23.02.2024 Author: Seth Ferris

Will NATO turn to supplying arms to Ukraine to make up for its budgetary shortfalls?

Will NATO turn to supplying arms to Ukraine to make up for its budgetary shortfalls?

Often headlines, “clickbait” or otherwise, can be very revealing and more loaded than what you think, they can even be considered trigger-happy, especially in light of the timing, its publication source and in the wake of what else is going on in the news cycle. With the US-led military debacle in Ukraine, the interview of Putin by Tucker Carlson is a prime example of how an event can trigger a flood of such headlines.

Take for example one recent article, in which NATO reportedly wants to coordinate arms supplies to Ukraine instead of the US.

How interesting, and the happenstance of the timing, with Trump making jokes about how he would not be upset if Russia would attack those countries that don’t contribute their fair share to the NATO alliance.  Supposedly Trump’s outburst alarmed NATO allies, at least for those who did not take it as a joke, when Trump said that when he was the president he told NATO allies that he would encourage “Russia to do” to do whatever the hell they wanted to countries that had not paid the money [he claimed] they owned to the military alliance.

For Trump, it is all about paying your bills, “You’ve got to pay; you got to pay your bills!” It is like back in the day in the US, if you did not have fire insurance, the fire company let your house burn down. But what if NATO can serve another purpose, become a middleman, as if it is not already, in the supply of weapons to war zones?

Coordinating arms supplies to Ukraine

So if we are to trust the western sources, such as the New York Times, about such things, and (supposedly) foreign messengers, like the Ukrainian propaganda outlet, New Voice of Ukraine, which also claims that NATO is [reportedly] moving forward with its plans to take over the coordination of arms supplies to Ukraine, which has been previously done by the United States, as reported by an original German source.

There are many issues with the supply lines, being able to keep Ukraine supplied, as recently discussed in US Senate infighting over the supply of more money and more weapons to Ukraine.

We’re rebuilding supply lines; we’re rebuilding our arms, munitions, right now. A lot of the money we’re spending is all being spent in the United States,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), who voted to advance the $60 billion assistance-package for Ukraine,” … and much of that amount is not even for weapons.

Regardless, much debate remains as to what is the endgame for Ukraine, and soon we may find out, when the US House of Representatives takes up the issue next, since the Senate as already approved additional funding.

This could be BIG!

In the meantime, to keep the proxy war going, NATO is moving forward with its plans to take over the coordination of arms supplies to Ukraine, which has been previously done by the United States, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Feb. 9, citing government officials and diplomats.

The explanation given, as translated from German, runs like this, “the alliance has so far wanted to avoid the impression of being part of the conflict with Russia at all costs. But now a change is on the horizon – out of fear of Donald Trump”.

Blame it all on Donald Trump, even poor sight and STDs! So, now Russia will be the debt collector for Trump and NATO?  Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, also lambasted Trump’s comments. “NATO remains ready and able to defend all allies,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.

Even Joe Biden and his administration, not missing a chance, weighed in for the opportunity to go for a round or two with their hated opponent. The Joe Biden White House rebuked the former president’s comments as ‘appalling and unhinged’ – now is that not a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black, or a reminder that only “He who is without sin should cast the first stone?”

It can’t get much better than this in terms of recriminations: the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has long criticized defense spending by NATO allies, falsely [or rightly] claiming they owe an unpaid debt to the alliance. But his recent remarks, at a campaign event in Conway, SC, in the USA, suggested that he would encourage attacks against “delinquent” nations who fail to “pay their bills!”

Method in His Madness

Trump repeatedly attacks international organizations such as NATO, blasting the billions Washington spends on their upkeep—as the facts are that the US is paying more than its fair share for an entity that may have outlived its original purpose long ago.

What Trump is really saying is pay-up-or-shut-up, and if you want this military conflict in Ukraine so much, then find the means to pay for it yourselves and be prepared for the ramifications on your economy and national security. You very well know that the US has not the desire, or the means, to keep funding a corrupt regime, or an army that does not perform under fire, and this conflict would never had been possible without the Neo-cons and Europeans wanting it too.

The reaction of NATO is now that they are willing, and perhaps one day will be able, to be the ratline of arms for Ukraine, however, they should, under the circumstances, be thinking about defending their own members, as it appears that the military conflict in Ukraine has done more to disarm NATO than it has to provide adequate weapons, material support or manpower to the Ukrainian conflict effort.

NATO has already depleted most of its own stocks, including those of its most well supplied member, the US, and it has been a convenient way to get rid of all that outdated rusty stuff, and what can you do with rusty bombs?

Recycling? No … but find some poor unsuspecting bastards to drop them on, that would work! We should also note that this is nothing new, there is a suspicious correlation between NATO strikes on Iraq and Yugoslavia in the 90s, which occurred at times when stocks of Tomahawk cruise missiles were coming up for the need to undergo expensive decommissioning or refurbishment (It’s a little known fact that their guidance systems need periodic replacement due to changes in topography and mapping by which they navigate to their targets). How convenient.

It theory it sounds good, at least for the US, that NATO member countries are acceptable a larger share of the responsibility and will also share more of the bill for their own defense, and not only because they perceive Donald Trump as a mad hatter, but they understand that in light of the US Elections, voters on both sides of the political divide are tired of all the treasure, weapons systems, and ammunition, which is going to Ukraine.

Russia is only the stronger as a result of this war, with more and more observers noting that western sanctions have only strengthened the Russian economy, by allowing the Russians to re domesticate manufacturing of many items they were previously importing, it has also been a boon for the Russian military, allowing them to leap ahead in doctrine and the development of equipment to suit large scale “industrial warfare”.

Europe and the US, on the other hand, are all the weaker and facing dire economic times to come. Furthermore, the assumed “technological superiority” of western military equipment, and the idea that the western way of war is superior, have both suffered fatal blows in the light of the disastrous results of the application of “NATO plans” in the failed counteroffensive of 2023.

In the meantime, one thing is becoming apparent, it looks like less and less Ukrainians want to die for BlackRock or the US or European military-industrial complex.

AJ News reports that the NATO alliance has “announced it has signed a deal worth 1.1 billion euros ($1.2bn) to buy artillery shells. The move comes amid intensified exchanges of fire between Russia and Ukraine since the end of last year.”

Apparently, NATO countries have already depleted their own weapons stockpiles, and it might take a lot of time to replenish them—and just in time.  Perhaps they could consider the business model of Trump and his Make America Great Campaign Signs, as when you turn them over, you will see “Made in China.”

It is a lesson the Russians have learned, they are far more savvy than their western foes, not being afraid to source effective technology from their allies, such as Iranian made drones (which the Russians have subsequently improved), or offering to test foreign made intermediate range ballistic missiles.

They have learnt the lesson “Pride cometh before a fall” well during the 90s and know from Nazi history, WW2, but it is becoming “increasingly apparent” that it is a lesson their European and American foes are going to have to learn on their own– and it is being administered to them, the hard way.


Seth Ferris, investigative journalist and political scientist, expert on Middle Eastern affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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