JD Vance’s opinion piece in the FT, I think, could well be seminal.

See link herein.

This may well be Vance’s pitch to be Secretary of State under a Trump presidency as he more or less lays out Trump 2.0’s likely stance towards NATO and NATO allies. The message is clear that for too long the US’s Western allies have been free riding on the U.S. military coattails. They have spent the peace dividend and now by nickel and diming on their own defence they are taking a competitive advantage on the US through being able to maintain lower taxes.

Vance, I think, suggests that Europe should now wholly shoulder the cost of supporting Ukraine as the US has already done more than enough, and defending itself by supporting Ukraine should be in the interests of Europe much more than the US.

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Many people, including this author, would agree that Europe has for too long not taken the threat from Putin seriously - indeed many European leaders had been in cahoots with Putin in the run up to the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, taking his forty pieces of silver - has not taken its defence seriously and needs to step up. Ukraine is now the wake up call and, indeed, we are now finally seeing NATO countries across the board increase defence spending to the prior agreed target of 2% of GDP. Many, including the Baltic states and Poland, are increasing defence spending much further to 4-6% of GDP.

So there is some sympathy herein for elements of Vance’s view - and indeed Dutch prime minister, Rutte, who is also eying the post of the next NATO general secretary, the past week also argued that Europe needs to look to itself, not to the U.S. for its own defence.

‘Shipments Start in the Next Few Hours’ – US Rushes Military Aid to Ukraine
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‘Shipments Start in the Next Few Hours’ – US Rushes Military Aid to Ukraine

Immediately after President Biden’s announcement, the Pentagon revealed a $1 billion aid package for Kyiv, utilizing the fresh funding, on its way to Ukraine.

But there are some critical problems with Vance’s view. Prime here is one of timing. With the best will in the world, and given the neglect of the past, Europe simply lacks the military industrial capacity to step up quickly enough to provide for its own defence and to counter the immediate and very pressing threat from Russia. This would be the case even if European countries doubled current defence spending.

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We have already seen example of this with the EU’s failing efforts to produce 1 million artillery shells a year. Perhaps 2-3 years down the line they might be able to rebuild military industrial complexes, and their military capability, sufficient to counter the threat from Russia. But likely this will be simply too late for Ukraine. As was shown this past week in Andrivka and now Robotniye, Ukraine is being outgunned in munitions in multiples approaching 10-1.

The stark reality is that without very immediate military backing and supplies from the US, Ukraine could lose the war, or at least significantly more territory sufficient to question its own viability as a state. Vance et al should ask themselves what that would then mean for Europe and the US, in terms of transatlantic security. But perhaps this is what Vance wants - does Vance actually favour a Russian victory? He did not spell this out in his opinion piece in the FT, but given elements in the GOP now seem to incline to a pro Russian view, it is a distinct possibility.

On what Europe would likely look like if Putin prevails in Ukraine, I would answer grim. Russian tanks would be up closer to Europe’s borders in Poland, and with a energised military surely the risk would be of further Russian attacks West into the Baltic states and Poland and elsewhere in Emerging Europe. Can we expect Putin’s appetite for expansion to be satiated with just Ukraine? 

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The evidence in Trans-Dniester, Georgia and Ukraine suggests surely not. A defeat for Ukraine likely also means a mass migration West of tens of millions of Ukrainians. This will further strain the political, social and economic fabric of Europe. This will feed further populism and racism in Europe - but again, perhaps that is what Vance wants, in terms of creating a new world order with Europe weakened.

We could well then see real risks of other wars in Europe - can Viktor Orban stop himself from pushing for Greater Hungary by, for example, looking to slice off Transcarpathia in Ukraine, to “protect” its ethnic Hungarian minority? And after Transcarpathia what about Voivodina, and territory in Romania, Poland, Slovakia and elsewhere? Could this then encourage others to follow suit? 

The peace and security which EU and NATO enlargement has brought to Europe over the past thirty odd years would surely be under threat. Is that really in the US’ best interests - for its key allies to be at risk of social, political and economic instability? Surely this will weaken the benefits to the US of Europe as an ally in the greater battle for hegemony with China?

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As I argued in a CEPA.org piece a few years back now, I think that investing in Ukraine’s defence surely is in the US’s own best interests - the best bang for buck in terms of degrading the military capability of a clear enemy/foe/rival/threat. And as myself and others have argued, much of the US defence spend on Ukraine remains in the US, as the bulk of the military supplies are actually provided by US companies.

Perhaps though Vance sees things otherwise. Vance seems not to see Russian invasion of Ukraine, its use of WMD twice now on the soil of a NATO ally (the UK - Salsbery and Litvinenko), it’s use of cyberattacks, talk now of development of nuclear weapons to target US satellites in space, plus its allegiances with an array of US foes (most likely accepted even by Vance but including Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Hamas, and then China) as a threat to US interests. Indeed, I can only conclude that Vance sees the largest global threat to the US as coming from China and perhaps views Putin’s Russia as a white, Christian potential ally in that hegemonic battle with China.

The likely threat to democracy under Trump 2.0 would also likely align the U.S. system of governance more to the kleptocracy stroke autocratic model run by Putin. And for Vance et al it is not the autocratic system of governance run by China that is the big threat (its not a battle of ideologies, according to Vance, I would suggest - it’s hard not to see China as capitalist now) but simply the threat to US global and, particularly, economic and military hegemony.

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If you buy into my own CEPa.org piece, that’s kind of the only logical conclusion to take from Vance’s FT opinion piece - as otherwise, supporting Ukraine in its current war with Russia has to be a no brainer for the US on so many different levels. This then suggests a very different world, with the US potentially then allied with Russia against China, and perhaps a fat chance of avoiding an eventual US - China military clash. A truly grim outlook therein if Vance et al are to prevail in the US.

Reprinted from @tashecon blog. See the original here.

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Comments (5)

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John
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On a GDP basis the USA is contributing 0.32% of its GDP to support Ukraine. That surprisingly ties it with Canada despite that nation having negligible war manufacturing capacity, and thus having to first buy its weapons from the USA at a premium before it can donate them to Ukraine.

To put the USA contribution into perspective, over the last 2 years there have been 31 ALLIED NATIONs contributing more of her GDP to support Ukraine that these North American countries.


For those MRGA trolls trying to convince Americans they are paying more than their share, note that as of Jan. 15, 2024, the EU institutions (MFA and EIB), have committed 3X the monetary support ($77.2 Billion) than has the USA ($24 billion) in direct Ukraine aid (as opposed to related internal expenditures). 



USA support is so important as it represents many of the best weapons. The return on investment in protecting its own democracy (which is seemingly crumbling) from growing despot nation hybrid war threats is so great. No border wall will protect it from being torn apart by internal MRGA putin sycophants.

Help Ukraine prevail in turning off the putin's propaganda channel and MRGA funding. Save your own nation by saving Ukraine.

Most allied nations can do much better in their Ukraine support .

The stakes are high and the costs only escalated with further delay. Pressure your leadership

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John
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Ukraine's top supporters based on GDP per capita (including both direct and prorated EU portion), are mostly all former 'Eastern European' nations. Denmark, Norway and Netherlands, Sweden and Germany and UK being notable exceptions. These most proximate nations to russia best know what it's like to be under the oppressive rule of KGB thug rulers like putin.

From the Kiel Institute's Ukraine Aid tracking website these nations include: 

Estonia at 4.14% GDP
Latvia at 1.72% GDP
Lithuania at 2.0% GDP
Slovakia at 1.40 % GDP
Poland at 1.30% GDP 
Finland at 1.30% GDP 
Czech Republic at 1.05% GDP, 
Bulgaria at 1.02% GDP

....other eastern EU nations are also also contributing significantly with Hungary being the lowest at 0.73% GDP.

To put this in perspective the UK is investing 0.55% GDP and both Canada and the USA invest only 0.32% of GDP in Ukraine support over last 2 years. 



Wikipedia indicates 75 countries are providing Ukraine with aid including surprisingly China (a bit of humanitarian aid).



THE ONLY COUNTY WHOSE BEHAVIOUR IS DISGRACEFUL IS RUSSIAs. 

For supplying russia weapons or military logistical support Belarus, North Korea and IRAN should also be shamed.

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President-elect Trump told Jack Griffin
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President-elect Trump, in a town hall on Fox News just now, moderated by Laura Ingraham, just revealed his plan of action against Russia. He stated that to date, Europe has contributed only 25% of the total sum of military aid contributed to date by the United States. He stated it is Europe's responsibility to fund military aid to Ukraine. He further stated he stopped Nord Stream 2, that would make Europe dependent upon Russian LNG. Joe BRIBEn allowed Nord Stream 2 to become operational and three of the four pipelines were flowing when Joe BRIBEn had our US Navy underwater demolition teams plant charges on three of the four pipelines during a NATO Baltic Sea exercise in June of 2022. Those charges were eventually actuated in, what? the fall of 2022. Europe did nothing to deter Putrid from invading Ukraine. It's high time for Europe to step up and support Ukraine. In your face Europe.

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Coach John
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The 'real politick' atmosphere in America is that two things can be true at the same time - that a majority of the American people continue to support Ukraine's fight for liberation, and at the same time much of America also believes that after spearheading the Western front in the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, plus the decades of heavy lifting that led to the NATO nuclear and naval umbrella and the liberation of Eastern Europe after the Cold War - that Americans feel we have been done more than our fair share to secure Europe's freedom (many Americans hold both beliefs within their heads).
The most likely scenario will be that America will fund one more year of Ukraine's war with the $60 billion package. Even with a Biden victory in November, which daily appears more and more likely, the best Europe can hope for is continued access to America's military-industrial capacity, but funded by Euros instead of dollars beginning in 2025. This will enable Ukraine to accomplish its most successful outcome in its fight and buy Europe a decade to build up its own military-industrial capacity.

I was told by Jack griffin you are a shameless idiot-he's right
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@Coach John, "Even with a Biden victory in November, which daily appears more and more likely,..." Coach John, Jack Griffin told me to tell you that you are a shameless idiot. Joe BRIBEn's brain is nearly flatlining. Perhaps there's a reason you don't notice Joe BRIBEn's accelerated mental decline. Perhaps your brain is in resonance with Joe's brain.

zen
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@I was told by Jack griffin you are a shameless idiot-he's right,

ZEN NEEDS TO COME UP WITH SOME NEW MATERIAL
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@zen, Terminal adolescence will get you no where in life child.

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MirandaJames
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CNN reported yesterday that Ukraine troops fled in panic and abandoned more than 300 wounded. BBC reported today that the retreat was chaotic and troops were left behind. They also say that troops pleaded with commanders to withdraw and all requests were denied until it was too late. If this is true, Syrskyi and Zelensky have a lot to explain and there needs to be accountability for this scandal.

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