U.S. and NATO scramble to arm Ukraine and refill their own arsenals

Either this narrative about weapon stockpiles, being depleted, is part of the information war or Russia is demilitarizing NATO!?!

U.S. and NATO scramble to arm Ukraine and refill their own arsenals

In Ukraine, the kind of European war thought inconceivable is chewing up the modest stockpiles of artillery, ammunition and air defenses of what some in NATO call Europe’s “bonsai armies,” after the tiny Japanese trees. Even the mighty United States has only limited stocks of the weapons the Ukrainians want and need, and Washington is unwilling to divert key weapons from delicate regions like Taiwan and Korea, where China and North Korea are constantly testing the limits.

So the West is scrambling to find increasingly scarce Soviet-era equipment and ammunition that Ukraine can use now, including S-300 air defense missiles, T-72 tanks and especially Soviet-caliber artillery shells

There are even discussions about NATO investing in old factories in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria to restart the manufacturing of Soviet-caliber 152-mm and 122-mm shells for Ukraine’s still largely Soviet-era artillery armory.

The European Union has approved €3.1 billion ($3.2 billion) to repay member states for what they provide to Ukraine, but that fund, the [ironically-named] European Peace Facility, is nearly 90 percent depleted.

Smaller countries have exhausted their potential, another NATO official said, with 20 of its 30 members “pretty tapped out.” But the remaining 10 can still provide more, he suggested, especially larger allies. That would include France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has advised the alliance — including, pointedly, Germany — that NATO guidelines requiring members to keep stockpiles should not be a pretext to limit arms exports to Ukraine. But it is also true that Germany and France, like the United States, want to calibrate the weapons Ukraine gets, to prevent escalation and direct attacks on Russia.

Washington is also looking at older, cheaper alternatives like giving Ukraine anti-tank TOW missiles, which are in plentiful supply, instead of Javelins, and Hawk surface-to-air missiles instead of newer versions. But officials are increasingly pushing Ukraine to be more efficient and not, for example, fire a missile that costs $150,000 at a drone that costs $20,000.

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Sweden Expands Espionage Law, Endangering Freedom of Journalists and Whistleblowers

Sweden’s parliament adopted a major espionage law expansion that will permit the country’s police to investigate journalists, publishers, and whistleblowers if they reveal secret information that “may damage Sweden’s relationship with another state or an international organization.”

Sweden Expands Espionage Law, Endangering Freedom of Journalists and Whistleblowers

Call of Duty is a Government Psyop: These Documents Prove It

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II has been available for less than three weeks, but it is already making waves. Breaking records, within ten days, the first-person military shooter video game earned more than $1 billion in revenue. Yet it has also been shrouded in controversy, not least because missions include assassinating an Iranian general clearly based on Qassem Soleimani, a statesman and military leader slain by the Trump administration in 2020, and a level where players must shoot “drug traffickers” attempting to cross the U.S./Mexico border.

Call of Duty is a Government Psyop: These Documents Prove It

Related:

Spies Infiltrate a Fantasy Realm of Online Games (behind a paywall)

Just some notes, for myself:

Read More »

Ukraine blames Russia for alleged ‘missile strike’ on Poland + What is NATO Article 5 and how does it apply to the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Ukraine blames Russia for alleged ‘missile strike’ on Poland

AP reported, citing an unnamed US intelligence official, that Russian missiles crossed into Poland. The Pentagon then stated it “has no information” to corroborate such reports, adding that it is aware of the situation and would look further into it.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied any responsibility for the incident by saying that the nation’s military did not strike any targets near the Polish-Ukrainian border. It also branded the Polish media reports a “provocation.”

Related:

What is NATO Article 5 and how does it apply to the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Although it is not yet clear where the shells came from, it is known that they fell at around the same time as a Russian missile strike in western Ukraine.

The US Department of Defense repeated after press reports that it “will defend every inch of NATO territory” while it awaits more information.

America’s Neo-Nazi bedfellows in Ukraine are latest in long line of odious allies Washington has used against Russia

By Tony Cox, a US journalist who has written and edited for Bloomberg and several major daily newspapers.

From pogrom-mongers to Hitlerites to radical Islamists, the US has collaborated with repugnant partners for more than a century

America’s Neo-Nazi bedfellows in Ukraine are latest in long line of odious allies Washington has used against Russia (Alternative source)

Pink Flamingo: The U.S. Military Will Pay for Its Munition Shortage

The military must set realistic requirements for munitions stockpiles based on the certainty of the high rates of expenditures that will be experienced in any future conflict with Russia or China.

Pink Flamingo: The U.S. Military Will Pay for Its Munition Shortage

Imagine that!? With all of the handouts to the military industrial complex, they didn’t have enough 💰 to make munitions for the National Defense Stockpile?! I call 💩!

[2008] Yes, Joe Biden’s Helicopter Really Was “Forced Down” in Afghanistan

One of the narratives the blogs are talking about this week is that Joe Biden is—gasp!—”gaffe-prone.” Nevermind the fact that this has been the story about Biden for 30 years: now journalists are even finding gaffes where none exist. In a post on The Stump exploring Biden’s unfortunate attack on his own campaign’s ad, Michael Crowley claims that this Joe Biden anecdote is a “gaffe”:

Yes, Joe Biden’s Helicopter Really Was “Forced Down” in Afghanistan

Related:

The Story Behind Biden’s Emergency Helicopter Landing in Afghanistan

U.S. senators in emergency Afghan landing

The gaffe-o-meter

Biden made the claim, again, last Friday. So-called fact-checkers are saying that the first time he made the claim was in 2015. The first time was actually during his 2008 presidential campaign. The argument, I guess, is between whether his helicopter was forced down or made an emergency landing?! Sure, he makes quite a few gaffes, but this one seems like a nothingburger compared to his Fallujah one (or other numerous gaffes).