Supplying Ukraine

While I’m on the subject this piece by Loren Thompson at Forbes caught my attention:

The dual stresses of conflict in Ukraine and potential conflict in Taiwan have forced a wholesale reevaluation of how the U.S. government purchases munitions and other materiel, with an eye to accelerating every facet of the process.

The urgency of military needs has merged with the Biden administration’s efforts to craft a national industrial policy, and the bureaucratic result is akin to when frozen regions begin to thaw with the coming of spring.

At this point the U. S. isn’t able to supply arms to Ukraine at the pace at which the country needs them. Will we able to supply both Taiwan and Ukraine at the same time?

As should be obvious Russia’s war with Ukraine is a European war but other than the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and countries that share borders with Russia you would hardly know it. Consider:
Statistic: Total bilateral aid commitments to Ukraine as a percentage of donor gross domestic product (GDP) between January 24, 2022 and February 24, 2023, by country | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista
When considered in absolute terms the situation is even more stark: the U. S. is supplying more aid to Ukraine than all other countries combined.

Here’s a question the significance of which shouldn’t be lost on any of the interested parties: given a choice between Ukraine and Taiwan, which is our higher priority? I think it’s Taiwan.

11 comments… add one
  • Drew Link

    Didn’t you post a very similar piece a few weeks ago? It’s Taiwan by a mile.

    Of course, only Ukraine has the goods on Biden. So there’s that.

  • bob sykes Link

    The continual escalation of the Ukrainian war (actually NATO vs. RF) and the active participation by NATO countries in that war (intelligence, targeting, actual boots on the ground) promises to end up as a general European and North American war. There will be actual strikes, hopefully conventional, on American cities and European capitals. Washington, London and Warsaw are the most likely to be hit.

    If the war does spread, it is hard to see how it doesn’t go nuclear.

    Taiwan represents the reversal of 50 years of American Asian policy. If we had kept our promises to China, they likely would have let the problem simmer a lot longer. Now, our own provocations have pushed the Taiwan question to the fore. It is likely Xi and the CPC will seek to resolve this issue in the next few years. It would suit them to do it now while the US is tied down in Ukraine, and when the US’ military is in disarray.

    If the Chinese do move on Taiwan, we will get a Pacific-wide war, with possible strikes on American cities.

    North Korea is the wild card. They might try to jump start a Chinese-US war by a preemptive strike on South Korea and American bases throughout Asia and the Pacific. North Korea likely sees major benefits to an Asian/Pacific war. Let’s hope the Kims are a lot more rational than the US Ruling Caste. (I suspect they are. The madness is in Washington.)

    All of this is the doing of the neocons, who seized control of American foreign policy after 9/11, if not earlier during the Clinton administration (remember Kosovo, still and active war zone?). The neocons have systematically torn up every agreement we had with the Soviet Union and Russia, and they have done so unilaterally. They also have adopted and extremely hostile and aggressive posture to both Russia and China. Under pressure, Russia finally snapped and went to war. Will China snap?

  • Steve Link

    Kind of telling that Russia’s neighbors are giving so much isn’t it? 5 countries giving 2-3 times more then we are pro rated for GDP, all close neighbors. The countries/peoples that live closest and know the Russians best do not support Russia.


  • It’s also telling that countries which do not have territorial ambitions and/or wish to expel or otherwise suppress their ethnic Russian citizens are lukewarm in their support.

  • steve Link

    When I read about the ethnic Russians being suppressed, via Russian sympathizers, I go looking for evidence of that suppression and boy is it weak. It also seems to frequently be in response to acts of Russia aggression. AFAICT there were no attempts to make Ukrainian the only national language of Ukraine until Russia invaded.

    As was noted about the claims of elections. The Russians started conflict in Eastern Ukraine and now complain you cant have fair elections in that area. Zelensky is not legit because his election had corruption issues, but when you look at the issues found by international inspectors it was almost all attempts to aid Poroshenko.

    Was unaware Norway has territorial ambitions and is persecuting ethnic Russians. Will follow up on that. Good to know.


  • AFAICT there were no attempts to make Ukrainian the only national language of Ukraine until Russia invaded

    You’re not looking in the right places. It was the first action of the Ukrainian legislature after the putsch.

    Was unaware Norway has territorial ambitions and is persecuting ethnic Russians

    Norway and Czechia I’ll grant you. Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia all do.

  • Steve Link

    I guess so. You seem unwilling to cite evidence and what I can find is that the Council tried to overturn the bilingual act of the guy they were kicking out but it doesn’t look like that made it into real law. No laws were passed until 2018-2019.

    The reading on Estonia, Latvia etc has also been interesting. After Russia took over those countries they either killed or deported hundreds of thousands of people going into the 50s at least. They then imported thousands of Russians. Oddly enough, when the countries left the USSR they didn’t remember that fondly. Afaict, they granted citizenship to any ethnic Russian living in their country before WW2, but not those after. However, it looks they can become a citizen if they learn the language and in some places pass a test on history.

    The Russians living there don’t want do it because they are angry or don’t see any added benefit. From my POV it seems like they are treating those ethnic Russians pretty well. On one side a huge number of people killed or deported. On the other side you need to learn a language, but if you don’t not much bad really happens anyway.


  • steve Link

    Put more succinctly, within Dave’s and my lifetimes Russia decimated those countries, in the original meaning of the word (or close enough), then replaced those people with Russians. 40 years later when those countries achieve independence the Russians living there were angry that killing so many people left people angry so they weren’t automatically made citizens. Latvia and the others rather than respond in kind by killing and deporting engaged in, I believe Dave called it cultural genocide, by insisting they learn the native language and maybe pass a history exam. Totally equivalent.


  • Barry Link

    Let’s start with two overwhelmingly obvious ones:
    1) If we support Ukraine to inflict a lot of harm on Russia, that helps our deterrence, and leaving them to Putin’s ‘mercy’ hurts our deterrence.

    2) Now, this will be difficult: Any war with China over Taiwan will be (a) an naval-air war, and (b) directly between the US military and China. Our full forces will be involved from the beginning.

  • Barry Link

    “When considered in absolute terms the situation is even more stark: the U. S. is supplying more aid to Ukraine than all other countries combined. ”

    You might want to look up the GDP and defense budgets. And count the fact that the EU countries have brought in a vast number of Ukrainian refugees.

Leave a Comment