The ongoing problems with the F-35 and other military programs, stemming from virtually unlimited budgets, underline the inefficiency of the American military-industrial complex (MIC). In contrast, Moscow develops armaments capable of counteracting the latest technological advances of the US at minimal cost.
One of a state’s most insidious mechanisms is the inefficiency of the military-industrial sector. When looking at the world’s first superpower, this becomes all the more pronounced. Still, the ongoing problems highlighted by the F-35 program and failed missile interceptions by ABM systems are a good demonstration of how inefficiency in the US military sector has risen to worrying levels.
The main cause of these issues is related to the huge military-industrial complex that employs hundreds of thousands Americans directly or indirectly. The unhealthy composition of this power conglomerate often employs a revolving door involving politicians and board members from large arms-producing companies. This situation raises questions about corruption as well as a number of obvious conflicts of interest.
It is no surprise, therefore, that Congress is increasingly willing to grant what almost amount to blank checks to finance military budgets, numbering in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The second factor that impacts negatively on the efficiency of the MIC is the propaganda to which the entire American system is subjected. Looking at the example of think-tanks, they are all practically funded, directly or indirectly, by the military-related industries or foreign governments (especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel). The role of think-tanks is to influence policymakers, creating a common view between components of the (deep) state.
A problem arises when almost all experts and politicians participating in these Washington based think tanks come from federal agencies or industries tied to the military through contracts worth billions of dollars. Hardly offering any dissent from official or mainstream opinions on issue ranging from Russia to the F-35, politicians, experts and journalists all agree that Russia constitutes the main danger and that the F-35 program does not have any critical issues and is actually a superior weapon, two lies in full swing. Think-tanks and their guests promote an erroneous narrative that seeds, nourishes and sustains the problems and inefficiencies that beset military systems and Washington’s strategic vision. They offer no criticism, no change of policy, only echo chambers of lies and propaganda.
The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway on its own power for the first time while leaving Naval Station Newport, Virginia (USA), on 8 April 2017. (Source: U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons)
In addition to the think-tanks and the revolving doors involving board members of MIC companies and Congress and Senate members, a major problem concerns the timing of projects and the contemporary technological advancements of geopolitical opponents. The cost of projects such as the F-35, the ABM system, and the new supercarrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, have reached astronomical figures, following decades of development. The immediate consequences are the obsolescence of these systems once they come into service, especially when compared with weapon systems developed, or being developed, by countries such as China and especially Russia.
Despite the fact that US spending is unmatched in the world, amounting to about half of that of all countries combined, the weapons systems of competitors often cost less and are more efficient.
The survival of the MIC is inextricably tied to the US dollar and its role in the world as a reserve currency. With almost $700 billion a year worth of military spending, it is easy to reach a nationwide debt of over $21 trillion. The only way to sustain this kind of debt is due to the credibility of the dollar itself.
The reason why US treasury bills are considered safe and a great way for a foreign investor to diversify in long-term assets, despite $21 trillion of debt, is because of US credibility and the dollar’s status as reserve currency. The dollar, being the main global reserve currency, continues to be purchased by foreign countries to pay for commodities as well as for trade between each other. Just as the MIC warns breathlessly of all the dangers and threats through propaganda, resulting in enormous investments in unnecessary and obsolete weapon systems, the dollar is also printed by the Fed without any fear of devaluation or inflation risk, providing Washington with virtually unlimited funds for defense budgets and the ability to carry out massive wars. If you combine the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone and add to it the cost of the F-35, it amounts to more than $7 trillion. It is an almost incomprehensible figure that is at the same emblematic of how the global economic system is at the service of American warfare imperialism.
In response to this dysfunctional system, we find a diametrically opposite situation in Russia. With a budget that is about one-tenth that of the US, but with the need to keep pace with the world’s most powerful war machine (at least in terms of quantity; we can discuss quality at another time), Moscow has had to optimize costs to get the greatest possible benefits from its weapon systems. This has led to a much more logical management of the Russian military apparatus.
By carefully observing the most important American technological advances (fifth-generation aircraft like the F-35, new ICBMs and aircraft carriers), it is easy to discern two asymmetric strategies by Moscow, one defensive and other offensive. With the defensive one, for each American action there is a corresponding Russian response. The F-35 and fifth-generation aircraft become easy targets thanks to complex systems such as the S-400, the future S-500, and cutting-edge radar technology. The Gerald Ford supercarrier becomes a simple target to hit if attacked by a Russian supersonic Zircon missile (ready to be put into production in 2018). The S-500s will also be able to intercept any kind of ICBM directed at Russian territory, thus succeeding in sealing Russian skies, a goal the United States is light years away from achieving.
Russia’s RS-28 Sarmat Nuclear Missile (Source: nationalinterest.org)
In terms of offensive strategy, Moscow’s capabilities are even more impressive. Emphasis must be placed on the most effective system possible, the SS-28, better known as the Sarmat, a nuclear missile capable of modifying its own trajectory in descent, accelerating or decelerating, thus becoming impossible to intercept for American ABM systems. It is thought that the overall power of a single Sarmat missile (armed with up to 24 MIRVs) is likely to reduce to ashes an area as large as Texas or France. It is the ultimate deterrent weapon.
Other programs related to the development of fifth-generation aircraft or aircraft bombers (PAK-FA and PAK-DA) have slowed down to facilitate the upgrading of aircraft such as the Su-34 and Tu-160, with the Su-35 already within the category of 4++ generation. Such choices can only be made through an military-industrial system that favors the strategies of the nation and not that enrichment of individuals, corrupt shareholders or politicians.
Finally, an operating mix capable of providing defense or attack performance certainly involves cyberspace and, more generally, electronic warfare (EW). Of these systems we know little to nothing; they are secrets jealousy guarded by the Russian defense ministry. But from what many experts write, Moscow could be far ahead of their American colleagues in this field.
It is no exaggeration to say that the technological gap between Russia and the United States is being overcome by the need for Moscow to efficiently optimize its key weapons systems. The main problem for the United States concerns its maintenance of the status of military superpower. The continued issuance of dollar-denominated bonds, the use of the dollar as the main reserve currency, provokes a dangerous sequence that allows the US to print unlimited amounts of money, therefore being able to invest incredible amounts of money in old and vulnerable weapons systems.
The blatant squandering of hundreds of billions of dollars over the course of two decades, without anyone ever being held to account for it, has produced enormous damage to the reliability and effectiveness of most of the advanced American military systems and those still in the process of being developed. The military-industrial complex continues to spend large amounts of taxpayers’ money without fulfilling the need for concrete or tangible results. Dozens of failed projects costing tens of billions of dollars have ended up allowing competitors to close the gap enjoyed by US military superiority.
A new era is opening up, one where the United States will no longer possess military and technical superiority over its geopolitical opponents in all domains. This will certainly bare consequences for Washington’s present and future strategy of power projection, possibly deterring the US from further engaging in failed policies, leaving countries completely destroyed and millions of lives lost.
Federico Pieraccini is an independent freelance writer specialized in international affairs, conflicts, politics and strategies.
This article was originally published by Strategic Culture Foundation.
Featured image is from the author.
Opinion: The Current Big Lie Is? From the “Cold War” to the “Hot War”?
The Big Lie today is as enormous as, and potentially far more harmful than, any Big Lie throughout history has been; and, it will be exposed fully here, and will be documented even more fully, by means of the links that are provided in this summary of it.
(This Big Lie is certainly important enough for that care, because if the lie is continued unexposed, that massive fraud will produce World War III, a world-destroying nuclear war, perhaps even soon.)
So, this will be only a summary of it, but a completely documented summary — not a mere ‘exposé’ that’s expected to be believed because it’s already generally suspected or thought to be the case, but, instead, something that’s presented in the expectation that the key facts of the case have, to the contrary, been so effectively hidden from the public, as to make necessary here the providing of full documentation of it, for anyone who wants to delve more deeply into this ongoing rape of history — the super-dangerous Big Lie that’s ongoing right now.
This Big Lie today, which is to be described here, is the lie, upon the basis of which the Cold War against the dictatorial communist U.S.S.R. — which Cold War had been such a boost to U.S. weapons-makers such as Lockheed Martin while it lasted — actually became restored in 2014, and continues today, as, this time, not a ‘cold’ but a hot war, by the U.S. and its allies, all united together (for the benefit of the owners of their international corporations, and especially of the big U.S. arms-suppliers) against democratic post-communist Russia (which gets blamed for trying to defend itself, at every step of the way that it does so).
This increasingly hot war started in early 2014 (after at least three years of advance-preparation of it by the U.S. Administration of American President Barack Obama), in Ukraine (formerly a part of the U.S.S.R.), when a CIA coup that was perpetrated under the cover of ‘democracy’ demonstrations, against the democratically elected Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych — when this CIA coup installed there, in Ukraine, a rabidly anti-Russian government, bordering Russia. That is certainly a provocation to war, just as would be the case if instead Russia had overthrown Mexico’s government and installed there a rabidly anti-U.S. regime.
In this Big Lie, which reigns today and is almost universally believed in the U.S. to be true, that bloody coup in Ukraine is simply ignored, and instead the focus is placed upon the peaceful and voluntary breakaway of Crimea from Ukraine, which breakaway actually resulted directly from that coup, which was the real precipitating-event for ‘the new Cold War’ — the basis of the U.S.-and-allied economic sanctions against Russia, and for the massing of NATO troops and weapons onto Russia’s borders, ready to invade Russia. (How would Americans feel if the Russian government did all of that, to us?)
The Big Lie today is this: that the reason for the economic sanctions against Russia, is that ‘Putin’ or Russia ‘stole’ or ‘conquered’ or ‘seized’ the Crimea region of Ukraine. The Big Truth, about the matter, is that U.S. President Obama conquered Ukraine itself (all of it), via a February 2014 CIA coup that he had secretly started planning by no later than 2011, which on 20 February 2014 culminated with the violent overthrow of the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Yanukovych, who had won 90% of the votes in the far-eastern Donbass area of Ukraine, and 75% of the votes in the far-southern Crimea area of Ukraine, both of which intensely pro-Yanukovych regions refused to be ruled by the Obama-appointed rulers — the hard-right, fascist and rabidly anti-Russian, team that the Obama regime imposed upon Ukraine, after Obama’s agent Victoria Nulandtold Obama’s Ambassador to Ukraine on 4 February 2014, that “Yats” (Arseniy Yatenyuk), a hard-right and even racist anti-Russian Ukrainian politician, was to become appointed to run the country as soon as the coup would be over, which happened 23 days later (and Yatsenyuk did then receive the appointment and establish very hard-right anti-Russian policies — including massacres of ethnic Russians in Ukraine).
The legalities of the situation are as heinous on America’s side as the moralities are; and, yet, America’s vassal-states, in the EU and elsewhere, slavishly honor Obama’s sanctions against the victim-nation here, Russia (even while acknowledging that the residents of Crimea are overwhelmingly supportive of having separated themselves from Ukraine and grateful to Russia for now protecting them against the rabidly anti-Crimean U.S.-imposed rulers of Ukraine). Furthermore: by no later than 26 February 2014, the leaders of the EU knew that the ‘revolution on the Maidan’ had, in fact, been a brutal coup, nothing at all ‘democratic’ — but decided to ignore that fact. So, they too are culpable in this, though not nearly to the extent that Obama is.
On Friday 21 July 2017, the anti-Russian Reuters ‘news’ (propaganda) agency headlined “Crimean scandal prompts Siemens to retreat from Russian energy“ and reported that,
“Germany’s Siemens tried to distance itself from a Crimean sanctions scandal on Friday, halting deliveries of power equipment to Russian state-controlled customers and reviewing supply deals. The industrial group said it now had credible evidence that all four gas turbines it delivered a year ago for a project in southern Russia had been illegally moved to Crimea, confirming a series of Reuters reports.”
The false underlying assumption in this propaganda-article was that the “scandal” it refers to had been initiated and perpetrated by Russia, not by the United States government (which initiated the sanctions against Russia, which Siemens and Russia are now being punished for). The Wikipedia propaganda site says in its article “Russian financial crisis (2014–2017)” that “The financial crisis in Russia in 2014-2015 was the result of the collapse of the Russian ruble beginning in the second half of 2014” and barely even mentions the economic sanctions, other than to say, “The second [reason for it] is the result of international economic sanctions imposed on Russia following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the Russian military intervention in Ukraine” — implying, but not stating, that Russia had started that war — which just happened to be on its doorstep, not on the doorstep of the U.S. — as if Mexico had been taken over by an enemy nation and the people of America were being threatened, which is what this takeover by the U.S. government was equivalent to for the Russian people: a very real and grave national-security threat to them.
The Reuters article simply ignored the fact that Ukraine had been seized by Obama, and it simply presumed that Crimea (and also Donbass) had been seized by Putin. (Furthermore, the appeal by Donbass to become a part of Russia, was declined by Putin on 17 September 2014. But, still, the lie is also being pumped by pro-U.S.-regime ’news’media, that Russia is trying to steal Donbass from Ukraine’s government. The U.S. team’s lying is beyond bizarre. Sometimes, by their using carefully veiled language to deceive without outright asserting their lies, they implicitly blame Russia regarding the impasse in Donbass, even three years after Putin said no to that appeal by the residents of Donbass. And, still: Russia, which had — despite the Obama regime’s refusal to participate — signed and even had helped set up the Minsk agreements to settle the war in Donbass, gets blamed in the U.S.-allied press for what are actually Ukraine’s refusal to honor the commitments it had signed to there. As usual, the victims get blamed. And the Trump Administration says that “there should be no sanctions relief until Russia meets its obligations under the Minsk agreements.” No good deed will go unpunished — ever.)
Nor has Reuters (nor the rest of the U.S. regime’s press) reported that a power-struggle is now occurring in the post-coup Ukraine, between the overt nazis (or racist-fascists) there, and the post-coup (rump remaining Ukrainian-elected) (that’s the fascist but not outright nazi) elected government (in elections that excluded non-fascists). The fascists, whom the current U.S. regime supports, are being attacked by the nazis. The nazis are being led by Dmitriy Yarosh, whose followers are unabashedly nazis and often even boldly flash German Nazi Party insignia. The U.S. Obama regime was one of only three governments throughout the world that voted against a resolution that had been introduced in the United Nations condemning fascism, racism and denial of the Holocaust. The two other pro-Nazi nations were Ukraine, whose U.S.-installed regime felt the resolution to be personally offensive even though it wasn’t specific to Ukraine and didn’t even mention Ukraine, and the other country was Canada, which is a U.S. vassal-nation and also has a powerful community of Ukrainian Nazis who escaped Ukraine right after WW II ended in 1945. Canada’s current Foreign Minister, appointed by the Liberal Party’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is Chrystia Freeland, a racist-fascist who is proud of her Nazi grandparents and who championed in Canada the fascist takeover of Ukraine.
When the International Criminal Court issued, on 14 November 2016, its annual “Report on Preliminary Examination Activities”, it included, on pages 34-43, a section on “Ukraine,” but considered only accusations that the Obama-installed Ukrainian government had lodged against Russia, and none of the demonstrated crimes (which are amply documented in the links herein), including the illegal coup, that the Obama regime had, in fact, perpetrated against not only the people of Ukraine, but the people of Russia next door; and the discussion by the ICC did not (such as an influential but grossly false Forbes article six days later headlined and yet provided no documentation for, “International Criminal Court: Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Is A ‘Crime,’ Not A Civil War”) even allege that any “crime” had been committed by any party; but, nonetheless, the Russian government (which had never ratified the treaty that established the Court) condemned the report as being “one-sided,” which was an understatement, because the report included many gross falsehoods, outright lies, such as (and I boldface the falsehood):
“At the time of the start of the events that are the subject of the Office’s preliminary examination, the democratically-elected Government of Ukraine was dominated by the Party of Regions, led by President at the time, Viktor Yanukovych. The Maidan protests were prompted by the decision of the Ukrainian Government on 21 November 2013 not to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union.”
As I and others have documented, the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President started well before that time, and the coup even was already being organized inside the U.S. Embassy there by no later than 1 March 2013; and the U.S. State Department had begun its work to prepare it, no later than 2011 — it didn’t simply ‘happen’. And it certainly wasn’t ‘democratic’; it ended whatever democracy Ukraine had. Furthermore, Yanukovych’s turn-down of the EU’s offer was, itself, a part of the Obama regime’s plan: Yanukovych had turned it down because the Ukrainian Academy of Science’s analysis of the EU’s offer (which had been prepared in accord with the U.S. government’s urgings) had concluded that to accept the deal would produce losses for Ukraine of $160 billion.
This is the Big Lie straight out of hell, because, unless the United States acknowledges publicly that it has been lying, and that the anti-Russia sanctions that the U.S. initiated, are based on that lie and should therefore never even have been imposed (and should not be honored anywhere), there will be war between Russia and the U.S. Either those sanctions will be entirely lifted, or else nuclear war will inevitably result, because Russia will not forever tolerate having its economy squeezed to death on the basis of a clear lie. But how can such sanctions be ended unless the perpetrator — here, clearly, the U.S. — publicly acknowledges that former U.S. President Barack Obama, and his Administration, lied through their teeth, in order to impose them, in the first place? The U.S. government would need to renounce, to the entire world, that former U.S. President. Or else, WW III would seem to be well-nigh inevitable. This is an extremely serious matter, which isn’t so much as even being discussed — much less, debated. WW III could result from it, but it’s entirely ignored. The Big Lie just continues to be promoted, instead of exposed.
Back on 20 February 2015, I headlined “Crimea: Was It Seized by Russia, or Did Russia Block Its Seizure by the U.S.?” and, in the years since, the documentation that it was Obama not Putin who initiated (perpetrated)the new ‘Cold War’, has only increased. But the ‘news’media hide this fact (just as they hid that article), because they exist in order to pump the Big Lie, not to puncture it. (And, of course, that also is why they won’t publish this, though it, too, is sent to all of them free-of-charge to publish.)
Donald Trump condemns many of his predecessor’s actions and decisions and statements; but, on this one, which is the most important of them all and is blatantly a fraud (the blame for the entire catastrophe in Ukraine), Trump remains alternately supportive, and noncommittal, regarding Obama’s most enormous Big Lie. Now, after half a year in office, does he even care — or does he instead simply lack the courage?
It’s clear what a real leader would do — expose and renounce that biggest of all Big Lies. Only a coward would not.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
This article was originally published by Strategic Culture Foundation.