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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Journalist [Bolot Temirov] In Moscow After UN Envoy, Rights Groups, Embassies Decry Kyrgyz Deportation Order

Journalist In Moscow After UN Envoy, Rights Groups, Embassies Decry Kyrgyz Deportation Order

[Bolot] Temirov and traditional bard singer Bolot Nazarov, who performed his anticorruption songs on the YouTube channel Temirov LIVE, were arrested in January for allegedly possessing illegal drugs, which the two men say were planted by police.

H/T: Jimmy Dore

Related:

New U.S. Award Names Kyrgyz, Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Figures Among Its 12 Recipients

FactCheck and open-source investigative organization Bellingcat probed Raimbek Matraimov, the controversial former deputy chief of the Customs Service, and his relatives, who are at the center of an alleged corruption scandal involving the funneling of close to a billion dollars out of Kyrgyzstan.

Research on Factcheck.kg’s (Bolot Temirov):

Read More »

The Biden Zelensky Relationship: Who to Trust?

The Biden Zelensky Relationship: Who to Trust?

Is it destructive enough to shake Washington’s trust in Zelensky? Five days after the missile strike, former Australian ambassador to Poland and Cambodia Tony Kevin claimed that “There were unmistakeable signs this week of growing Western war-weariness and irritation with Zelensky’s endless demands for more weapons and money.” Then, echoing and amplifying Thomas Friedman’s report that “privately, U.S. officials are a lot more concerned about Ukraine’s leadership than they are letting on,” Kevin added that “There is growing speculation that Zelensky’s position as leader may be weakening. Washington may be considering replacing him, but it remains very unclear how and to what end.”

Colombia’s First Leftist President Charts a New Path on Venezuela + Government of Venezuela and Opposition Resume Mexico Talks

Colombia’s First Leftist President Charts a New Path on Venezuela

While critics derided the meeting as just another propaganda spectacle for Maduro, Petro has sent a signal to opposition parties in Colombia and the international community, particularly the United States, to rethink its approach if they hope to improve relations and achieve a successful political transition in Venezuela.

Related:

The recognition of Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela will end in 2023, according to two sources close to the opposition

Guaidó’s possible change of status occurs just as the opposition coalition establishes the rules to select the unitary candidate who will compete in the next presidential elections in 2024.

So Biden can support a new interim president for Venezuela.

Government of Venezuela and Opposition Resume Mexico Talks: What Is on the Table? (+Alex Saab)

Still skeptical of Gustavo Petro.

DeSantis and Future Foreign Policy Disasters + His Military Secrets

With his refusal to go along with lockdowns and mask mandates during the pandemic, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis emerged as a hero to many in libertarian circles. But as his name is now consistently put forward as a prospective or even likely 2024 Republican Presidential candidate, those who view him favorably should take a sober second look. On foreign policy in particular, DeSantis promises to continue the disastrous policies of his predecessors, which have made us uniformly less free, less safe, and much poorer.

DeSantis and Future Foreign Policy Disasters

Related:

“I was screaming and he was smiling”: DeSantis ran Guantanamo torture

YouTube: Ron DeSantis’s Military Secrets: Torture & War Crimes

Anti-China Protests in Thailand: Who is Behind them & Why? Searching for Asia’s “Zelensky”

Nov 22, 2022 – As the US proxy war against Russia in Ukraine destroys a nation and destabilizes a region, similar meddling that preceded the 2014 coup in Kiev is unfolding across Southeast Asia and in particular, in Thailand.

Who is the “Zelensky” of Thailand? Documented evidence exposes the Thai opposition as a product of years of US interference all in a bid to pivot Thailand aways from its largest economic and trade partner – China – and transform it into a belligerent proxy against Beijing on Washington’s behalf.

References:

Anti-China Protests in Thailand: Who is Behind them & Why? Searching for Asia’s “Zelensky” (Odysee) via The New Atlas

Previously:

Thailand: US-backed Opposition’s Violence Intimidates Critics, Paves Way for Regime Change