defend it, so I think it came as a surprise to most that nothing happened there for so long. Plus, the Kherson bridgehead couldn't have been worse placed with the Dnieper River dammed up-stream and the dam a priority target to destroy. Had the dam burst, the bridgehead would have been cut off, and the troops based there surrounded and cut off from resupply.

The Russian army withdrawal from the west bank probably now means the destruction of Kherson City as it will become a killing zone for Russian artillery, drones and missile strikes, but I think by evacuating the city first, the Russian military have avoided the backlash they got from the people back home over Izium, where civilians were left behind and it is alleged many have been tortured and murdered by the Nazi battalions that rushed there for blood.

Strategic Consequences of the Kherson Withdrawal

- This is another Russian withdrawal, and armies can get use to withdrawing.

- Morale is important, and this hits morale.

- Kherson sets a presidence where crossing the Dnieper River puts soldiers lives at risk, and many may now ask does Kherson make this a risk the Russian Army or the Russian public no longer want to take?

- Kherson which is now Russian territory, is now half occupied by Ukrainian forces. This can't be allowed to become permanent, but the Dnieper River will have to be crossed at some time to liberate it. If the Russian army or the Russian public are not prepared to accept casualties in doing so, they may have to revisit Kherson's boundaries.

- If the Russian army advances east to west from the Donbass to the Dnieper River as looks increasingly likely, will they decide to create bridgeheads on the west bank of the Dnieper to move into western Ukraine, or will the Kherson presidence tempt Russia to withdraw again to minimise casualties as soon as they are attacked?

- How can Russia advance beyond the Dnieper River, across the flat expanses of Ukrainian fields and farmland, if it adopts its incremental advance strategy to minimise casualties; by advancing one trench at a time? Half the Russian army would have died of old age by the time they got to Lviv.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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The Thoughts of Armchair General Beerman

Here in Dear Old Blighty there is an affectionate term for someone who is a self-proclaimed military expert with little or no practical experience of the military; who imposes his views on others, and speaks authoritatively and incessantly on tactical and strategy matters despite being desperately unqualified to do so. He will put real Generals right on the wrong decisions they have made, and talk at length and in great detail about war fighting and what the real Generals should have done and what they should do next. We call this person an Armchair General and they can often be found in family living rooms sat in front of the telly torturing their long suffering familes with their opinions when all the rest of the family wants to do is watch Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC. You can also find them in their local pub sat on a bar stool having had one too many to drink, preaching to the disinterested. The modern-day version of an Arm Chair General can be found all over the internet; youngsters working away in splendid isolation in bedrooms on their laptops as they engage virtually with an audience of thousands of similar Armchair Generals pouring over maps and drawing arrows on them, fighting virtual wars on YouTube for virtual friends in virtual communities and virtual strangers alike.

So, speaking as an Armchair General who knows nothing about anything, who has never fought in a war, has never slept in a trench and been expected to kill someone the next day after breakfast, and has never experienced hours of artillery shelling, but insists on telling real Generals what they should do, I shall now give you the thoughts of Armchair General Beerman. To make this more palatable, take my words as coming from a civilian thinking aloud; thoughts that might be shared by other civilians like me in the West and in Russia.

I’m not convinced Russia realises just how high the stakes are in this conflict with Ukraine. Russia acknowledges it is at war with the US, through NATO, using Ukraine. President Putin has said on many occasions in many speeches that Russia is fighting to destroy Nazism on its borders, to secure its western border against an aggressive NATO and a politically Russophobic EU, and for a security architecture that would distance NATO forces and US nuclear missiles from its border, and yet Russia continues to fight a risk adverse, restrained, limited war.

I think Russia is fighting for its right to exist as an independent country against a super rich global ruling class that has set up shop in the US but who cares nothing for the US people, and has puppet deep states doing its bidding throughout the West that equally care nothing for their people either. That’s what I think, but President Putin has said as much in a recent speech he gave a couple of weeks back in a place I can’t remember, that has a name I couldn’t pronounce anyway, so I’m going to have to paraphrase Mr Putin here, a-hem <clears throat>; ‘Russia is fighting for its right to exist as an independent country against a super rich global ruling class that has set up shop in the US but who cares nothing for the US people, and has puppet deep states doing its bidding throughout the West that equally care nothing for their people either’; so that proves I’m right.

The way Russia is incrementally advancing suggests they think they have all the time in the world to win this war, and that suggests they still think the war is with Ukraine. Why do I care? Well, if Russia loses this war against the US/NATO in Ukraine, we all get to live in ‘1984’ with the US deep state as our ‘Big Brother’. If Russia wins this war, and to do that it has to defeat the global ruling class based in the US, then maybe instead of having a government controlled by the deep state that represents the upper class, we get one that represents us. I know, and one day pigs will fly (meet the new boss, he’s the same as the old boss).

If Russia loses the war against US/NATO, it will be destroyed financially, militarily, and politically. It will be physically split up into smaller US controlled countries, and its people will be put into poverty. If the country is split up, there is a good chance the Nazis in the Kiev regime and elsewhere across Europe will form part of the governments in these new countries, and Nazi battalions will be formed to control the Russian people. These are the real stakes for the Russian people in this US/NATO war. This may have started off as a Special Military Operation to liberate the ethnic Russian regions in Ukraine, but what Russia is fighting now is the early stages of World War 3 that ends in the destruction of the Western/Global ruling class or Russia.

I think Russia knows deep down it is fighting for its life, but just doesn’t want to admit it yet. If it freezes the Ukrainian conflict for any significant period of time, either through reluctance to cross the Dnepr River for fear of casualties, or though a negotiated ceasefire that doesn’t resolve the issues, then the West will pull out all the stops to drain and bankrupt Russia’s economy. It will build the Ukrainian army back up again, train and rearm it, this time with US/NATO equipment, establish lines of US/NATO logistics and stores, conduct scrimmages and sporadic shelling of Russia lines, and prepare for a future offensive into Russia.

Russia has so far managed the economic war well, but it hasn’t supported an army of half a million soldiers in the field yet; not for any length of time, and certainly not year-on-year. Maybe it can afford it indefinitely, if not then eventually the people of Russia will tire of the austerity the stalemate brings and the impact it has on their living standards. A prolonged freeze would also give the West the time it needs to wage its information war on the Russian people and the time the CIA needs to orchestrate a coup as it did with the Soviet Union.

Russia needs to realise that at some point it will have to advance across western Ukraine to end the Ukraine war, but that does not end the US/NATO war, it just moves the border between US/NATO and Russia to the western edge of Ukraine.

Russia would not have won WW2 with such a cautious and restrained Order Of Battle/Rules Of Engagement, so why does it think it can win WW3 by adopting such an approach? Russia knows it needs to target the US ruling class; take away their money and you take away their power, because it has said so. This war will be won on the economic battleground and that means destroying the dollar, euro and unfortunately for me, the pound. If Russia wins, ordinary people in the West are going to be in the shit. If Russia loses, ordinary people in the West are going to be in the shit. But ordinary people are already in the shit thanks to the hollowing out of our economic system and the stealing of our wealth by the ruling class over the past 40 years which is finally reaching the end point of economic collapse and poverty for everyone, except the ruling class and their servants of course.

Russia is neither a saint nor a devil. It is a country like any other, that just happens to operate a socialist political and economic system meaning it spends money on its society, treats people fairly when they deserve it and harshly when they don’t. It achieves socialism through communal ownership of widespread nationalisation, although people don’t actually own a nationalised industry, the state owns it on their behalf. But being a socialist country doesn’t make them a bad country. A bad country is made by bad people when bad people get into power. Russia has its problems like any other country because it has the same spectrum of good and bad people in it as any other. They have their upper class and their underclass like everyone else, but their upper class isn’t allowed to use its money as power. But Russia is very different to the West when it comes to Nazis. If you had 27 million people killed during WW2 in your country, of which 18 million were civilians, mainly the old, and women and children, you’d have a problem with Nazis as well. It’s history with Nazism and its issue with the West’s ruling class sponsoring a neo-Nazi regime that it put into power to bring Russia down, means Russia is slowly realising the West’s ruling class has got to go. For Russia, it’s kind of us or them. Russian’s know it’s existential, but I don’t think they are acting like it is.

This is not going to be pretty for middle and working class people in the West. Our upper class and ruling class (the upper echelons of the upper class that use their wealth for power), do not care how much money they take from us, how poor we get, or how much our society disintegrates to fund their wars; and if the people demonstrate too much, or strike in industries that cost them money, they will not hesitate to send in the thugs (as Thatcher did in the 1980s).

There’s a significant minority who are the most vocal that listen to and believe the West’s media and cheer for the ruling class team. Most kind of go along with the narrative, but don’t really believe it, a bit like religion. I think most people in the West don’t really care and are focused on the rising cost of living, not equating the two.

I shall now stop my barstool preaching, put my Armchair General’s hat back on the peg in the hallway, and ask some questions that I’m sure are being asked at the moment in Moscow, but without answering them for a change.

- Will Russia cut off logistic supply lines from US/NATO into Ukraine?

- Will Russia disrupt the banking system to stop the flow of money in and out of Ukraine?

- Will Russia leave the Kherson front for another day, even if Ukraine crosses the Dnepr River to the east bank?

- Will Russia cross the Dnepr River?

- Will Russia take the whole of Ukraine?

- Will Russia do to Kiev what the US did to Bagdad?

- Will Russia target the political regime in Kiev and Lviv?

- Will Russia take out US/NATO command and Control like the US did in Desert Storm?

- Will Russia take Odessa by sea like the British took the Falklands?

- Will Russia use its bombers?

- Will Russia provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees and help those who want to move to the EU and the US do so?

- Will Russia open a new front from Belarus to cut off West Ukraine and/or take Lviv?

- Will Russia attack any country that attacks it, whether they attack as part of US/NATO or independent of US/NATO?

- Will Russia fully mobilise?
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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Counting the Ukrainian Dead and Wounded

Back in February 2022 at the start of the Ukraine conflict many analysts estimated the size of Ukraine’s army as being between 400,000 and 600,000. This surprised me as in 2019 some claimed it to be 300,000 (some said it was only 200,000). If it really was 300,000 and it had grown to 600,000 in 2 years, then that’s double (stating the bleedin’ obvious). Even at its peak in 1995 after the collapse of the Soviet Union it only numbered 500,000. Is it possible to double an army in 2 years? Maybe, but it implies the US had funded and organised it to get it ready for a 2022 offensive against the Donbass to get NATO on Russia’s borders. The build-up of the Ukraine army, which I’m now going to refer to as the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) as Ukraine has insignificant air or naval forces and is a lot easier than keep typing the Ukrainian army, is consistent with the Russian claim that the AFU was going to storm the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics sometime in March 2022. My opinion is this intelligence forced Russia’s hand to launch their Special Military Operation when they did, to beat the AFU to the punch.

How many combat troops an army can deploy depends on how well the army is run. It depends on how efficient its logistic support is. In essence, how many non-combat troops are needed to run it and supply the deployed combat troops, and of course the quality of the soldiers. The British Army reckons it can deploy just 10% of its combat troops, which quite frankly is appalling, but it is a reflection of the standard of senior officers responsible for such things, and the abandonment of promotion on merit. I believe the US army says it can deploy 20% to 30% which suggests it doesn’t really know. I have seen some army’s claim they can deploy up to 60% which suggests to me they haven’t got a clue what they are doing and are in for a rude awakening if they ever have to go to war.

There is another rule of thumb that, of the combat troops deployed, a third are fighting, a third are in reserve ready to fill gaps, be moved about, and join the fight when needed, and a third are messing about at 2nd line getting their breath back, resting and recovering. The reason why deploying 60% of your army would be difficult, and ultimately unsustainable is first, you would have to have that many combat troops or else you would have to deploy non-combat troops to make up the numbers, and second, you would only have 40% of your army to support them. You would need an incredibly efficient and effective system of logistic support, as a tank crew without diesel are Infantry, and Infantry without bullets are civilians.

The advantage of outsourcing your logistic support system, say by sending your equipment to be repaired in Poland and sending fuel, equipment and stores back, is you don’t need as many soldiers to man it, especially if it mostly travels by rail. The disadvantage is if you have an electric rail network and your enemy takes out your electricity grid, it will seriously impact your logistic supply and your ability to deploy your troops. I am of course describing the situation in Ukraine.

Let’s assume the AFU is 600,000 strong. If they had to do logistic support in-house, they should only really be able to deploy 180,000 (30%), but by relying on US/NATO for logistic support let’s say they are able to deploy that magical, mystical 60%, i.e. 360,000 combat troops.

About a month ago the Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu said the number of AFU soldiers killed was 105,000. Even the Western mainstream media are not contesting the 100,000 figure. Working on the 1:3 ratio of killed-to-wounded, which is what most armies work to, that puts the AFU wounded at 300,000, i.e. 400,000 casualties (killed and wounded). There’s also the captured, deserters, accidents, murdered etc. to count, but let’s not get into the weeds. But these 400,000 casualties have been over 9 months. Extrapolate that to a year and it’s 540,000 (140,000 dead and 400,000 wounded).

When you look more closely at the AFU casualty figures, a number of things jump out at you.

- If the AFU is 600,000 strong and has 360,000 combat troops (60%), then how could it have suffered 400,000 casualties in 9 months? That more than the combat troops it has.

- It looks like the AFU has deployed perhaps 80% of the soldiers it has in the combat role, which suggest few are defending major cities away from the front line, and just how few are involved in any logistic support. Non combat troops are not effective in battle and only add to the high attrition rate.

- It suggests US/NATO is providing in-theatre manpower, perhaps through Private Military Companies (PMCs), or uniform changes.

- By Feb 2023 the Ukrainian army fielded in Feb 2022 will have been completely destroyed.

- There has been poor medical care provided to the wounded in the field and in hospitals which have been overwhelmed. The offenses launched against Kherson during September and October reportedly left Mykolaiv hospitals unable to cope. As a result many have died of their wounds and many more have been left with long term or permanent injuries, disabilities or illnesses that perhaps could have been avoided. As a result I suspect the number of wounded able to return to their units is much lower than would normally be expected. I’m going to guess (and I can’t prove it), it’s as appalling low as 30%. Going with that figure, that puts the annual attrition rate at 420,000 (140,000 dead and 280,000 permanently wounded or die later of their wounds). An attrition rate of 420,000 means Ukraine has to conscript this number every year just to maintain its 600,000 strength. It is a meat grinder.

- The AFU that exists today is an army of exhausted regulars and inadequately trained conscript replacements, and it’s on its last legs unless US/NATO does something dramatic.

If the AFU wanted to do things properly and deploy 30% of its army, deploy 420,000 combat troops, conscript 420,000 to cover its attrition, and run its own logistic support, then it would need to grow to 1.4 million.

To put an army of 1.4 million into context, the Top 5 largest armies in the world (2020) are;

1. China - 2,035,000
2. India - 1,444,500
3. United States - 1,359,450
4. North Korea - 1,280,000
5. Russia - 900,000

It may or may not come as a surprise to some US/NATO generals that to stand any chance of defeating the Russian army you need an army the size of the US/NATO.

To put 140,000 Ukrainians dead a year into context, that is nearly double the regular British Army (79,000), and it is well over double the US soldiers killed in Vietnam over a 20 year period (58,220). With a predicted 140,000 dead by Feb 2023, 280,000 dead by Feb 2024, and 420,000 dead by Feb 2025, that will exceed the 417,000 US soldiers killed in WW2.
Last edited by Beerman on Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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You have to laugh. Ursula Von Der Leyen in a speech to justify the EU setting up a Western war crime tribunal against Russia, backed by the Western controlled UN General Assembly just said out loud that there have been 100,000 Ukrainians soldiers Killed In Action (KIA). Videos are being taken down, videos are being edited, the statement is being denied, Russia is trolling away.
BRUSSELS, November 30. /TASS/. The European Commission (EC) has confirmed that it deleted information that 100,000 Ukrainian military personnel died since the start of the special military operation in Ukraine from the video address and the written statement of EC President Ursula von der Leyen.

"Many thanks to those who pointed out the inaccuracy regarding the figures in a previous version of this video," EC spokeswoman Dana Spinant tweeted. "The estimation used, from external sources, should have referred to casualties, i.e. both killed and injured, and was meant to show Russia‘s brutality," she added.

The European Commission deleted information about the 100,000 Ukrainian servicemen and 20,000 civilians who died since the start of the Russian special military operation from the video address and the written statement of EC President Ursula von der Leyen released Wednesday morning, TASS reported earlier. Such information was removed approximately two hours after the posting of the video address and statement
Bearing in mind the term casualties refers to killed and wounded, maybe she means there have been 100,000 KIA and 0 wounded. I laugh at the incompetence of our Western leaders, not at the deaths and the numbers of horribly wounded.

I personally have no doubt that the figure of 100,000 KIA is accurate, so I'm going to carry on using it in this thread. I could quote article after article in the Western media, month after month that makes the figure of 100,000 casualties appear ridiculous, but I'll pick one out a random; from the Guardian newspaper dated June 2022. The Guardian is one of the most Russophobic neo-liberal rags in the UK.
Any way you count it, the figures are stark: Ukrainian casualties are running at a rate of somewhere between 6oo and 1,000 a day. One presidential adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, told the Guardian this week it was 150 killed and 800 wounded daily; another, Mykhaylo Podolyak, told the BBC that 100 to 200 Ukrainian troops a day were being killed.
Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/ ... ping-point

The idea that there have only been 100,000 casualties in 276 days is, in my opinion, not believable. That's 362 per day. Even the Guardian is saying it was between 600 and 1,000 a day back in June, and it's got a lot worse since then.

On the subject of an EU war crimes tribunal backed by the US/UN General Assembly, I guess they are modelling the idea on the war crimes court set up in the Hague to show-trial Serbian military and political leaders. But US/NATO was able to do that because they won the war. Such a court would have no jurisdiction over Russia, and US/NATO would have to win the war against Russia first to enforce any judgements. A more likely scenario is Russia will set up its own war crimes tribunal and if the EU collapses and member states move over to the Eurasian system, Russia may bring those in Ukraine and in the EU to answer for what they have done. Ursula might get her war crime tribunal, but find herself in the dock alongside the others that have encouraged Ukraine to fight to the last Ukrainian.

Here's the Ursula Von Der Crazy video. Enjoy it before it's taken down.

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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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How many Ukrainians does Ukraine have to conscript?

According to Wikipedia, the AFU currently has 1,000,000 active personal, 900,000 reservists, and 7 million that are fit for military service. It doesn’t say if those 7 million includes the active personal and reservists, but I’m going to assume it doesn’t as it says “available”.

You have to take Wikipedia with a pinch of salt when it comes to anything political. Wikipedia is good for non-fiction subjects like Physics and Engineering, but if you believe anything on there that serves the political elite, then you’d believe anything. Wikipedia is a great idea; an information database written by the people for the people. But like all great ideas in the West, it has been hijacked by the deep state, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the CIA who pay contemptible hacks, sometimes referred to as ‘Journalists’, to write propaganda and pass it off as fact, just as they do in all the mainstream media.

Let’s take a moment to look at some of the figures published on Wikipedia’s Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) related pages; here are some good ones;

Military age: 18
Conscription: 12–18 months (depending on branches)
Available for military service: 11,149,646, age 16–49 (2015)
Fit for military service: 6,970,035, age 16–49 (2015)
Reaching military age annually: 470,406 (2021)
Active personnel: 196,600 (2022)
Reserve personnel: 900,000 (2022)
Deployed personnel: 40,114 (2021)

- The figures for Available for Military Service (11 million) and Fit for Military Service (7 million) are 7 years old. The suggestion is it is still 7 million; and that’s if you believe the 2015 figure of 7 million in the first place. It also exaggerates the number by including 16 to 17 year olds when the military age is 18, but by using the 2015 figure, it gets away with publicising the 2022 draft includes 49 to 59 year olds (Dad’s Army).

- It gives a figure for the number of 17 year olds turning 18 and reaching military age annually, but it doesn’t mention the number of 59 year olds turning 60 and leaving the army, which is 50,000 more than number turning 18.

- It says the AFU was 204,000 in 2014 and 246,445 in 2021 (of which only 195,626 were military personnel), so in terms of military personnel it’s saying the AFU shrunk by 4,000 between 2014 and 2021. I suspect this was because the AFU wanted to downplay its build-up for its assault on the Donbass planned for March 2022. A third figure of 233,000 appears for the AFU when you add up the 2022 numbers for the Army, Air Force and Navy from their individual Wikipedia pages (198,000 Ground Forces, 20,000 airborne Forces, and 15,000 Naval Forces). How these different figures reconcile with the claim of 1,000,000 active AFU personal, I don’t know.

The narrative here is the AFU has stayed around the 200,000 mark from 2015 to 2022, and only grew to 700,000 in July 2022, which seems highly unlikely to me; more than tripling in 9 months! The figures are clearly manipulated, so instead of anonymous propagandists posting on Wikipedia telling me how many Ukraine has to draft, I am going to have a go at working it out for myself.

How many Ukrainians can Ukraine draft?

Ukraine’s population has been steadily decreasing for years and is likely to continue to do so at an even faster rate now. The population of Ukraine pre-Feb 22 was 43 million.

Post-Feb 22 Ukraine lost 15 million (35%) of population (its ethnic Russians) to Russia. Most ethnic Russians live in the regions that have become part of Russia, however, some have found themselves trapped in cities still controlled by the AFU. Those able to leave have fled to Russia, but some remain stuck in cities like Zaporozhe, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, and Odessa. The AFU probably realises it’s not a good idea to conscript your enemy into your army. If the AFU were to give them guns, they’d probably shoot the officers when nobody was looking and slip away to join the Russian army. So when I say Ukraine has lost 15 million ethnic Russian I mean regardless of where they are situated.

Having lost 35% of its population, Ukraine is down to 28 million. Males make up 47% of Ukraine’s population, which equates to 13 million males.

Before Feb 22 there were 20 million males in Ukraine broken down by age as;

0-14 years old 3,431,289
15-29 years old 3,425,157
30-44 years old 5,093,566
45-59 years old 4,155,519
60-74 years old 2,961,580
75-89 years old 793,881
90+ years old 38,741

Or to put it in terms of military service;

18-29 years old 2,425,157
30-44 years old 5,093,566
45-59 years old 4,155,519

Having lost 35% of its population to Russia, these numbers become;

18-29 years old 1,576,000
30-44 years old 3,310,000
45-59 years old 2,700,000

The number of 18-59 year olds available for military service so far add up to 7.6 million, which drops to 7 million when you allow for the 600,000 already in the AFU.

I’m going to estimate between 40% to 60% of this 7 million would not be fit for military service. I get that figure from the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) who quote 2019 figures for long term physical and mental illnesses amongst the UK population by age group; here’s the link. Download the Excel spreadsheet at the bottom of the page and it’s the 3rd tab.

I give a range because some people may have more than one of the illnesses listed, in which case you take the one with the highest percentage and the other illnesses are included in that figure. On the other hand, one person might have one of the illnesses listed and another person have an unrelated different one, in which case you’d add the percentages of people with those illnesses together; so there’s a range.

I get the 40% to 60% range by breaking it down thus;

18 to 19 group. 11% have learning difficulties in which I would include the 6% with speech impediment, and 4% have mental illness, phobias, and panics which I would add to the total. My estimate is 15% would be exempt from military service.

20 to 39 group. 60% have learning difficulties, 48% have depression and bad nerves, and 47% have skin condition and allergies. It’s not hard to get a figure of 50% to 60% exempt from military service.

40 to 59 group. 41% have back and neck problems, 38% have diabetes, 38% have epilepsy. Clear 117% can’t be exempt so quite a few with diabetes must have back and neck problems, a quite a few with epilepsy must have diabetes, and maybe quite a few have all 3. Let’s assume these all combine to give a range of 40% to 50% of 40 to 59 year olds would be exempt from military service.

Wikipedia says 7 million out of 11 million of those available for military service are fit for military service (64%), or to put it another way, 36% are not. This isn’t a million miles from my lower estimate, so I’m going to go with 40% would be exempt from military service. This takes the number eligible for the draft down from 7 million to 4.2 million

Then you have those in reserved occupations; the engineers, scientists, railway workers, utility workers, farmers and agricultural workers, doctors, nurses, teachers etc. During WW2 in the UK there were 5 million men working in reserved occupations, about 20% of the male population. Assuming 20% of the male population are also in reserved occupations that takes the number eligible for the draft down to 3.4 million.

Then there are the 400,000 injured, shell-shocked and disabled discharged from the AFU, so let's take it down to 3 million.

Then there are those with recurring health problems, those of a nervous disposition, alcoholics, drug addicts, those that don’t want to be found, and the ethnic Ukrainians males that left Ukraine before the order was given in June 22 that no males of conscription age were allowed travel abroad.

My estimation is the AFU has around 2.5 million conscripts to call upon, not the 7 million Wikipedia would have us believe.
Last edited by Beerman on Tue Dec 06, 2022 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

Post by Beerman »

How long will 2.5 million conscripts last at an attrition rate of 420,000 per year?

If you said 6 years then drop and give me 50 (pounds that is, not press-ups).

If you took into account an increasing attrition rate as numbers of 45-59 year olds get sick or just drop dead of a heart attack; or as shell-shock injuries grow; or as mental exhaustion leads to increased casualties; and you then allowed for increased desertions and surrenders, which are losses outside of the attrition rate, and you came up with a figure of say 3 years, then you’d still be wrong because it’s a trick question as the number fit for military service is not on the critical path.

An army might march on its stomach but it fights with its combat troops and they need to be trained and supported by the various Corps (Logistics Corps, Engineering Corps, Electrical and Mechanical Repair Corps, Communications Corps, Medical Corps etc.) that contribute to fighting capacity and sustainability; and when I say support, I mean a considerable number of them are deployed with the combat troops. An army should be in balance with all the Corps running like a Swiss timepiece from 1st to 4th Line; and that’s the AFU’s problem in a nutshell; it’s running more like a 20 year old car firing on 3 cylinders.

Training

The AFU will need to mobilise at least 420,000 men by Feb 2023 because that has been their attrition rate for the 1st year of the war (140,000 dead and 280,000 permanently injured and unable to return to their unit). Ukraine has already mobilised 100,000 this year, so just another 320,000 to go. If you are going to do 2 mobilisations then it is better that you do them in 2 goes of 210,000 each as military formations such as Brigades and Battalions lose combat effectiveness when losses exceed 50%. With the 2nd mobilisation as yet unannounced and looking increasingly unlikely, I suspect some Ukrainian Brigades and Battalions are now getting dangerously close to that 50% loss of fighting capability tipping point and some may have to combine to form an up-to-strength unit.

Ideally from Feb 2023 to Feb 2024 Ukraine should aim for 4 mobilisations of around 100,000 every 3 months. That would be better and smoother, plus 3 months is about right for Basic Training and to get some Collective Training in. Arms training for artillery, tank, air defence, NATO weaponry systems like HIMARS etc., are probably going to take going to take at least 6 months, and training for Combat Engineer, Signals, Electrical & Mechanical Repair probably 9 months to a year. Then there’s officer training which is going to takes around a year as well (44 weeks for the British army).

Who’s doing What?

The US recently announced it plans to train 2,500 Ukrainian troops per month, which is 7,500 in 3 months,

The UK is already half way through its one year training programme; the commitment being to train 10,000 troops as a one-off exercise, and brags about it in the press.

The EU has committed to train 15,000 Ukrainian troops through its member states as a one-off exercise, but it’s not clear if there is some double accounting here. There have been reports of EU member states like Poland and Germany already training Ukrainian troops either as part of a covert NATO training programme in Poland and Germany, or as part of bilateral arrangements with Ukraine, either in their countries or in Ukraine. There is no doubt these countries and many other EU member states are sending trainers to support the overt US and UK training programmes as well as training programmes in Ukraine.

RT reported the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and New Zealand have become involved training Ukraine troop; and the latest news is Australia wants to join them.

The Guardian reported Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania and the Netherlands were backing the UK training operation, I assume by sending trainers and maybe some funding. It’s not clear if they are also conducting their own training programmes.

I suspect the only countries running training programmes are the US, the UK, Germany and Spain. I’d be surprised if any of the others provide anything other than trainers, and I doubt they contribute much.

Here’s a bit of an insight into the UK training programme from Politico, a very, very neo-con, pro-Ukrainian publication;
The aim is to turn the new recruits into soldiers in just five weeks, providing basic military skills — infantry tactics; weapons handling; patrolling; first aid; evacuation — before they return to fight on the frontline.

Since June, the U.K. has trained nearly 5,000 Ukrainian early recruits under Operation Interflex, a program that aims to support 10,000 new soldiers within a year across a network of British training camps. Interflex is the successor to a longer-running British program, Operation Orbital, which trained up more than 22,000 Ukrainians between 2015 — shortly after Russia’s initial occupation of Crimea — and May of this year.

Now in its third iteration, Interflex has been repeatedly redrawn to Ukraine’s evolving military needs. The scheme has been deemed sufficiently effective that more than half a dozen military allies — Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand — have all sent trainers to the U.K. to accelerate its delivery. – Politico, 16 Sep 22
With regards bilateral arrangements for training programmes, we know Canada trained the Azov Nazis because the Azov Nazis bragged about it, and I suspect Poland has the biggest training programme outside the US. Obviously who is training who and how many they are training is quite sensitive information both militarily and politically, so it’s not surprising it’s all shrouded in mystery.

Guesstimating the numbers being trained

Let’s start with the programmes being run in the US and UK, Germany, Spain and the EU.

Let’s assume that although some commitments have only been for 1 year, they get extended year on year as this is going to be a commitment that is going to get very difficult to get out of.

Let’s also assume that the EU is being honest for once and is really are going to train an additional 15,000 Ukrainian troops and not double account them.

I’m going to guess;

- The US is training 7,500 every 3 months (30,000 per year).

- The UK is training 2,400 every 3 months (9,600 per year).

- Germany is training 2,000 every 3 months (8,000 per year).

- Spain is training 1,500 every 3 months (6,000 a year)

- The EU (through its member states) will train approx 4,000 every 3 months (15,000 a year).

This totals 17,400 every 3 months (68,600 a year).

As for the bilateral arrangements whether they are in Ukraine or not, I’m going to guess;

- Poland is training 3,000 every 3 months (12,000 a year).

- Canada is training 1,000 every 3 months (4,000 a year).

Add these numbers to the training totals and we get 21,400 trained every 3 months (84,600 trained a year).

We have a problem Houston

One of the problems Ukraine has in mobilising 320,000 by Feb 23, let alone another 420,000 from Feb 23 to Feb 24, is the West is only training 21,400 every 3 months, that’s 84,600 a year assuming 4 courses a year; and the US is currently the only country that has committed itself to supplying training on an on-going basis, not just for 1 year.

This guesstimate of 84,600 is suspiciously close to the 100,000 actually mobilised during 2022, and maybe this is the maximum number that can be mobilised per year, because that is the maximum number that can be trained.

How long will 2.5 million conscripts last at a conscription rate of 100,000 per year?

If you said 25 years then drop and give me another 50 (pounds not press-ups numb-nuts; you can do press-ups in your own time).

If the AFU was 600,000 strong, and it has suffered 400,000 casualties over the past 9 months, and there really are only 200,000 left until the newly mobilised 100,000 join them, then it’s hard to see the AFU surviving the imminent Russian winter offensive.

We know Russian forces will comprise at least 300,000 mobilised reservists and 80,000 volunteers because Russia has said so. These reservists and volunteers may not all be combat troops, but those that aren’t will no doubt free up those that are that are stuck performing non-combat duties at 2nd line, so we can expect an increase of 380,000 combat troops even if it’s not the mobilised troops that make them up. What we don’t know is how many of the regular Russian Army will join them, and whether the 100,000 currently deployed will crack on, be withdrawn for short-term rest and recovery, or sent home having done their bit.

Colonel (Retired) Douglas McGregor is a YouTube military analyst and commentator on the Ukraine war. As you’d expect, he knows what he’s talking about regarding military matters because he’s been there, done that, and got the T-Shirt. He does hold some stereotypical US military cold war era views on ‘communism’ and the Soviet Union which perhaps you’d expect; but that’s his right, just as it’s mine to disagree with him on some of them. Col McGregor reckons the Russians will attack with 700,000 troops. I’m not clear, because he hasn’t made it clear, if he means combat troops or if he includes in that number combat troops, combat engineers, and 1st and 2nd line support (logistics, repair, signals, medical etc.). If he means 700,000 combat troops then the AFU may find themselves living in interesting times.

If Russia really does have a regular army of 900,000, then it should be able to deploy and sustain 270,000 combat troops. If it already has deployed 100,000 as part of its Special Military Operation, then it should only be able to deploy a further 170,000. If Russia kept the 100,000 combat troops in theatre, deployed a further 170,000 regular combat troops as well as the 380,000 reservists and volunteers that would total 650,000 combat troops, but they would only have 630,000 non-combat troops to support them, so we are talking about a 50% deployment of combat troops, which normally would be a ‘no-no’. Is this possible? Given the close proximity of the theatre to Russia, the established supply lines, what appears to be the exceptional performance of its 4 line (Military Industrial Complex), and the stocking of its 3rd line stores, it might just be possible, especially as 700,000 Russian combat troops (of which 600,000 will be fresh and 100,000 will be tired but highly motivated to see this thing through), versus 200,000 exhausted AFU troops would not need to be sustained for long.

Getting back to the question; how long will 2.5 million conscripts last at a conscription rate of 100,000 per year? It’s another trick question. Maybe 6 months if the Nazi regime calls them up and sends them untrained, poorly led, poorly armed, and poorly supplied into battle against regular Russia troops and the non-Nazi element of the AFU stand by and let the regime in power do it. If it takes 6 months that’s only because the Russians want to minimise their casualties.

Something to think about
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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Counting the Russian killed and wounded

The West has claimed the Russian dead stands at 100,000.

President Zelensky said yesterday that it is 93,000.

Last week US General Milley said it was 100,000 casualties (killed and wounded).

A few days ago Defence Minister Shoigu it was 5,800.

No one seems to be saying how many have been wounded, but Shoigu did say 90% of the Russian wounded had returned to the front line.

If we take Zelensky’s figure and a 1:3 ratio of killed-to-wounded, we get 372,000 Russian casualties (93,000 dead + 279,000 wounded).

If we take Shoigu’s figure and a 1:3 ratio of killed-to-wounded, we get 23,200 casualties (5,800 dead + 17,400 wounded). But if only 10% (1,740) of the 17,400 had been seriously wounded enough as not to be able to return to their units, then the casualty figure drops to 7,540 (5,800 killed + 1,740 seriously wounded) in 9 months, or 10,000 a year.

Given the Russian superiority in air power and artillery, and the stand-off nature of Russian defensive lines and its offensives, i.e. killing and wounding from a distance, I would expect a smaller ratio of killed-to-wounded than 1:3.

I should also point out that Zelensky’s figure of 93,000 Russians dead in 9 months (275 days) equates to 338 per day, more than twice the daily rate claimed by Zelensky for the Ukrainian Army.

So it boils down to who do your believe; The US, The EU, The West, Ukraine, or Russia? Here are a couple of things to take into account when making up your mind;

Reuters reported in August 22 that the US Pentagon believed the total for July 22 was 15,000 Russian soldiers killed, with total casualties between 70,000 and 80,000. This gives a killed-to-wounded ratio of 15,000: 80,000 or 1:5 which sounds way off, especially when you consider the Russian artillery and air assault nature of the battles minimises Russian casualties.

There was a BBC report back in August, where BBC researchers attempted to put a figure on the Russian’s soldiers killed in Ukraine. From what I can gather this was done by examining casualty reports and open source articles and documents, and I assume looking at Russian obituaries. I read an article saying some researchers were based in Russia and conducted part of the investigation over there visiting families, graveyards and going through Death Certificates, but I can’t find the article so I can't confirm it. The BBC came up with a figure of 5,701 Russian soldiers killed in the 6 month period from March to August 22; here’s a link.

Knowing the Western bias and Russophobic nature of the BBC I’m sure if in doubt, their researchers would have added a few here and there to the total, and I’m equally sure they would have been disappointed with the result. Western’ fact-checkers’ claimed it was too low, so there must have been 10,000s of deaths either missed by sloppy researchers or hidden by the Russian government. You could of course argue this for any study; you don’t know what you don’t know. The way round it is to publish your methodology and get everyone to buy into it before you do the study, then you can get agreement on the results. I haven’t seen the methodology for this BBC investigation, and I don’t think it was every made public. I think the BBC thought he numbers would be so huge that no one in the West would argue with it. In the end, the West decided to just not talk about it and move on.

The BBC findings of 5,701 killed in 6 months suggests 8,500 killed in 9 months. So the Russian figure of 5,800 killed isn’t a million miles off. The BBC 6 month total extrapolates to 11,400 Russians dead in a year. Zelensky’s figure of 93,000 dead in 9 months extrapolates to 124,000 Russians dead in a year, over a factor of 10 more than the BBC calculate.

Should we believe the President Zelensky or Defence Minister Shoigu, or the BBC? Well, make your own mind up. All I’ll say is the US, the UK, the EU, Ukraine and the BBC couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it. You know when they are lying because they open their mouths. It has gotten so bad that most of the world outside of the West have taken the Russian lead and call them “The Empire of Lies”. They all have long histories of lying and getting caught, especially the US, EU and NATO neo-cons and Ukraine’s Zelensky and Co. Every time they get caught the mainstream media covers for them which brings them into disrepute. I’m not saying Russia only tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but their Ministry of Defence does tend to say nothing rather than risk being caught lying.

There’s a serious issue here for the West, and it is one your mummy taught you when you were a toddler; “don’t tell lies”. The reason she knew that was so important was because it becomes a habit that you take into adulthood. If you lie about important things that affect other people, then they won’t like you anymore. If you lie about nearly everything, no one will believe you when on that rare occasion you tell the truth. There is even a child’s bedtime story called ‘Peter and the Wolf’ about it. If people know you are a liar and you say you didn’t do something, everybody will assume that you did. If you say someone else did something, then everyone will assume either you did it, or it never happened. Lying in the West and in Ukraine is now at compulsive levels where leaders lie about everything. This has resulted in a serious loss of government credibility and reputation. No one believes anything Western leaders say, and world leaders don't want to do deals with them anymore. Lying has become an acceptable behaviour and even something to be boasted about.

Yesterday former German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the German Newspaper Die Zeit, and through it world, that she lied and deceived the Russians over the Minsk 2 agreement, that she never intended to honour it, that it was all to buy Ukraine time to rearm, that the cold war never ended, that she wished she had rearmed Germany in 2014 at the time of the US coup in Ukraine. With this article, she has pretty much confirmed the ‘Empire of Lies’ label placed on the West is true. Not only will no one ever believe anything Merkel or Germany says again, not only will no one trust Germany enough to do deals with them again, but France is implicated being a co-guarantor of Minsk 2, and The EU, and the UK are all implicated, and of course the US is doubly so.

Here's what Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had to say on the matter;
This is a testimony of a person, who stated it directly that everything that was done in 2014 and 2015 had only one goal: to divert the global community’s attention from the real problems, to buy some time, to pump the Kiev regime with weapons and to lead the situation to a large-scale conflict.

The ex-Chancellor’s confession says the horrible: fraud as modus operandi of the West - machinations, manipulations, all kinds of distortion of truth, law and justice imaginable.

"They [Western representatives - TASS] knew it back then, in 2015, already, when they held hours-long talks, they knew that they would never implement it, that they would pump the Kiev regime with weapons," the diplomat underscored. "They had no mercy for anyone: women, children, civilians of Donbass and Ukraine in general. They needed conflict, and they were ready for it back then already, back in 2015."
link: https://tass.com/politics/1547779

I was watching Colonel (Ret) Douglass Macgregor’s YouTube yesterday where he described the leaders of the West as a bunch of children playing with a box of matches, completely unaware of the consequences of their actions. Angela Merkel pretty much confirmed it as she let the truth set her free, 'let the cat out of the bag ' as we say in England. She confirmed she and the West had spun a web of lies over Ukraine, and just like that child with a box of matches, she and the other Western leaders were without any awareness of the consequences of their actions on the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian nation, or on the West’s believability around the world from now on.

Have you made up your mind as to which figure for Russian dead you believe yet? I think I'm leaning towards Defence Minister Shoigu's figure of 5,800 but I accept there may be a bit of poetic licence and rounding down going on.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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Time Magazine has named Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and "the spirit of Ukraine" as its 2022 Person of the Year.

Let’s just talk about Zelensky as I’ve not really mentioned him in this thread up to now. Zelensky took over the Presidency from President Petro Poroshenko in 2019. Zelensky promised ethnic Ukrainians and ethnic Russians would live together as equals under his presidency, but instead became the figurehead of the installed Nazi regime that wanted to ethnically cleanse them from Ukraine. He promised to bring peace and prosperity but instead has delivered war and misery. He promised to be nothing like Poroshenko, but turned out to be just like him. So, let’s talk about Poroshenko first to understand the baton Zelensky has continued to run with.

Poroshenko

Poroshenko was installed by the West following the CIA organised coup of 2014. The West saw Poroshenko as someone who would do as he was told, allow NATO weapons in to Ukraine, and control the political and military Nazis groups that were instrumental in carrying out the 2014 coup. These Nazi groups were to be the main force that would bring Ukraine under the control of the West by spreading their poisonous ideology and pathological hatred of the Russian Slavs throughout Ukraine, and by persecuting and terrorising any and all dissenters. A hatred of Russia was to be the unifying thread that brought all ethnic Ukrainians together and Poroshenko’s message was patriotism equated to Russophobia. The more you hated Russians, especially ethnic Russians living in Ukraine, the more you were a patriotic Ukrainian. Poroshenko became the figurehead for the political wing of the Nazi Right Sector that controlled parliament, and the focus for racial supremacy of Ukrainian Western Slavs over Russian Eastern Slavs.

Russian Slavs fled eastward into the Donbass region of Ukraine, formed militias, and held off the advancing Nazis. They formed 2 republics, the LPR and the DPR and there then followed a stand-off with neither side able to take the territory of the other by force. The LPR and DPR pleaded with Russia to take them into the Russian Federation, but instead Russia wanted them to stay part of a federalised Ukraine with the region given significant autonomy. When the AFU not only failed to take Donbass, but actually got defeated twice, a peace agreement/terms of Ukrainian surrender was signed. These were the Minsk and Minsk 2 agreements (there were 2 because Ukraine got defeated twice). I thought at the time these agreements were a farce and I have been proved right by ex. Chancellor Merkel who recently confessed they were just to buy time and they were never going to be honoured. The Nazi regime’s plan all along was to build up its forces, overrun the Donbass, and slaughter its inhabitants.

Under Poroshenko, Ukraine saw the banning of political parties that opposed the Nazi regime and the West’s plans for the country. The parties left were basically identical, differing only in the extremity of their Russophobia and what they wanted to do to dissenters. In reality Ukraine became a mono party state with opposition parties politically identical to the ruling party, sharing the same ideology, and there for show.

This regime persecuted ethnic Russians in the territories under its control. They banned the Russian language in public places and in schools, rewrote WW2 history and the Soviet Union’s part in it, tore down monuments, banned Soviet and Russian symbols, and poisoned the ethnic Ukrainian population against ethnic Russians and anybody who defended them. No doubt at some point in the future these Nazis would have made the ethnic Russians wear armbands identifying them as a lower race, Just as their ancestors did 80 years ago.

Under this Poroshenko led regime, Ukraine went from being one of the most corrupt countries in Europe, to being the most corrupt. From the moment the regime seized power, they started asking the West for money to defend against a Russian invasion threat; money which simply disappeared. President Petro Poroshenko will be remembered for a famous speech which summed up what he thought of ethnic Russians living on pure blood Ukrainian land. If the clip below sends a shiver down your spine, well it should. If it reminds you of Nazi Germany, it should.



To finish up on Poroshenko, under his leadership the AFU shelled the Donbass (the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk) relentlessly for 5 years (2014 to 2019), deliberately targeting residential areas, with the intention killing civilians, to terrorise the local population. The artillery was 24/7 but sporadic in nature, so that no one knew when it was safe to go out, no one knew when it was safe to leave their basements, and no one was able to sleep at night. With the majority of men already in the militias, when I talk about the civilians, the majority were the old, the sick and women and children.

Zelensky

Zelensky won a landslide election victory on a peace ticket in April 2019, and that may have been the reason President Putin ordered a softly-softly Special Military Operation (SMO) in Feb 2022. The SMO was to go in to Ukraine gently under orders to minimise damage to Ukrainian infrastructure and avoid civilian casualties. The SMO was to liberate Ukraine from the Nazis, instead the Russians found the Ukrainians had embraced their Nazi ideology, and there was no desire for regime change. Those who voted 3 years earlier for Zelensky on a platform of peace and reconciliation seem to have disappeared, or more likely had been terrorised into silence. It took a while, and a few bloody noses before Russia realised they had a full blow Nazi country as their neighbour that hated them as a country, and hated them as a race. They were armed, trained, commanded and Controlled by NATO and financed by the US to fight a proxy war on behalf of the West against them.

It also became abundantly clear that Zelensky had become a Poroshenko Mark II, taking over from where Poroshenko left off. Some might say that is a bit unfair as how could he seek peace with Russia with a Nazi regime standing behind him with guns, and with a West determined to use Ukraine to destroy Russia. To which I’d say, why did he stand of election knowing this then? He stood for electron because he knew he’d be a puppet to the West and the Nazi regime, but the money was good. Oh boy was the money good, Zelensky has amassed a personal fortune of $850 million in the 3.5 years since becoming President. Whether he lives to spend it is another matter; he has gotten in to bed with some very nasty people.

According to President Putin, 14,000 civilians were killed in the 8 years (2014 to 2022) of continual AFU shelling of the civilian ethnic Russian population in the Donbass. Here’s a link. It is regarded in Russia as an act of Genocide, it is certainly an act of mass murder, and no doubt those found responsible will be held accountable by the Russian people.

Zelensky is responsible for the civilian deaths under his presidency, just as Poroshenko was responsible for the deaths under his.

The artillery shelling of Donbass residential areas continues to this day. Here’s a link for the civilian casualties on 6 Dec 22, link. 8 dead and 20 wounded is fairly typical every day. Let’s be clear, we are talking about shells fired into residential areas where there is no military presence, solely for the purpose of killing and terrorising the local population. It is no different than throwing a bomb into a family home and murdering all inside, or just murdering them in the street with a gun. It is a war crime.

Zelensky as President of Ukraine is responsible for 3,500 civilian killed from when he took power in April 2019 to April 2022. He is responsible for a further 2,200 civilians killed from the start of the Russian Special Military Operation on 25 February 2022 to today (8 deaths a day for 275 days). That is 5,700 civilian deaths, and it is still counting as the shelling will continue until the AFU are driven back and out of artillery range of the Donbass.

Zelensky as President of Ukraine is responsible for the murder of 5,700 civilians under his presidency, and the West make him person of the year.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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UK Cost of Living Crisis

There are 2 reasons for the current cost of living crisis in the UK.

The first reason is the hollowing out of the UK economy over the past decade by the super rich and their deep state minions. Actually the hollowing out can be traced back to 2 decades ago as it took a decade of theft to reach the 2008 crisis. Actually it can be traced back to the market deregulation policies of Thatcher and Reagan back in the 80s, and Thatcher’s destruction of UK Trade Unions which removed her opposition. But I think the point is, the hollowing out has been exponential and when it started is academic, because now it is a runaway train of wealth extraction through debt. The train has no brakes, and the railway tracks lead to the edge of a cliff.

The second reason is more of a trigger, a starting pistol, a releasing of the brake lever that starts the train a-rolling down the track. Inflation accelerates the train. The cliff edge is the inevitable deindustrialisation of Western economies faced with the reality of new energy prices and the consequences that will bring; namely increased unemployment, increased prices of everything energy based (which is everything), increased poverty, increased wealth gap, and a lot more 'have nots' than 'haves'. Instead of buying cheap energy from Russia, the US and its allies, including the UK, are boycotting Russian energy, choosing to buy it on the more expensive global energy market at spot price, causing the spot price to rise and making Russian energy more valuable.

As inflation spirals up, and the economy spirals down, so poverty creeps up the classes hitting the lowest paid first, then the next lowest paid, then the next. Then as businesses close, those that thought themselves well up the working class and those in the middle class and paid enough to weather the storm, get laid off and realise they were only one payday away from poverty themselves. The politicians, the deep state, the super rich are not part of this collapse; they only caused it and benefit from it. Those that are fighting for survival who are currently striking in the UK because they can't pay their bills, are being branded and scapegoated as the cause of the UK's cost of living crisis. We have a clueless political party in power, and clueless political parties in opposition. They are indistinguishable from each other, right down to their only goal being to grab as much money for themselves as possible before it all collapses. They do what they are told and care nothing for the country or the people in it.

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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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Another excellent debate/discussion from the Duran with Garland Nixon, who continues to talk a lot of sense and appears to be a very perceptive guy.



It looks like things are about to kick off in Ukraine.

The training of the 380,000 Russian mobilised troops is nearing completion, the ground is hardening to support tanks, many Russian combat and logistic troops have already been deployed, and now top level briefings are taking place in Russia and with their allies, I assume to warn them what's about to happen.

Poland is mobilising 200,000 troops maybe in response to the build up in Belarus of Russian and Belarusian troops, maybe to occupy western Ukraine, maybe to attack Belarus, maybe to join the fight and attack Russia.

Everyone is second-guessing Russia's battle plan, where they will strike and where they will advance.

If Poland joins the conflict I cannot imagine it would be as part of NATO, they would have to do it under a Polish flag. Russia would attack Polish troops in Ukraine without doubt, but would they attack Poland as well, as it is not conducting operations under the NATO banner. Poland will demand NATO Article 5 be invoked but will other European NATO countries respond by attacking Russia or will they say Article 5 doesn't apply because Poland went in under a Polish flag?

If NATO attacks then there will be no reason for Russia to hold back in attacking any NATO country that attacks it. NATO will have lost its deterrent and we are looking at a non-nuclear (hopefully) hot war between the West and Russia with both sides attacking each other’s homelands, initially with long range missiles.

As for the Russian battle plan, attacking Kiev may draw Poland into the conflict. Maybe that's what the Russian's want, as Poland has turned into a bigger bunch of loonies on Russia's border than Ukraine. Poland should take care, they might end up sharing the same fate as Ukraine if Ukraine doesn't surrender. If Poland attacks, I can't imagine the Baltic States (an even bigger bunch of loonies than the Poles) being left out of Russia's counter-attack.

I personally think (as an armchair general) that they will conduct a deep battle through Bakhmut. Once Bakhmut falls, the Russian army will pour through the gap with half heading north and half heading south to destroy Ukraine's Donbass army from the rear and overrun its strategic battle space. Then they might take Kiev; but who knows.

What will happen to Ukraine if it doesn't surrender? I think Russia will use drones to take out power and water and make the country unliveable in, in affect making it a no-man’s land that NATO is unable to enter, and with a population fled to the West.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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Time for another update

The outer defensive wall is breached in Soledar, creating a gap wide enough to open a new Russian infantry assault on Bakhmut from the North and North West, and a new artillery front on Bakhmut city itself.

Just my opinion, but in my opinion the prize remains Bakhmut. If it falls it will breach the AFU’s Donbass defensive line. It is quite remarkable that the Wagner group, a Private Military Company, pretty much have done this on their own, albeit with a little help from the Russian Army, and the Chechens a while back, and more than a little help from the Luhansk and Donetsk militias. But let’s not deny Wagner their moment of glory; many have died to earn it. They have put the US preferred choice of PMC, ‘Constellis’ (formally known as Blackwater), to shame. Maybe the US will try and hire Wagner in the future, but I doubt Wagner would be interested working for the Mafia.

It is estimated the AFU has around 180,000 effective combat troops left and 80% of them (144,000) are deployed on the Donbass front line. I assume the rest of Ukraine is being defended by the remaining 20% (36,000) plus 100,000s of non-combat troops pretending they are combat troops, or the young and the old that been drafted, given a gun and little training, and told they are now combat soldiers.

Most of the 20% of combat troops are believed to be guarding Kiev and Kharkiv, with some spread thinly along the Belarus border, and Kherson and Zaporozhe front lines. I wonder just how many real combat troops are left in AFU strongholds like Kryvyi Rih? Is the rest of Ukraine wide open and ripe for taking?

Bakhmut is Ukraine’s last hope really. Its breach will see the inevitable destruction of its real combat troops along the Donbass front line, the disintegration of the AFU, and I believe the fall of Ukraine. It’s a case of “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, or close the wall up with our Ukrainian dead”. It is estimated 60,000 AFU troops have been moved into Bakhmut to defend it. It is rumoured that many of the AFU proper combat troops there have been killed or wounded and been replaced with these draftees taken from the Belarus border, Kherson, Odessa, Mykolaiv Chernihiv, Sumy, etc.

Splitting the Donbass front line into top, middle, and bottom, with Silversk, Slovyansk, Kramatosk, Kostyantyiva, and Bakhmut being at the top, Donetsk and Maryinka in the middle, and Vugledar at the bottom; I would guess there were 40,000 combat troops at the bottom, 40,000 in the middle, and 64,000 at the top, of which nearly all are in Bakhmut.

Ukraine’s options are limited. I hear some in the AFU want to fall back and form a new defence line between Kramatosk and Kostyantyiva, whilst others in the AFU and in the government say this would be disastrous as the new defence line would be a hurried and ineffective affair, and losses would be extremely heavy during the pullback. The alternative is “once more into the breach dear friends” with losses replaced with combat troops from the middle and bottom of the Donbass line and topped up with draftee cannon fodder.

AFU loses in Bakhmut and Soledar are a well kept secret of course, but rumours suggest of the initial 60,000 deployed there, 15,000 are dead and most of the rest are wounded. The 60,000 that have replaced them and are there today (if there are still 60,000 there), have been taken from the middle and bottom of the Donbass line and from across Ukraine.

Russian losses are also unknown, but if the Western press is to be believed (which it isn’t), the Russians have suffered the same losses as the Ukrainians. In fact, if the Western press is to be believed (which it isn’t), the Russian army is disorganised, de-motivated, mutinous, incompetent, not fit for purpose, and is losing the war. For those that believe anything the Western media say, the outcome of the Bakhmut battle should confirm one way or another if the Western media can be trusted, or if in fact they are yet another paid arm of the deep state and upper class.

For those that come to the conclusion that the Western media in all its forms, from YouTube to the BBC are a bunch of corrupt cocksuckers, then you may want to go back and re-examine all the other lies the Western media have told you over the years; lies about the Gulf War, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, the regime changes, the Soviet Union, Cuba, US justified support for the numerous fascist military regimes across South America; and the lies about freedom, democracy, human rights and all the other things the West’s upper class hide behind to rule the world.

If on the other hand the Russians lose the battle of Bakhmut, then the Western press will be exonerated and I will have to do some serious reassessment of them and the honesty of their masters. We shall have to wait and see.

What next?

I suspect a massive Russian invasion will kick off if Bakhmut falls. To quote TASS the Russian news media site,
The appointment of Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov as commander of the Russian group of forces in Ukraine is related to the broader scope of objectives in the special military operation
General Gerasimov is Russia’s top General, equivalent to the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff who is in charge of all branches of the armed services and who is senior to the UK’s Chief of General Staff who is just in charge of the army. You wouldn’t do this if you intended to stop at the new Russian boarders in Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhe, and Kherson. You wouldn’t do this unless you needed to have significant delegated authority from President Putin and the Russian government. It signals to me that at the very least Russia is about to take significant parts of Ukraine, if not all of Ukraine, and allows delegated powers to deal with any Polish or NATO incursion, to work with his counter-part in Belarus, and to determine the depth of Russian advance into Ukraine.

General Gerasimov deputy, General Sergey Surovikin who formally commanded the war in Ukraine has gone back to his day job as Commander-in-Chief of Aerospace Forces. This signals to me that we are about to see some serious air activity and maybe those bombers everyone has been waiting for, and some serious escalation in missile and drone activity. I believe Surovikin’s replacement is the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces Army, General Oleg Salyukov.

The Western media are running with the story that this is a demotion for General Surovikin because he has lost so badly since he assumed the post; again we shall see. There is only so much you can do with public relations and spun narratives before reality comes knocking at your door.

If you believe the Western media (which you shouldn’t), that Russia retreated rather than strategically withdrew from Kiev, Kharkiv and Kherson, then it should come as no surprise to you when Russia surrenders in the next few months, retreats back to pre-2014 boarders, and gives up the ethnic Russians living in Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhe, Kherson and Crimea for punishment and ethnic cleansing by the Ukrainian regime. If they don’t, and it is the Ukrainian regime that runs for its life, then again, maybe you might want to re-evaluate your opinion of Western media.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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NATO

The aims of NATO once upon a time, was to;

- Deter Soviet expansionism.

- Forbid the revival of nationalist militarism in Europe through a strong North American presence on the continent.

- Encourage European political integration.

Straight away you can see the problem, the collapse of the Soviet Union left NATO without its main aim, that is if you believe these aims in the first place.

But what is NATO?

NATO is the European arm of the US military, its foreign legion, its front line proxy that faces the only real obstacle that stands in the way of US world domination and all the wealth and power that brings its upper class; this was the Soviet Union, but the Soviet Union has gone, and now it’s Russia. So let’s update these aims for a new 21st Century NATO, and let’s remove some of the bullshit like forbidding the rise of nationalist militarism in Europe when the US and NATO have encouraged it.

In this brave new world of US-Rules-Based-Order and US hegemony the US’s aims for NATO have become;

- Destroy Russia. Gain NATO control over Ukraine, gain NATO control over Finland, gain NATO control over all the other countries that border Russia through regime change, then expand NATO in to them. Bring NATO forces and US nuclear missiles to Russia’s borders, and make a US nuclear war with Russia winnable.

- Dominate European militarily through NATO and expand US bases throughout Europe.

- Control the EU, then get the EU to control its member states through sanctions or regime change should any step out of line.

NATO’s mission

In the event of a once Soviet, now Russian invasion of Europe, NATO’s mission is to hold out for 20 days or so, to give time for the US to send its military over the Atlantic to drive the Russian hoards back. It’s a lot cheaper and more politically acceptable to set up US bases in Europe with military stores in place and empty barracks ready to take the influx of US troops, than to base most of the US military permanently in Europe.

A blunter way of stating NATO’s mission would be ‘to circle the wagons, man the barricades, and hold out until the US Calvary come charging over the hill to the rescue’.

NATO Article 4

Article 4 allows NATO to attack another country. NATO Treaty Article 4 says is about consultation, but that is only the first step in the Article 4 process that takes NATO into war. It basically says NATO members can bring any issue of concern, especially related to the security of a member country, to the table for discussion within the North Atlantic Council. What it actually means is NATO member countries can make a case to invade another non-NATO country if they have a meeting first and the US agrees to it.

NATO Article 5

NATO Treaty Article 5 is about collective defence and basically says an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all allies. That doesn’t mean all allies have to respond, but I’m sure the US would apply significant pressure on any country that didn’t. To put it specifically, Article 5 means Russia better not attack a NATO country or all NATO countries, at least in theory, would defend it; and if Russia did attack a NATO country then Article 4 could also kick in, a Council of War would be convened, and the US would either sanction WW3 or not.

NATO Deterrence

NATO Article 5’s collective defence depends on deterrence. Let’s discount use of nuclear weapons in response to a Russian conventional weapon attack, including tactical nuclear weapons. I make this assumption on the basis that even the leaders in the US wouldn’t be that stupid.

NATO deterrence depends on NATO’s military capability to defeat Russia. This includes NATO’s resilience to take battlefield loses and its ability to sustain its operations through resupply of manpower, equipment and logistics in sufficient numbers, for as long as the conflict lasts. There’s also a political and social aspect to the deterrence as well, as the people have to be behind a war on Russia, and this can quickly fade as cities are attacked and standards of living plummet.

The trouble is, the West is playing games with Russia, seeing how far they can push it without Russia attacking them, and it is playing poker with its deterrence. There is a belief in the West, that short of NATO attacking Russia itself, they can push them as much as they want in Ukraine because their deterrence means Russia wouldn’t dare attack them; and they are probably right. What they haven't realised however is that Russia can push back just as hard because they know NATO is not ready to go to war with them either.

There are some problems with playing poker with your deterrence, let's go through some of them.

First up is Russia regards Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhe, Kherson and Crimea as part of Russia and NATO doesn’t. If NATO, or anyone else for that matter attacks these regions then they attack Russia. That crosses a red line and deterrence be damned. It would be the same as Russia attacking Alaska because Russia didn't recognise Alaska as part of the US.

Next we know the US has said it will not supply Ukraine with long range missiles that can hit the interior of Russia, but missiles have been modified with no doubt the assistance of foreign experts to strike the Russian Engels Air Force Base, which is located more than 800 miles from the Ukrainian border. Bizarrely the Ukraine Government has refused to confirm they did it, which implies NATO did it, as who else could it have been. NATO certainly has not claimed responsibility. A missile attack on a major population centre or even on Moscow would probably lead to war and deterrence be damned; just as a missile attack on London or New York would.

Then there’s the supply of NATO offensive weapons. Small numbers at the moment but these things have a habit of growing and getting out of hand. If they start impacting Russian losses on the battlefield and start changing the direction of the war, which let’s face it, is the point of supplying them, will Russia be able to take them out in Ukraine as they have done so far with the Soviet-era weapons previously provided by the West? What if they can’t? Does Russia accept the losses, escalate with bigger and scarier weapons itself, retreat and abandon the Russian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhe, Kherson and Crimea (which it constitutionally can’t), or attack the supply lines through NATO countries through which the NATO armaments and munitions pass into Ukraine? If Russia is given no choice then deterrence doesn't come into it.

NATO deterrence will be severely degraded if these advanced assault weapons are easily destroyed or prove ineffectual on the battlefield. They will lose their reputation and wariness some soldiers might have coming up against them. Instead of running away from a Challenger 2 or a Leopard 2 tank, with its mystique gone, they will stand and fight them. This has happened with the Javelin anti-tank missile system which is now viewed as a bit of a joke and can be picked up on the dark web for about £20 grand.

NATO deterrence is lost with the depletion of member state’s weapon and munition inventory. If a NATO country sends 14 tanks and they get wiped out, the temptation is to send 14 more and double down, like the gambler who goes ‘double or quits’. If on the other hand they do well, the temptation is to send 14 more and do even better. Eventually you look up and realise you only have half your tanks left; it’s the same with howitzers, missiles and armoured personnel carriers. You’ve played poker with your deterrence and lost the pot.

Then there’s the risk to deterrence if advanced NATO weapons sent to Ukraine gets captured and studied. I can’t believe the UK would send Challenger 2 to Ukraine with the latest Chobham armour, but even with the original stuff, a capture of a Challenger 2 would be enough to identify the vulnerabilities in its armour and defeat it, and that would open the way to defeating subsequent generations of Chobham armour developed for other tanks like the US’s Abram.

Then there’s the drain on NATO stocks of ammunition, spares, repair and maintenance equipment and facilities, and all the other logistic stuff, all of which will require manpower and competence to run the logistic systems and carry out the logistic functions, and all of which will draw heavily on NATO resources.

What would cause NATO to go to war with Russia?

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said early in the conflict that if 1 bullet so much as crosses a NATO country’s border, NATO would be justified in going to war with Russia, but then again he’s a neocon with a below average IQ, and I mean for a neocon. Back in the real world where there exists shades of grey, NATO, and by that I mean the US, must be thinking they might not win a war with Russia at the moment, and half of the neo-cons in charge over there would prefer to go to war with China anyway. The US is not going to start a war with Russia until it is ready, and that means setting a red line and allowing things that fall short of it to pass, not unanswered, but not answered with war.

What if Russia destroyed a train carrying NATO tanks in Poland, destined for Ukraine, in a one-off hit to warn the West to not do it again, would the US go to war with Russia; I doubt it. But what if they were not destined for Ukraine, or what if they were, but Poland said they weren’t in order to draw NATO into the conflict? Perhaps ‘I doubt it’ is moving towards a maybe. But the US knows full well that unlike Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, Russia will fight back in a war, and can bring that war to the US mainland if the US brings it to Russia, so I still doubt it.

What if Russia attacked airfields in NATO countries in the anticipation of aircraft being supplied to Ukraine, or shot down aircraft flying towards Ukraine that were still in NATO country airspace, or carried out missile strikes on training facilities or barracks marshalling troops to be deployed in Ukraine, or hit warehouses full of equipment destined for Ukraine? The list goes on, and there is definitely scope for mission creep.

Would NATO declare war if Russia did these things, or would such attacks become business as usual? Afterall, it happens around the world all the time. Israel has conducted many airstrikes in Syria. The US has a military base there as well, illegally occupying Syrian territory; but then again, the US doesn’t like things done to it that it does to others. We are on dangerous ground here. Would Russia attacking supply lines to Ukraine in NATO counties be enough for NATO to go to war with Russia? That's a strong maybe; if the strikes were deep enough inside the country, but probably not if they were near the Ukrainian border.

What if Russia invaded a NATO country, would NATO go to war? Yes; this is the red line I mentioned earlier.

What would cause Russia to go to war with NATO?

If Poland entered the war under its own flag and not as part as NATO, then I doubt Russia would treat this as a NATO move. It would deal with Poland on a 1-2-1 basis and expect NATO to stay out of it. It also depends what Poland did in Ukraine. Occupying Western Ukraine with an eye to annexing it might cause Russian military escalation in the area, but then again it might not. Afterall Western Ukraine becomes someone else’s problem and maybe it’s far enough away from Russia to let NATO to put its missiles there. But if Poland joined the AFU in attacking the new Russian territories, then we could see a war between Russia and Poland with missile strikes on Polish military and infrastructure targets, and possibly even an invasion, not to occupy, but to trash the place. Would NATO go to war if Poland was attacked or invaded as a result of its own unilateral action; I doubt it.

A real problem here is what starts as a unilateral action ends up drawing other countries in, so the conflict might well widen. But providing it’s a “coalition of the willing” then the conflict should remain between these countries and Russia and not with NATO. If The Baltic states joined Poland to fight Russia, would NATO come to their rescue? I doubt it. What if the UK joined in as well? Maybe, but probably not. If enough NATO member countries were to join Poland under their own flags, or perhaps I should say if enough military capability is brought to bear from these countries against Russia, then the conclusion in Russia may be it is fighting NATO anyway.

What if NATO entered Ukraine? If it stayed in the West, I doubt Russia would go to war over that. NATO would be attacked of course, but there should be no surprises there.

What if NATO entered Ukraine but only provided support to the AFU to attack Russia and Russia attacked NATO stores, bases, and troops in Ukraine? This would be pushing it, a definite maybe for war.

What if NATO attacked Russia and by that I mean Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhe, Kherson, Crimea, and any other part of Russia that Russia thinks is Russia, then there would be war with NATO. This would be Russia's red line.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

Post by Beerman »

Lieutenant General Bierman (no relation) comments on US plans for war with China

Lt Gen Bierman is a US serving officer in the US military and the Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, an elite combat air-ground task force. I assume him to be a more extreme cross between drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman out of Full Metal Jacket, and the ruthless Colonel Quaritch out of Avatar, but that could just be unfair stereotyping on my part. He might just as easily be a kind, humanist, intellectual; who knows? What I do know is a week ago he let the 'cat out of the bag', 'gave the game away', 'blabbed', regarding the US preparations with Japan and the Philippines for war with China in an interview with the Financial Times UK newspaper. It was briefly mentioned by other Western mainstream media outlets but has since been buried. Fortunately non-mainstream media picked it up and now it's all over the internet; this one is from Zero Hedge;
The top Marine Corps General for Japan this week issued some very revealing statements in an interview focused on countering China in the Financial Times. Despite Chinese leadership insisting that the Taiwan and Ukraine situations are not comparable, this is precisely how Lieutenant General James Bierman presented the situation, even going so far as to admit the Pentagon is preparing a counter-China "theatre" by cultivating military ties with southeast Asian allies.

"The US and Japanese armed forces are rapidly integrating their command structure and scaling up combined operations as Washington and its Asian allies prepare for a possible conflict with China such as a war over Taiwan, according to the top Marine Corps general in Japan,"
Lt Gen Bierman draws parallels between Ukrine and China and how the US should adopt the same strategy to prepare the theatre in Asia as it did in Ukraine. To quote the general himself;
Why have we achieved the level of success we’ve achieved in Ukraine? A big part of that has been because after Russian aggression in 2014 and 2015, we earnestly got after preparing for future conflict: training for the Ukrainians, pre-positioning of supplies, identification of sites from which we could operate support, sustain operations.

We call that setting the theatre. And we are setting the theatre in Japan, in the Philippines, in other locations. - Lt Gen Bierman
The Duran also picked this up and as usual did an excellent programme on it. It shows just how deliberate and premeditated the war in Ukraine was. It was planned by the US, prepared for by the US, and commanded by the US, right down to fake Minsk accords and the 8 years of shelling of the Donbass that forced Russia to eventually take action; and now they want to do the same with China using Taiwan as the proxy.

Here's the Duran YouTube; US and Japan prepare for conflict with China



I think there is major difference between Ukraine and Taiwan.

Russia doesn't regard Ukraine as part of Russia. It has been forced to take four regions (five if you count Crimea) away from Ukraine and absorb them into Russia to protect the ethnic Russians there, and in doing so has taken on the military, political and financial burden of these regions, which is not insignificant. From a human cost, many thousands of Russian soldiers and their allies have died to protect the people in these regions. Furthermore, Russia has not had to face the US military in direct combat even though the US military is supporting its proxy forces and even commanding them from afar.

China on the other hand, does regard Taiwan as part of China and if the US takes part in combat operations against China alongside Japan and the Philippines as part of a ‘coalition of the willing', then China may declare war on the countries that are attacking it. If the US stays out of the combat and repeats the formula used in Ukraine, i.e. supporting Japan and the Philippines as they fight China on the US's behalf, then the question China will no doubt ask will be 'can China ever be safe, ever enjoy peace, can there ever be peace in the world whilst the US continues to be able to do this'. I suspect these are questions President Putin and the Russian government have already asked with respect to Russia.

With a treaty mimicking NATO's Article 5 between Russia and China suspected behind the scenes, an attack on Taiwan, even without US direct involvement in combat activities, may result in a declaration of war against the US from both China and Russia. We live in interesting times, largely thanks to characters like Lieutenant General James Bierman (no relation).

I should add...

No one in their right mind would want to see a hot 3rd world war, even a conventioal one. If China and Russia ever do consider declaring war on the US, can I just repeat myself and say that the way to defeat the US military is to collapse the dollar; this is doable in 2 years and all Russia and China need to do is be patient and win the economic war against the West that the West has declared on them.

Steadily reduce trading in the dollar around the world, trade in local currencies amongst Eurasian countries, gradually reduce dollar holdings.

Already dollars held outside the US have fallen from $34 Trillion to $30 Trillion. The US trade deficit is already around $1 Trillion which can be encouraged to grow by Eurasia finding alternatives to US imports.

Commodity price rises can be discounted for Eurasian and friendly countries and inflated for the West and unfriendly ones.

As the dollar loses value, Eurasian countries will increasingly ask why pay for goods and comodites in dollars? Why hold dollars when they are devaluing? Over time the pressure to sell dollars will grow, and this will spread to Western countries. Loss in confidence in the dollar will start in Eurasia, spread around the rest of the world, spread to the West, and finally it will spread domestically in the US.

There is no need to go to war with the US, it can be declawed economically. The aim should not be to destroy the US as a country, but to destroy its global empire by making the super rich that run it not so super rich anymore.

On the other hand...

...and I think I have said this before in the Socialism thread, but there are 2 ways this could go, the first discourages war, the 2nd encourages it.

Either weakening the dollar will weaken the US military stranglehold on the world enough to allow the dollar to weaken further, to further release the military grip on the rest of the world, and so spiral down the dollar and the US military with it, or...

...the US military will retain its grip on the rest of the world by invading, overthrowing, and regime changing any country that even thinks about going over to the Eurasian side, or starts buying anything in anything other than the dollar, or makes any move against the dollar, such that the US military maintains the dollar, which maintains the US military, which maintains the dollar.

In such a scenario, there is no limit to US debt or money printing because money has become the dollar and the dollar is the US government granting permission to others that are forced to hold dollars, including its own citizens, to do stuff, and only do stuff, the US government is happy for them to do. You could argue that money has been this for some decades, ever since the world let the US amass a military force so vast it can control the world. Japan has been clocking up debt for decades but the Yen hasn't collapsed because the US, or should I say the military might behind the US dollar backs it up. The Yen, like the Euro and the Pound, has become a currency of the dollar, so no one better not refuse to take it, or they'll send the boys round.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

Post by Beerman »

War is Coming

I’m afraid every month (it seems every day at the moment), it looks like there will be a third world war between the US leading the countries that make up the West and Russia. We seem to be on train without any branch lines, off-ramps, or brakes, heading towards it. Perhaps a better analogy would be we, as in ordinary people, find ourselves chained to a railway track with a train with ‘WAR’ painted on the front of it, heading straight towards us, driven by childish and weak EU leaders that will do anything and everything they are told by the US neo-con/liberal war mongers. One saving grace is most ordinary people are blissfully unaware; many are even cheering the train on, and there’s a rhythmic chanting ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, ‘human rights’ in time with the growing chugging of the train as it gets nearer, so when war does come they won’t have fretted too much over it. The sound of war is becoming the sound of inevitability.

You may remember a meeting the EU had in Munich at the beginning of the Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine, where EU leaders got together like kids in a playground and tried to outdo each other with economic sanctions, each proposing more and more extreme measures, feeding of each other, egging each other on. The next morning they awoke with hangovers and the realisation that the night before, in amongst all that champagne, fine wine, and Michelin Star grub, they had declared economic war on Russia. Unable to back down for looking weak in front of each other, they doubled down on it, and have continued to double down again and again on sanction package after sanction package, until they have banned themselves from buying oil and gas from Russia, and pretty much everything else.

I’m reminded of the Coronavirus epidemic where no leader wanted to be the first to say it was over, and by over I mean it had reached a point when we would have to live with it, and the longer it went on, the more damaged our economies became. The medical profession and the media held the politicians to ransom, ready to pounce on anyone who even thought about going against “medical advice”; medical advice that seemed strangely absent when lockdowns were forcing the uninfected and the infected together in the same households, and allowing the uninfected to break quarantine and bring the infection back home to granny with them. We all knew, well, some of us knew, that the media were deep state controlled, but then came the realisation that so were those at the top of the medical profession and together they kept alive an atmosphere of fear; which clearly what the deep stated wanted. Today we see the same political leaders behaving in exactly the same way but with arms to Ukraine. No one wants to be the first to say enough is enough, and so now we have NATO tanks being sent to Ukraine, soon it will be aircraft, and then it will be NATO troops.

If you want an example of a weak and spineless leader, look no further than Olaf Scholz the Chancellor of Germany. His own Foreign Minister, pretty little Annalena Baerbock, a 40 year old graduate from the CIA University of Political Science, is telling him exactly what to do. The rest of the EU is acting like a lynch mob wanting to burn Germany down to the ground, and he just goes along with it. Poland is treating Germany the same away as the EU is treating Russia. If Poland wasn’t so keen to go to war with Russia, I think they’d go to war with Germany instead. The UK (probably with the help of the US and Poland), blew up the Nord Stream gas pipeline to Germany (allegedly), forcing deindustrialisation on Germany and the destruction of its economy. This was an act of war against Germany and still Sholtz did nothing. Chancellor Scholz once said he would not send weapons to Ukraine, then he did, now he’s sending Leopard 2 tanks. I cannot stress how much this decision of Sholtz has destroyed Germany’s reputation outside the West and its relationship with Russia. The Russian people will see once again Panzers rolling across Russian territory, killing Russian soldiers, just as they did 78 years ago. This in my opinion will never be forgotten or forgiven by the Russia people. As soon as the US’s EU, UK, Netherlands, Poland, and Baltic States lean on him, he buckles. He is the US’s ideal leader of Germany.

US/NATO have said “we will do whatever it takes to win this war in Ukraine”, and “Russia cannot be allowed to win the war in Ukraine”. They have also said “we are at war with Russia”, and, "a loss for Ukraine is a loss for NATO". Whether you believe US/NATO will do whatever it takes is another matter. NATO and the EU are made up of individual states each with their own self-interests and agendas. Many of the 160 or so tanks being promised by the West will need to be refurbished first, or modified, and some, like the 31 Abram’s promised by the US, will have to be purchased as they won’t be coming out of existing US inventory. Many of these tanks will be older variants, and even some of the newer ones will have sensitive technology removed. Generally speaking, most of these tanks will be taken from long term storage, or from training organisations. My opinion is the tanks that end up in Ukraine will not last long, but I guess that depends on how they deployed, how well they are used, and how well they are maintained. If they don’t last long, that will be humiliating for the West, and will likely result in another circuit of the track, this time with calls for the latest variants taken from current inventories, and in greater numbers. There may be calls for aircraft and troops on the ground; in short, a mission creep Just as what happened in Vietnam, and as described earlier, the leaders we have will meet again in the playground and do exactly the same thing again. This incremental escalation is one that will, step by step, lead to a red line being crossed and WW3.

Image living next door to the neighbour from hell who really hates you. He’s not brave enough to confront you face to face and lacks the moral fibre to find that a problem. This neighbour also has no problem with paying local thugs to harass your family, beat them up a little, kill 14,000 of them over an 8 year period, to try and get you to step in and sort these thugs out. Once you are involved with the thugs, your nightmare neighbour not only continues to pay them, but also arms them. At what point do you go after the neighbour? When he gives them knuckledusters, clubs and knives? Guns and explosives? Tanks, missiles and aircraft? What if you neighbour gave them a tactical nuclear device? There must come a point when you say enough is enough and your neighbour has to be stopped before he kills you and everyone you love. There has to be a red line drawn which if crossed means you have nothing more to lose in taking out your neighbour. If you don’t set a red line, and you let it get to the nuclear option, then you and the thugs will both end up dead and your neighbour will take your house and everything in it.

Let’s assume for one moment that World War 3 doesn’t start through incremental steps of escalation, or NATO attacking Russia. The US’s President Biden has said the war in Ukraine, which is the war against Russia, will not end until Russia has been driven back to its pre-2014 borders, in essence until the areas of Russia that are Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhe, Kherson and Crimea, are forcible taken from Russia. That’s a bit like Russia saying a war against the US will never end until Hawaii is taken back from the US. The US neo-con/liberals are saying the war against Russia will never end, period. So how do you end a war that one side says they will never let end?

Even if NATO did seek negotiations to end the war in Ukraine, the flood of recent confessions from Western leaders confirming the Minsk Agreements were just a ploy to deceive Russia and allow NATO time (8 years) to train and arm its proxy army Ukraine, means nothing the West proposes in peace talks can be trusted, and agreements mean nothing to the West. The West has adequately demonstrated that nothing it says can be believed, that law with respect to Russia means nothing, and that Western leaders and its upper classes hate Russia with such venom that they will stop at nothing until Russia is destroyed. It is against this backdrop that we have to ask what happens if Russia wins the war in Ukraine, which in my opinion, looks very likely.

If Russia defeats Ukraine and the West will never stop the war against Russia, then Russia can look forward to the next proxy being prepared; possibly Poland, possibly Moldova, possibly Romania; maybe all 3, maybe all 3 plus others. At the very least two massive armies will be left facing each other across the border between NATO and Russian Ukraine like North and South Korea with the West a constant drain on Russia’s resources, stunting its economic growth, and eventually causing discontent amongst the Russian people; well it worked when it was done to the Soviet Union. Is Russia being driven into a corner where war is the only way out? Hear that sound of inevitability again?

There are a number of things I think the US should think about before it picks a war with Russia;

- A conventional WW3, i.e. non-nuclear war, would not be like WW2 as technology has moved on. In WW2, just like in all subsequent wars, the US mainland has been beyond the reach of its enemies. This has led to an arrogance that they cannot be touched and can therefore act with impunity without consequences. This is no longer the case.

- Russia has a significant submarine presence in the Atlantic and Pacific, and the US has to cross these oceans.

- The US military is primarily an air and maritime force.; a war with Russia would mainly be fought with ground forces.

- The US air force cannot assume air superiority over Russia given its advanced air defences, and its maritime forces cannot assume superiority given its hypersonic missile capability and its submarine defences.

- Russia will not underestimate the US military. They know it is the largest in the world, funded by almost $1 Trillion a year, by a limitless supply of money printing. It is the most technologically advanced military in the world. Its strength is in 1st strike capability, which it it is capable of doing with overwhelming force. But it lacks the 4th line industrial manufacturing base to fight a war of attrition. Knowing the US ‘shock and awe’ was coming Russia would no doubt plan to weather it, and respond with attrition. Where US warplanes outmatched Russian warplanes, the Russians would use air defence SAM missiles against them. Where US tanks outmatched Russian tanks, the Russians would used anti-tank missiles and avoid tank battles. Volume and reliability was the Soviet way and we see a lot of that approach to warfare in Russia.

So what can we expect in WW3? The US, UK, EU and Russia in ruins, and millions dead; billions if it turns nuclear, maybe the end of all life if it turns nuclear; or the West could stop it now. How? You get rid of the Neo-cons and the neo-liberals, remove them from office, remove them from power.

Coming to a town near you soon...

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The town of Maryinka located on the western outskirts of the Donetsk city agglomeration remains one of the bloodiest battlefields in the Donbass. The town became one of the main strongholds of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the Ukrainian military aggression against the population of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Ukrainian nationalists have been holding control of Maryinka for all eight years. From their military positions in the area, Ukrainian servicemen have been shelling civilians in the city of Donetsk and other settlement located on the outskirts. So far, Maryinka has become a heavily fortified stronghold of the AFU.

After months of heavy battles, Russian forces managed to repel the AFU from the eastern and central parts of the town in mid-December 2022. The fighting has moved from Druzhby Avenue, which divides the city into two parts, to the western quarters of Maryinka. The Ukrainian military traditionally equipped firing points in multi-storey buildings. They are also establishing military positions in the private sector on the western outskirts of the town, hiding in the previously dug trenches which allow them to move from one house to another and open fire quickly changing their positions.
https://southfront.org/military-overvie ... -video-18/
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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Challenger 2 Tanks to Ukraine... oh boy

The decision to send 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukrine must be one of the dumbest decisions the UK MOD has made, and they have made some dumb decisions. This is on a par with sending a British warship into Russian territorial waters around Crimea to see what happens.

I’m sure the UK defence strategy never envisaged handing over 14 Challenger 2 tanks complete with highly classified Chobham armour to a foreign country who will decide what they do with them; to face the Russian army without means to protect or support them; and without means of recovering disabled tanks when they are attacked by the Russians specifically to gain access to said armour. If it goes the same way as the HIMARS, the Russians may not even have to capture a Challenger 2, the Ukrainian’s might sell them one.

The US is in the same boat with their Abrams classified armour. I heard the other day that instead of building 31 export version tanks without the armour, they were thinking of removing the classified armour from existing Abrams stock, which seems crazy to me, but what do I know. Surely this stuff is not meant to be removed, it’s not like appliqué armour, it’s an integral part of the base armour; which I suspect has been made thinner because the layer of classified armour is placed on top of it. It strikes me if you can remove it in a workshop, then an artillery shell can remove it a lot easier in the field, and if you remove it in the workshop it is going to compromise the integrity of the armour on which it is fixed. Surely the solution is to build new export versions rather than vandalise what you have? Anyway, the UK’s solution is to just send the whole lot, classified armour and all.

Once handed over, the UK MOD will lose control over these weapons; where they go and how they are used. It’s no use asking the AFU not to put them in harm’s way, that’s kind of the purpose of them. How will the AFU recover them if they are disabled or destroyed? Won’t they have other things on their mind than recovering a Challenger 2 tank? It looks like the UK is following Biden’s approach to securing classified material. Perhaps the MOD should ask the AFU not to use them on the front line, maybe just keep them in Lviv for photo opportunities.

I doubt the AFU have a recovery vehicle capable for dragging a 62 ton tank home; getting on to 70 tons if appliqué armour has been added. I’m not convinced the British Army does either. The Challenger Armoured Rescue and Recovery Vehicle (CRARRV) is barely up to the job with its 1987 unreliable Challenger 1 body, stripped of armour and weapons, with just one 7.62mm machine gun for self defence, and with winch, crane and dozer bucket welded on to it like some Frankenstein monster that takes its weight back up to 62 tons.

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The winch can only pull 52 tons so it needs a pulley each end of the tow cable to double the pull to 104 tons. This is a bit like riding a bike uphill in 1st gear; you trade off power for stamina. In terms of winching it means you can pull twice as much, but the winch will have to rotate twice as much, and it will take twice as long to pull the tank out.

The CRARRV can tow 62 tons, but I assume that’s with the tracks of the disabled tank intact and on a road. It stands no chance of dragging the tank home, as it only has a 1200 h.p engine, which is the same as the tank it’s dragging.

Image

The CRARRV’s crane can only lift 6.5 tons which cannot lift the Challenger 2 turret, so if it gets blown off, it can only drag back the body or the turret, not both.

The CRARRV is barely fit for UK purpose; who knows what equivalent the AFU has? I suspect nothing that comes close, if indeed anything at all as tank recovery has not featured in the war so far if pictures of the battlefield are anything to go by.

I mean, what a way to treat classified armour. I’m speechless... well, obviously I’m not as I’ve written this; but what are they playing at?
Last edited by Beerman on Tue Jan 31, 2023 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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WW3 is Coming – Part 2

I said in part 1 of ‘WW3 is Coming’ that we have to assume it will be conventional (non-nuclear) or else it’ll be Mutually Assured Destruction for everyone, whether your country is in it or not.

No one before Ukraine had talked about a conventional war between the US and Russia. It had always been assumed they would never go to war because if they did, it would be nuclear, and that would be the end of that; and yet here we are, not only talking about it, but about to embark on it.

The US is already in a good position to strike Russia using conventional weapons based in NATO countries in Europe, but this advantage will fade if Russia moves westwards. Russia has its air defence systems to protect its major cities and military sites, but it is not in the same advantageous position to strike the US mainland. For the US to be able to strike others without fear of being struck in return means there are no consequences for their actions. Technology however is beginning to change that; the Hypersonic Glide Vehicle being one example, and there are others.

I don’t think striking the US mainland with conventional weapons has ever been a requirement before because it’s never been thought as being necessary. I doubt Russia has even considered striking the US from the Pacific using conventional munitions. Why would it? But if WW3 changes the rules of the game then maybe now they will. There are missiles in development like the Kalibr-M with its 4,500km range, the new Zircon and the Kinzjal hypersonic missiles with their 2,000km ranges and rumoured conventional 1 ton warheads. These could form the basis of a submarine launched precision strike capability using Russia’s new Oscar and Yasen class submarines. Maybe we will see the emergence of dedicated missile cargo submarines heading out from eastern Russia to restock them mid-pacific, and the development of underwater missile transfer between submarines, who knows. At the moment we are talking about very expensive submarines carrying relatively few missiles each, and multiple cargo submarines that don’t exist yet, going to and from the rendezvous points. We are probably only talking about 50 missile firings a day, so we are talking about precision strikes on high value targets, not ocean-based artillery, but the night is young, and this is a new journey the world is setting out on.

I doubt Russia has considered setting up missile firing points in Arctic Canada and Greenland, but it might if it goes to WW3. Notice I didn’t include Alaska because that would mean invading the US and that could prompt a nuclear retaliation, just if the US invaded Russia.

Which leads us on to another curious development of this Ukraine conflict; it has influenced the rules of engagement for this potential WW3. When is an invasion of your homeland, US or Russia, not a cause for nuclear retaliation? Obviously Ukraine is attacking Russia and this is not going to lead to a nuclear response. What if Poland did? I would say the same. I would say if any European NATO country attacked Russia, it wouldn’t get a nuclear response providing the invading country didn’t use nuclear weapons in its invasion.

There are other conditions Russia has for the use of nuclear weapons and one of them is if Russia faces an existential threat. In other words if you invade Russia but don’t look like defeating it, then you’ll be OK, otherwise the world gets vapourised. Another condition is you can’t strike at nuclear launch sites. It harder to guess what the US conditions are for the use of nuclear weapons as they no longer refuse first strike, and their conditions for use seem far more vague than Russia’s. For instance, would a Russian invasion of a NATO country trigger a nuclear response? There is nothing Article 5 of the NATO alliance that says it should. Would the US end the world is Russia invaded Poland? I have to say, I doubt it.

If the US/NATO/EU is going to keep saying the war against Russia will not end until they are defeated in Ukraine and driven out, in other words the war against Russia will never end, and if they are going to keep saying Russia has to be liquidated as a Polish Member of the European Parliament said yesterday, and if the EU is going to host meetings in Brussels to openly discuss how to regime change Russia and break the country up, as it did last week, then the US and Russia need to sit down and thrash out a common set of rules for the use of nuclear weapons, so that WW3 does not lead to a global nuclear holocaust.

WW3 would be a strange war indeed; a war where both sides reduce the other’s country to rubble but neither is allowed to invade the other. Smaller allied countries can invade, but only if they are unsuccessful, and the smaller countries get reduced to rubble as well. It’s like a vision of hell, or ‘1984’; never-ending war.
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Re: Has the US just turned the world Socialist?

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Update on the economic war

A few post up I mentioned dollar holdings outside the US have fallen from $34 Trillion to $30 Trillion which in part reflects the reduced trade world-wide using the dollar, and in part reflects a movement away from the dollar in investment portfolios. This is happening globally, but I don’t think many would argue it is being lead by Russia and China trading with each other and with other trading partners in Rubles and Yuan, and in various local currencies. I don't think China up until now has deliberately targeted the dollar, but I think that might be changing now. The US continues to poke the dragon just as it poked the bear, and recent revelations that the US is preparing to go to war with China in 2026, looks like they have finally got China’s attention. China may well now be looking at joining forces with Russia to bring the dollar down, even if it means disregarding their own interests, to a degree. I mean, well done the US.

What I haven’t mentioned so far are US government bonds (Treasuries) and how China could use its holding of them to destabilise the US bond market. Government bonds are IOUs that pay annual interest payments (coupons) on the bond face value for the term of the bond, which can be for 3 months, 5 or 10 years, or even 30 years, at the end of which the buyer of the bond gets their capital sum back along with the final coupon payment. The US issues Treasuries to borrow money and the buyer buys them as an investment because of they can get good interest rates on huge sums of money.

Treasuries can be bought and sold throughout their life as holders need money, or find better investment opportunities, or in the case of an economic war, to reduce confidence in Treasuries and destabilise the Treasury market. The nightmare scenario for the Federal Reserve would be if China who is the main holder of Treasuries were to mass sell their Treasuries, create a crisis of confidence, and there be such a reduction in buyers for them that the Fed would have to step in and buy them back. This would in itself create an even bigger crises in confidence, and force more Quantitative Easing (money printing) on the US in order to raise the cash to buy them back.

It’s interesting that Japan is the other main holder of US Treasuries. It is odd that the most indebted country in the world should be buying another country’s debt. It suggests to me an arrangement under the table, where the US buys Japan debt, so that Japan has the cash to buy US debt, but let’s not go down that rabbit hole. All I will say is China’s % share of US debt has been dropping since 2012 but China has held the same US debt from 2012 to mid-2016 as shown here;

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So all sort of shenanigans going on here.

China Sell-off of US Treasuries

The hot war in Ukraine makes all the news of course. The West is able to stoke it with money and weapons and providing it doesn’t join in, it can run this proxy war from a safe distance. The economic war on the other hand does impact the West. If it makes the news at all, it is to talk about the worse being over, the green shoots of recovery are shooting, how we are not in a recession, how it will all be over by Christmas, and how inflation isn’t as high as you think it is, you’re just imagining it. The economic war is the silent killer. Today in the UK is being called Walk-out Wednesday where 500,000 teachers and civil servants have walked out to demonstrate about the cost of living crises. The UK is being hit by waves of strikes from different sectors as people are finding they can’t pay their bills.

China has been selling US debt since the US-China trade war, tech war, coronavirus blame game war, cold shoulder war, was kicked off by President Trump in 2016. At the time the ‘nuclear option’ of China selling all US debt, all $1 trillion of it in one big market dump, was seriously talked about, but that would have hurt China as much as the US had they had gone through with it. In 2020, fed-up with continued US anti-China rhetoric, and the US support of the Taiwanese independence party that had come to power in Taiwan, China threaten to reduce its holdings of US debt from $1.1 trillion to $800 billion. That may not have happened in 2020, but it looks like it may be happening now. China’s holdings have now fallen below $980 billion, down $100 billion from a year ago, and the first time below $1 trillion in 12 years. I suspect they will fall another $100 to $200 over 2023 as well, and it may not stop there. If the US and China go to war over Taiwan, China may well dump all US debt on the global market as it threatened back in 2016, regardless of the financial consequences to itself.

China’s selling of US Treasuries is going to hinder the Federal Reserve attempts to reduce money printing and push up bond yield rates. If yields reach 7% it is widely acknowledged the US will default on its debt. As the US interest rate increases, Treasury’s will become less attractive to foreign debt portfolios around the world. If China’s aim is to trigger a US default on its Treasuries by dumping them on the market, then it has to time it right as once the default comes, no one will buy the Treasuries China is selling, including the Fed, and China will lose what it has left, but that will be the price they pay for collapsing the US Treasury market.

Now I know what you are going to say

If the US owes $31 trillion, how is $1 trillion going to affect anything?

To answer that lets break US debt down. $7 trillion is intragovernmental debt where one part of the government buys debt from another, and $24 trillion is public debt. Of this $24 trillion, $17 trillion is held by US banks and investors and the Federal Reserve. In fact most of this $17 trillion has been bought by the Federal Reserve. Yep, most of US debt is owned by the US. It has printed the money to lend itself in one form or another. It prints the money to pay the interest on it and it locks it away in the Federal Reserve where it can be forgotten about. The remaining $7 trillion of public debt is held as Treasuries by foreign countries, so China holds about 1/7th of US debt that isn’t locked away and to which the dollar is vulnerable; and it is the impact the selling of this $1 trillion would have on the foreign debt market, that is where the threat to the dollar lies. It has the potential to cause a $7 trillion run on the dollar.

To put China’s holding Treasury securities into context, here’s a copy and paste of the top 40 holders of US foreign debt as of Nov 2022; numbers are in $ billion. The top 20 own 77% of it.

Japan 1082.2
China, Mainland 870.0
United Kingdom 645.8
Belgium 332.9
Luxembourg 312.9
Cayman Islands 283.3
Switzerland 266.7
Ireland 250.0
Canada 229.0
Brazil 225.9
Taiwan 223.9
India 219.0
France 204.4
Hong Kong 200.5
Singapore 186.6
Saudi Arabia 121.4
Korea 100.3
Norway 97.7
Germany 90.4
Bermuda 83.6
Netherlands 71.9
United Arab Emirates 59.9
Australia 58.8
Mexico 57.2
Israel 52.0
Kuwait 50.7
Sweden 48.4
Philippine 47.8
Bahamas 44.1
Thailand 41.4
Iraq 39.7
Poland 38.2
Italy 38.1
Spain 36.0
Colombia 35.7
Vietnam 35.6
Chile 34.1
Peru 31.0
All Other 426.1
Grand Total 7273.6
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