Wunderwaffen won’t save Ukraine

12:55 09.02.2023 •

‘As Germany retreated from its high-water mark in 1942, many Germans consoled themselves with rumors that Hitler was setting a trap. The rumor went as follows: as soon as the Germans appeared to be defeated, they would unleash a fusillade of Wunderwaffen, i.e., wonder weapons, which would turn the tide, exact revenge on the allies, and lead to a German victory. No such victory would be forthcoming. A similar dynamic is currently underway in Ukraine,’ writes Christopher Roach, an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and an attorney in private practice based in Florida at ‘American Greatness’.

Russia, the supposed basket case nation with an economy “the size of Italy’s,” has not only survived, but turned the tide, in spite of crushing Western sanctions. Talk of a winter offensive by the Ukrainian army has disappeared, as casualties mount and Russia surrounds concentrated Ukrainian forces.

American media seem confused, but this is probably because very little of this war is “telegenic” when compared to the American Gulf War. Rather, this is a war of attrition, where artillery is predominant, the battles are slow and dirty, and the chief technological marvel is the widespread use of cheap drones to augment the abilities of forward observers.

Russia’s industrial age economy is apparently well suited for a war of attrition, as Russia has the ability to produce both food and other necessities for her people, while also producing tanks, endless kamikaze drones, and an order-of-magnitude more artillery shells than its opponent.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s economy is destroyed, with its government payroll and military budget entirely dependent on Western subsidies.

Not only can Russia produce more than Ukraine, but it turns out, at least for now, that it can produce more arms and ammunition than the entire West (!). Having offshored much of its dual-use industrial infrastructure to China in service to globalization over the last 20 years, the West’s military industrial complex is now only optimized for profits. Western leaders mistook economic activity measured by GDP with productive capacity.

Thus, the United States and NATO can produce very sophisticated weapons systems like the F-35 and the Patriot missile, but can only do so slowly and expensively. It will take years to catch up.

By contrast, Russia has followed its successful World War II practice of producing many good (but not great) weapons, which are simple and reliable, like the T-90 tank. Moreover, Russia appears to possess domestic factories and techniques to produce mountains of artillery shells, which are now pulverizing the large numbers of Ukrainian forces gathered in Bakhmut.

There is currently no prospect of Ukrainian victory, and a few hundred Wunderwaffen are not going to change the outcome.

Even the highest U.S. military leaders have begun to express reservations, though they were initially very supportive and optimistic about the Ukraine campaign. The West and its leaders are either engaged in massive denial or they are deliberately destroying their limited reserves of weapons and ammunition for some nefarious purpose.

There is still the prospect for diplomacy and negotiation to resolve the war in Ukraine. But nothing about Biden or his administration suggests either the wisdom or restraint to take such a course.

While having little prospect of success, the latest move risks at least two bad outcomes.

First, having put its prestige on the line, the West may now be committed to Ukraine simply to avoid “losing face,” much like the United States stuck it out in Vietnam and Afghanistan long after any plausible national security advantage was in view.

Second, not appreciating the repeated nuclear threats from Russia, the West may unintentionally cross a red line, setting off a chain reaction that could lead to Armageddon itself.


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