John Koch Conversation 1962
I don’t really like to do predictions, not without tea leaves and crystal balls, but I do have one. My prediction is that NATO will -try to- expand/widen/deepen the Ukraine conflict in 2023, and not just a little. They have to, because Ukraine as a theater is failing, no matter how much additional weaponry they import into it. And because Ukraine is running out of -under 65- boots on the ground.
Next step will be to actively involve the NATO members who despise Russia most. Ergo: the Baltic States. Problem with that is there’s not a lot of people there. But it’s just a hop across the border from Lithuania to Poland. And Poland is a whole different story. And, like the Baltics, but unlike Ukraine, a NATO member.
Here’s NATO’s own numbers: Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2014-2022)
Poland has the weaponry, and the trained personnel. No threat to Russia, but you could sell is as such. Poland is just what Washington likes. And Raytheon, Northrop etc. The US cannot send US troops into the theater. And neither can Western Europe. Unpalatable. Countries like Germany, France and Holland won’t even think about sending troops. NATO depends on eastern European cannon fodder. Western Europe, like the US, will only send their second hand armoury. But not so, Poland. Here’s from Politico, November 21 2022:
Meet Europe’s Coming Military Superpower: Poland
Poland’s paranoia about Russia prompted it to eschew the prevailing Zeitgeist across much of Europe that conventional warfare was a thing of the past. Instead, it is building what are now on track to become the EU’s heftiest land forces. “The Polish army must be so powerful that it does not have to fight due to its strength alone,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on the eve of Poland’s independence day. It’s a shift that has resonated with Poland’s indispensable ally.
“Poland has become our most important partner in continental Europe,” a senior U.S. Army official in Europe said, citing the crucial role Poland has played in supporting Ukraine and in shoring up NATO defenses in the Baltics. While Germany, traditionally America’s key ally in the region, remains a linchpin as a logistical hub, Berlin’s endless debates over how to resurrect its military and lack of a strategic culture have hampered its effectiveness as a partner, the official said. As Germany continues to debate the details of what it calls the “Zeitenwende,” or strategic turning point triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Poland is already making substantial investments.
Warsaw has said it will raise its target defense spending from 2.4% of GDP to 5%. Meanwhile, Germany, which spent about 1.5% of GDP on defense last year, is debating whether it can maintain NATO’s 2% goal after it exhausts a €100 billion defense investment fund it approved earlier this year. Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak pledged in July that his country would have “the most powerful land forces in Europe.” It’s well on its way. Poland already has more tanks and howitzers than Germany and is on course to have a much larger army, with a target of 300,000 troops by 2035, compared with Germany’s current 170,000.
Today, Poland’s military is about 150,000 strong, with 30,000 belonging to a new territorial defense force set up in 2017. These are weekend soldiers who undergo 16 days of training followed up by refresher courses. They were initially seen as a bit of a joke, but Ukraine’s success in using mobile militia equipped with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles now makes the idea seem much more sensible. “Today, those doubts have disappeared,” Blaszczak said during a recent swearing-in ceremony for new territorial troops.
Unlike Germany, which struggles to attract new troops, Poland’s recruiting drive is gaining attention. “The Poles have a much more positive attitude towards their military than Germany because they had to fight for their freedom,” said Gustav Gressel, a former Austrian military officer and security scholar now with the European Council on Foreign Relations. “In military circles no one questions the quality of the Polish army.”
We would do well to see all this in the light of what Julian Assange said about Afghanistan in 2011. NATO wants a forever war, not a successful one.
NATO, the US and the rich part of Europe, have nothing to lose. They send plenty of mostly useless weapons into the Ukraine theater, but as long as there are no coffins arriving at their (air)ports, their people won’t complain. On the contrary, their media make sure that they keep cheering it all on. While making sure it remains murky how much it exactly costs them.
I found this very peculiar, through Andrew Korybko:
Top Ukrainian & Former US Officials Are Panicking That $100 Billion In Aid Isn’t Enough
Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Vadim Prystaiko [..] telling Newsweek: “The West now has a unique chance. There are not many nations in the world who would allow themselves to sacrifice so many lives, territories and decades of development for the purpose of defeating the archenemy…This is what I mean: All hands on deck, every single thing we can spare to help Ukraine win.”
You have a unique chance to have our people shot to bits. We will be happy to sacrifice them for your goals. Just keep giving us weapons, that’s all you have to do. Note the use of the term “archenemy”. For a country whose language and culture is still very much alive for perhaps more than half of Ukrainians. The 2014 US coup unseated a president elected by a majority of the population.
For some reason the US dragged two of their biggest old warmongers out of their respective proverbial basements: former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Who co-wrote this in the WaPo:
Under current circumstances, any negotiated cease-fire would leave Russian forces in a strong position to resume their invasion whenever they are ready. That is unacceptable. The only way to avoid such a scenario is for the United States and its allies to urgently provide Ukraine with a dramatic increase in military supplies and capability — sufficient to deter a renewed Russian offensive and to enable Ukraine to push back Russian forces in the east and south.
Congress has provided enough money to pay for such reinforcement; what is needed now are decisions by the United States and its allies to provide the Ukrainians the additional military equipment they need — above all, mobile armor. The U.S. agreement Thursday to provide Bradley Fighting Vehicles is commendable, if overdue. Because there are serious logistical challenges associated with sending American Abrams heavy tanks, Germany and other allies should fill this need. NATO members also should provide the Ukrainians with longer-range missiles, advanced drones, significant ammunition stocks (including artillery shells), more reconnaissance and surveillance capability, and other equipment. These capabilities are needed in weeks, not months.
It’s starting to look like a desperate push. But it will come. Much stronger than today. Desperation has that kind of effect. The suffering will be in Ukraine and soon likely in Poland and Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia. Western Europe will pay through higher food- and energy prices. The US elites will be sitting pretty.
There is zero doubt that we will have to come back to this, a lot, in the near future. But that’s sort of what you do with predictions. They foretell actual events and conversations.
Gonzalo Lira talked about these things back in November 2022:
To be continued. As long as the people in the west remain oblivious to their own destiny, fate, reality. We are all used to having unipolar control of the world. But those times are over.
We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.
Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.