Why the US Will Not Give Offensive Weapons to Ukraine

Hot heads in the environment of Donald Trump, in the US Congress, and some zealous warriors have repeatedly proposed the transfer of lethal (offensive) weapons to Ukraine. What’s behind it: empty threats, political bluff, or just unprofessionalism?

Probably all at the same time, because there haven’t been any more obsolete anti-tank systems (well, they do not take the Russian T-90 head-on!) and decommissioned boats of the Coast Guard.

Many observers attribute this to the known friction between Trump and Zelensky, who is not ready to assist his American counterpart in investigating the corruption activities in Ukraine of Hunter Biden and his father, Joe Biden, Trump’s most likely rival in the future presidential election.

This is partly true, but only partly, because Trump, as is known, does not forget offence caused and, on occasion, is always ready to settle scores with the offender.

Congress has already allocated $250 million for military purposes to Ukraine. But here too, it is not a matter of providing Ukrainians with offensive weapons for this amount.

Trump himself is delaying the signing of this decree under various pretexts. Although, if you listen to some Ukrainian politicians, the money is already in their pocket. This is called wishful thinking.

Trump’s main motivation for refusing to sign it is widespread corruption among the Ukrainian elite and the inability to track where the funds are that were allocated to Ukraine. But this is only the visible part of the iceberg.

The underwater part of it is that Russia has in recent years made an enormous leap in military construction and the creation of new highly effective weapons, which neither the United States nor its NATO allies have.

The idea that Russia, as a response (to the hypothetical transfer of offensive weapons to Ukraine by the United States), could hand over some of its offensive weapons to the United States’ ardent enemies in the world (especially in the Middle East) is frightening. And it could deprive American politicians and the US military of sleep.

Russia, as we know, has so far refrained from making such a move, limiting itself only to selling its advanced defences: air defence/missile defence systems – S300 and S400 (by the way, there is already a large queue behind them).

And it’s causing American politicians to have fits of rage and panic.

The reasons are obvious. Firstly, American weapons makers are deprived of huge revenues, as many countries prefer to buy Russian weapons as being the most effective and at the same time less expensive. This is why their traditional allies are turning away from the US.. For example, Turkey and the planning-to-escape Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Pakistan, and many other countries.

Neither threats nor economic sanctions save the situation. This is an economic aspect.

Secondly, there is a more significant reason – military-political: the US can no longer, as was customary, use its air force with impunity to punish rebellious countries and “regimes”. As was the case, for example, with Iraq or Yugoslavia.

It must be said that the ousted and then executed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein paid for his shortsightness and arrogance. He was offered to purchase our air defence systems at the time, but he refused. And if he were more visionary, the history of the last years of the Middle East could have had a very different development. (Alas, history does not recognise the subjunctive mood!)

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After all, American politicians (but, most importantly, the US military) are used to fighting in conditions when their latest victim is unable or dare not to put up real resistance to the aggressor, the most powerful military and economic power. Therefore, the US military, without fear of real resistance or fear for their lives, often started to behave like excited gamers playing fascinating war games. Interestingly, it’s not scary, and you can ignore that it is not virtual phantoms that die, but living people: the elderly, women, and children.

However, such “trifles” never worried the American military and politicians. The first real understanding happened during another military adventure in the Middle East. At first in Syria, when they decided to test the resolve of the Russian military.

We all remember two US Navy destroyers firing 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase. The target of the missile attack was the Shayrat airbase, from which, according to the American side, Syrian government forces carried out some kind of chemical attack. Donald Trump has personally confirmed that he ordered a military strike on the airbase.

The Russian Defence Ministry said back then that only 23 missiles flew to the target, and the 36 remaining ones disappeared (one immediately fell into the water). It remained only to wonder: there were bad missiles or Russian electronic warfare equipment worked on their conscience.

In both cases, it was a direct slap in the face to the US military and military-industrial complex.

After the missile strikes, Russia suspended the memorandum (adopted in October 2015) on preventing incidents and ensuring the safety of aviation flights during the military operation in Syria between the Russian military and the United States. Immediately after that, the Russian frigate Admiral Grigory with Kalibrs was sent from Novorossiysk to the coast of Syria. And the Chief of the Russian General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov, said that the Russian Armed Forces will respond to the planned US missile and bomb attack on Damascus: “In case there is a threat to the lives of our soldiers, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will retaliate against both the missiles and the carriers that will use them.”

This unequivocal warning was heard by the Americans, and the US Embassy in Russia then issued a statement saying that “there is an increasing likelihood of large-scale anti-American demonstrations and aggression against Americans”, and on this basis called on its compatriots to be vigilant.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, “immediately after the end of the attack, terrorist organisations went on the offensive”. Their numerous drone attacks on the Russian base in Syria have never been successful. Drones were either shot down by nearby-air defences or downed by electronic warfare.

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And despite the fact that in terms of appearance they were homemade products, their insides – motors, ammunition, and navigation means – clearly showed that they were supplied by the US, France, and Belgium – NATO countries.

Such disguised NATO supplies to terrorists give Russian military and intelligence agencies the moral right to do the same.

And that’s where the most interesting thing begins. Russia has a limited number of military bases abroad. They can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Accordingly, it is much easier to equip them on the model of our base in Syria than the Americans can with their countless bases scattered around the world. For this purpose the monstrous military budget of the US won’t be enough. But even if it is doubled, the Pentagon does not have air defence systems that are close to the ones Russia has.

It can even be argued that in some ways the military-political situation in the world has undergone strategic changes. The fact that during all the post-war years the American military-military bases were cherished, nurtured, and constantly produced becomes not just a headache for the Pentagon in terms of their content, but also a weak point for the defence capabilities of the US army.

This was clearly demonstrated by Iran’s attack on US bases in Iraq, a response to the US’ terrorist attack against the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. 19 missiles were fired at the base – 17 hit the target. Iran warned the Iraqi leadership in six hours about the upcoming attack, who then informed the Americans. They had to prepare adequately for the upcoming attack, but the maximum they could do was hide the soldiers in the bunkers. There was no information about downed Iranian missiles.

Not to mention the morale of the American military sitting in a bunker. “What nightmare was endured … how we cried,” said a quote from the military personnel that was circulated online.

Only 11 victims were announced. It must be assumed that those who got bumps as a result of the nearby explosions. No missiles hit the bunker directly (that’s because the Iranians had no Russian missiles). But the help of a psychologist after the strike was required by everyone.

This is not like bombing Arab cities with a drone, sitting comfortably at a monitor somewhere on an American military base in Sicily!

And remember what happened in the Black Sea to the crew of the American destroyer Donald Cook when it was flown over by a Su-24 with Khibiny system, which turned off all the electronics on the destroyer, making it inoperable?

The reaction of the sailors was about the same as that of the American warrior in the bunker mentioned above. Back then the destroyer crew also needed urgent psychological assistance. And many have retired from the Navy altogether. Warriors!

It is uncomfortable today for Americans in Iraq, where the government demands the withdrawal of American troops from the country, and it is unclear who launches shells and missiles at the embassy. They are uncomfortable in Syria, and in the Middle East as a whole.

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They are also uncomfortable in Africa, particularly Nigeria, where local militants periodically ambush American special forces and their government patrons.

Imagine how American soldiers would feel if Russian intelligence agencies (following the example of US intelligence agencies) suddenly supplied all rebels of different stripes who hate America with weapons and certain technologies to create “homemade” drones?

All US bases abroad have clear coordinates and, as it became clear in the example of Iraq, are very poorly protected against missile strikes.

In the event of a real military confrontation with Russia, these bases (in any case, those that could pose a potential threat to Russian troops) can be disabled by a single massive hypersonic missile strike against pre-identified coordinates that are, it is quite possible to assume, already included in the flight program of missiles.

Foreign military bases of the United States to some extent can be compared with the once formidable military strength — aircraft carriers. But in the face of a hypothetical global war, aircraft carriers and poorly protected military bases are becoming an obvious ballast. However, in local conflicts, especially with a weaker opponent, they still remain a real force.

The strategic situation in the world has changed dramatically in recent years. America is certainly losing in an undeclared arms race and is no longer thinking about a global war with Russia. Even a fully-fledged war with a country like Iran is becoming problematic for the United States.

A big war today is suicide for everyone, no one wants or will knowingly start it. Now it is the United States that unleashed dangerous conflicts in the world as part of its notorious concept of “controlled chaos”. They succeeded to create chaos in the world. But there was a clear problem with its manageability. And most of the conflicts created by the United States can turn into a global war.

Ukraine, of course, takes a special place among them. The “red line” in relations between Russia and the United States passes through it.

The leadership of the Russian Federation today is closely watching the collapse of the former Union Republic, which has chosen the “Western vector of development”. This path, for some reason, according to hot heads in Ukraine, should be coloured by enmity and hatred towards Russia.

But Moscow will not allow the United States to use Ukraine for military purposes against our country. This is the “red line” behind which is a war between the two largest nuclear powers.

There is also a less dramatic scenario in which Russia will supply modern offensive weapons to America’s unconditional enemies, ready to avenge it for all the humiliation suffered.

The choice is the United States’. But something tells me that America has already made this choice. And Ukraine will not expect to receive NATO offensive weapons from its puppeteers.

Sergey Kuznetsov

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