Is the Empire Functional Enough to Take Advantage of Russia’s Snail Pace in Ukraine?
There is an opportunity. But is the Empire capable of seizing it?
The American way of war is vastly different from the kind of war Ukraine is fighting. The composition of the Ukrainian military is vastly different, and what Ukraine needs is vastly different from what America has in greatest abundance.
The US is an air superpower and does most of its fighting from the air. Even when it fights with aerial drones these are still some of the largest and most expensive drones in existence.
What Ukraine needs the most are artillery, small drones, and loitering munitions (kamikaze drones). But it is precisely these weapons that America uses only sparingly, because it does the same things with heavier and more expensive systems like fighters and multi-million dollar drones.
If the US sticks to transferring to Ukraine only what it can spare from its stockpiles and arsenals, and only from current production then that will not be game-changing. It will drive up the price of Russian victory in blood and time, but won’t ultimately radically alter the outcome.
To affect the outcome in a great way the US would have to radically ramp up production. And by ramping up I mean by orders of magnitude.
The US could certainly do it. America has exploited its reserve currency status to outsource much of its manufacturing abroad and not have to work for a chunk of its consumption. But there is no doubt that when they put their mind to it the Americans are *without equal* in churning out military gear at great speed and very well-made to boot.
However this would require sinking a ton of money into expanding production lines that would become redundant the moment the war in Ukraine ended.
It would mean hiring many thousands of new workers, expanding and retooling many factories, knowing all of this great effort and expense would soon become unneeded and obsolete. Majority of the new workers would have to be fired with severance, and all the new and expanded plants would have to be closed or re-tooled to something else again.
It is a cost that the private sector is certainly not going to bear.
No self-respecting plant owner is going to sink hundreds of millions into expansion knowing the demand is likely to evaporate in just a few years or even months.
The only way this happens is if the US government is willing to bear the costs. If it is willing to finance these expansions knowing the new capacity may soon become redundant.
So far I do not see the evidence of this.
By failing to secure its objective in Ukraine quickly Russia has created the opportunity for America to interfere in a game-changing fashion by becoming a true military-industrial complex of Ukraine.
Now it remains to be seen if the US will seize this opportunity or not.
This will tell us something about the nature of the Empire. Is it ruthless. Is it capable of mercilessly and maximally exploiting every miscalculation of its enemies?
Will the US punish Russian setbacks in Ukraine to a radical degree as it is in America’s power if it is willing to mobilize on the defense production front?
Or is the Empire relatively ineffective itself, with numerous domestic obstacles standing in the way?
We’ll find out soon enough.
I suspect that the US will be slow and reluctant to do what it would truly take to make a massive difference. However, that does not mean that Kremlin gifting the US this opportunity at all wasn’t irresponsible and less than competent.
That said I must profess myself ignorant about how much goes into manufacturing a small (kamikaze or not) drone. Does ramping up the production of the same also require massive investments? Perhaps not, especially if numerous components can be purchased from abroad.