Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
After Shock | The collapse of the industrial potential of the US military-industrial complex
Forty years have passed, and absolutely everything has changed. Those mechanisms that ensured the security of supplies and the mobilization readiness of the US military-industrial complex have died and no longer operate.

What happened?

Before describing the changes that have taken place and their consequences, I will perhaps begin with a few postulates (I recalled my school mathematics lessons).

The first postulate: in the USA everything that is not about money is fake

it until you make it.
by Cat on Wed Feb 1st, 2023 at 04:24:45 AM EST
Sputnik yahoo! The Week WSJ | U.S. firm reportedly offers Ukraine 2 Reaper drones for $1, plus $10 million in shipping and handling, 1 Feb
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing a recent letter from company CEO Linden Blue to Ukraine's defense attaché in Washington. The sale would include a ground control station that would allow Ukraine's military to operate the drones from almost anywhere in the country, more than 24 hours per flight.

General Atomics declined to confirm the specific deal, but company spokesman C. Mark Brinkley said "we do believe Ukraine needs a capability like the Reaper, and soon." The sale would be directly to Ukraine, not through the U.S. government, but the Biden administration would have to sign off on the transfer of technology. Reapers, even the older version on offer, cost millions of dollars, so $1 is quite a bargain. However, the Journal notes, "the deal would require Kyiv to spend about $10 million to prepare and ship the aircraft to Ukraine, and about $8 million each year for maintenance and sustainment [sic]."

The U.S. has provided Ukraine more than 700 smaller drones, including portable Switchblades and mysterious Phoenix Ghost drones. But the Reaper, with its 66-foot wingspan, is much larger, faster, and more sophisticated than any drone in Ukraine's arsenal. It can be used to surveil enemy forces or fire on them with missiles or bombs. The Biden administration has declined to include Reapers, Predators, or Gray Eagle drones in the nearly $30 billion in military aid it has sent Ukraine, citing RISKS OF handing Russia SENSITIVE TECHNOLOGIES if one of the drones is brought down.

by Cat on Wed Feb 1st, 2023 at 01:51:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OpEd | Will logistics be Russia's undoing in Ukraine?, 10 Feb twin Vindman report
...EVEN IF Russia had assessed the Ukrainian threat more effectively, it is not clear that it possessed the required force structure to execute its initial plans. This has been all but proven over the course of the conflict, as basic issues of poor maintenance and supply support, compounded by lack of trained and effective maintenance personnel, have affected Russia's ability to carry out the war. Its shortages are steadily getting worse.    

While some of Russia's supply failures can be attributed to Ukraine's acquisition of long-range precision fires [?!] (which threaten supply depots ammunition dumps), the most fundamental issues center on Russia's inability to produce the required materiel for war. The overall weakness of the Russian defense industrial base reflects an overall weak economy, one that is, again, largely dependent on energy gas and oil production (and, to a lesser extent, on agricultural exports, which have also been DECIMATED by sanctions).
Brad Martin is a senior policy researcher at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and the director of the RAND Institute for Supply Chain Security.

by Cat on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 04:50:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A typical example of projection of own shortcomings ... mirror his statements to the losses and failures on UA side ... 8 years of association with the best NATO can supply ... training and the logistics coordinated by NATO Ramstein ... greatest adversary is Lvov neo-Nazis and Kyiv corruption.

Coming weeks will likely be a pivot ... who has the experience and battle hours on Leopard, Abram tanks ...  Ukraine AF pilots training on F-16 simulators for Top Gun dog fights over Ukrainian territory?

Easier for Zelensky to win an Oscar in Hollywood. Nobel Peace prize ... only through bribery or political bullying.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 10th, 2023 at 05:06:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukinform | Kyiv, London in talks on production of British weaponry in Ukraine - media, 12 Feb "great powers competition"
...That's according to The Telegraph, Ukrinform reports.

Senior UK defense industry officials are discussing the plans with their Ukrainian counterparts. British executives have visited Kyiv with a view to setting up joint ventures that would manufacture arms and vehicles locally under license. According to the article, other European defense companies are also in talks with Ukraine, with British companies keen not to be beaten to the punch by French and German rivals. A race is on to put the UK "at the front of the queue," one executive told The Telegraph. The move would allow Ukraine to maintain jobs for its tens of thousands of defense workers as it shifts from Russian designed armaments to NATO-standard arms....

Denmark hands over all of its CAESAR howitzers to Ukraine, 13 Feb
The relevant statement was made by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Twitter, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"Denmark has given Ukraine all of its CAESAR self-propelled howitzers. A true friend who knows that our fight is Europe's fight. Tak, Danmark!" the ministry wrote.

President Zelensky believes Ukraine will join NATO after victory, 13 Feb
...The relevant statement was made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk* at a meeting with senior members of the U.S. largest investment bank, J.P. Morgan, and an online investment summit organized by J.P. Morgan, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"We believe we will join NATO sooner than all the leaders decide that our package of security guarantees is the right one. Because they make decisions slowly, it is red tape... I believe we will be in NATO after victory," Zelensk* said....

by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 02:20:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
archive.ph | Suspected Iranian Weapons Seized by U.S. Navy May Go to Ukraine, 14 Feb booty
The U.S. military is considering sending Ukraine thousands of seized weapons and more than a million rounds of ammunition once bound for Iran-backed fighters in Yemen, an unprecedented step that would help Kyiv battle Russian forces, U.S. and European officials said.

U.S. officials said they are looking at sending Ukraine more than 5,000 assault rifles, 1.6 million rounds of small arms ammunition, a small number of antitank missiles, and more than 7,000 proximity fuses seized in recent months off the Yemen coast from smugglers suspected of working for Iran.
"The war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of munitions and depleting allied stockpiles," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday, on the eve of the meetings. "The current rate of Ukraine's ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production. This puts our defense industries under strain."
U.S. military officials began seriously considering the idea late last year after the U.S. Navy seized a million rounds of ammunition on board a fishing boat traveling from Iran to Yemen, the officials said. A few weeks later, the American military seized more than 2,000 AK-47s from a small fishing boat in the Gulf of Oman. In mid-January, French forces found 3,000 assault rifles, nearly 600,000 rounds and more than 20 antitank rockets on board another fishing boat in the Gulf of Oman.

by Cat on Wed Feb 15th, 2023 at 01:14:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nationalpost reuters | UK training Ukrainians to fight in 'Western way' with less ammunition - minister, 15 Feb value chain
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Wednesday.
Wallace said Britain had been buying and trading ammunition "that is Soviet" in standard while also helping the Ukrainian military convert to unlock "access to our ammunition stocks."

"At the same time we're training to make sure it's used in a way that's very productive and accurate," he said.

"The Russian or the Soviet way of fighting is very ammunition heavy, massive artillery barrages, and that's never how we have organized ourselves to fight in NATO," he said.

yahoo! Kyiv Independent | How many missiles does Russia have left?, 13 Jan
...Western claims that Russia is running out of advanced, high-precision missiles have floated in the news since March [2022]. But more than 10 months into the all-out war, Russian missiles continue to rain down on Ukrainian cities.
The short answer is, no one outside Russia has indisputable numbers on its stockpiles and production rates. Ukraine released figures but they have not been independently verified. There are also estimates from Western analysts relying on observable clues.
Many estimates agree on one thing: Russia's strategic bombing campaign is burning through missiles at an unsustainable rate. If it keeps going, Russia should come to a point where it won't be able to launch mass strikes every 1-2 weeks anymore, even if it keeps dipping into its strategic reserves.

Ukraine says that this point is just three mass strikes away. ....

21 to 42 days?
by Cat on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 03:37:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole Russian "strategic bombing" campaign of the winter is a bust anyway : it was based on the idea that they could knock out Ukraine's electrical production and distribution systems and keep them down. This turns out to be another misunderestimation.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 16th, 2023 at 04:10:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WSJ | U.S. Watchdogs Want to Deploy Staff to Ukraine War Zone to Track Arms, Aid Up Close, 17 Feb
Inspectors general from the Pentagon, State Department[,] and the U.S. Agency for International Development [USAID] said in a joint interview with The Wall Street Journal that, thus far, they have been able to conduct critical oversight tasks remotely using personnel based in Washington, Poland[,] and Germany.

But following a trip by the trio to Kyiv in late January, they said they would press to put some of the 177 auditors and investigators scrutinizing Ukraine aid on the ground in Ukraine. The Biden administration has limited the number of government personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv for security reasons.
The officials said that, while it is early days, they had thus far received no reports of major fraud or illegality involving U.S. assistance to Ukraine ... But they also acknowledged that the sheer size of the American aid package, and the speed with which it has been appropriated by Congress, presents challenges.
Ms. Angarella [deputy USAID inspector general] said[,] she was the only person from USAID's inspector general office who has gone to Kyiv since Russia's full-scale invasion last year. ... While most public attention has been on the possible misuse or diversion of U.S. weaponry, Ms. Angarella said her primary concern is the more than $20 billion the U.S. is sending to Ukraine via the World Bank to keep its government [solvent] and pay civil servants' salaries.
Rep. Victoria Spartz (R., Ind.), the only Ukrainian-born member of Congress, said she welcomed plans for auditors on the ground, but added that more needs to be done....

by Cat on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 01:10:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
breakingdefense | Air Force grounds KC-135 fleet over fear tails could fall off mid-flight, 15 Feb
Air Force Materiel Command has issued a time compliance order to inspect all KC-135s for faulty "tail pins" before their next flights, the service revealed Tuesday. Inspections must be completed within the next 15 days, and include not just the KC-135 refuelers, but the RC-135 reconnaissance planes and the WC-135 Constant Phoenix fleet.

"We're taking this action out of an abundance of caution, after consulting with our engineering experts," Col. Michael Kovalchek, Senior Materiel Leader with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's Legacy Tanker Division, said in a statement. ....

archived cockroach alert
by Cat on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 04:44:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Yella Cake | Bulgarian Factories and Secret Task Forces: How the West Hunts for Soviet Arms, 23 Feb jobs saved or created
Once the invasion began last year, Ukraine and its allies started buying up Soviet-style arms wherever they could find them. State-owned Ukrainian companies asked brokers in the U.S. and elsewhere for tanks, helicopters, planes and mortars, according to documents obtained by The Times.

Would-be suppliers emerged from the recesses of the global weapons trade to meet demand. Last June, a Czech arms seller offered Ukraine ammunition and a dozen Soviet-model ground-attack jets built between 1984 and 1990 for about $185 million, the documents show. Both Britain and the U.S. have financed deals using third-party countries and brokers in cases where manufacturing countries don't want to be publicly identified as providing weapons to Ukraine, people familiar with the effort say.

archived Putin Got Viktor Bout Released, a proposed swap for Brittney Griner 2022, Why Lord of War is not just another great movie 2006
The secret task force created by the British defense ministry focused on getting Soviet-style ammunition, say people familiar with the effort, a task that became harder as the war went on and big suppliers ran out of stock.

Last June, Britain made a deal with to buy 40,000 artillery shells and rockets made by the government-owned Pakistan Ordnance Factories. Under the terms of the deal, Britain would pay a Romanian broker to buy the Pakistani weapons, documents show. The transaction's official paperwork said the weapons would be transferred from Pakistan to Britain, with no mention of Ukraine, a document obtained by The Times shows.

by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 12:24:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series