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What A Time To Be Alive!

While I don’t fully understand the details of the Reserve/IRR call-ups in a time of “peace”, I do know enough to recognize that it sounds like a Bad Thing™. Big Country Expat has a couple of posts that help explain: Der Schwerpunkt und Unser Arsch ist Gras… Wir sind SOOOOOOOOO tot… and 3D Printed Claymores, The IRR and Improvised Mortars plus a funny Angry Meme Review from Angry Cops….

Like I said, from what I can figure out on my own this is a weird and pretty concerning development. I also know this, my sons will get drafted to go die in Ukraine so some little Jewish comedian playing soldier dress-up can pocket a few more shekels quite literally over my dead body.

What seems more concerning is that they are calling up all of these guys who by most accounts are close to my age and many out of shape when we already have a standing armed forces of over 1.3 million personnel.

That brings up the other Big Point™. The U.S. famously spends upwards of a trillion dollars per year on “defense” and that ain’t peanuts as you can see.


That is more than the next ten countries combined, and the last one of those next ten is Ukraine and they are mostly spending money we gave them to pay for their military (and Zelenskyy’s summer homes and wardrobe of ladies undergarments). The question is, where the hell is all of that money going?

For my entire life I have heard endlessly that the U.S. has the best equipped and most technologically advanced military the world has ever seen. This has been especially true since the end of the Cold War, bolstered by our double mauling of the Iraqi army. It was a new experience back in 1991 during Desert Storm with 24-7 news on CNN. Live or nearly live footage of the combat, correspondents on the ground in the Middle East, briefings with General “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf. No more of this reading a letter from Ike to the boys before they hit Normandy, now the top brass was giving live pressers at the top of the hour. With the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact in shambles and China a non-entity militarily at the time, beating up Iraq reinforced that we were invincible.

After creating a new “crisis” on September 11th and the amorphous and unending “War On Terror”, the U.S. military-industrial complex had a new excuse for spending so much money but as Iraq was pretty much over and after the disastrous pull-out from Afghanistan, there didn’t seem to be as much call for outspending the rest of the industrialized world on our military. Like magic here comes a territorial dispute in Eastern Europe and suddenly low IQ people were posting “Slava Ukraini!” and adding the Ukrainian flag to their profile pictures. I would say conveniently forgetting that a year earlier Ukraine was still being criticized for corruption and for having “lItErAl nAzIs!” in the Azoz Battalion, but none of these idiots knew Ukraine was a country, much less where it was, until the media told them Ukraine was The Most Important Thing Ever.

Like magic we have a new Evil Empire, same as the old Evil Empire. From out with the Soviet and in with the Islamist terrorist to out with Muzzies and back in with Russia.

But Houston, we have a problem. It seems the vaunted American hardware isn’t faring so well against people that can shoot back. Big Country talks a bit about this in the links above. In World War II, our G.I.s went to war with M-1 Garand rifles and Sherman tanks. We had technologically advanced, for the time, weaponry but it was mostly geared at being functional. Today our armaments seem to be technological whizz-bang doodads for the sake of being cool and function is a secondary concern. An account on Twitter, Idaho Respecter 40K, has been posting about the V-22 Osprey and what a shitshow that has been.

I am not sure I agree with everything they say but this was interesting:

The U.S. could easily spend a fraction of what we do and still defend the homeland plus have a presence on the high seas but the cost of running a global empire, as well as being prepared to go overseas to Europe and/or Asia to fight a near-peer adversary? Their argument is that we would need to spend a LOT more to maintain that. The other side of that is the Osprey, the gee whiz cool tiltrotors craft that apparently costs almost $80,000 per hour to fly the damn things, when it actually runs and doesn’t kill soldiers in crashes. More…

He keeps using the word “sustainable” and offered this chart:

As an non-expert the story these tweets and the above chart tell can be summed up:

The U.S. military relies on high tech superiority but not only is our vaunted high tech weaponry not performing as sold but it also requires unsustainable levels of spending to maintain.

Again, I am not a military expert but that seems like a problem and I am morbidly fascinated to think about what will happen when the stuff we have been spending trillions on is put to the test in a real fight and…..fails spectacularly.

Maybe it won’t happen, hell it probably won’t happen, but we are on a trajectory that puts us on a collision course with the Russians and/or Chinese and if that happens, it will be total war like we haven’t experienced since the Civil War. Maybe not in actual combat on the mainland but if this thing pops off and the ChiComs stop the container ships and the Russians start hacking power plants and government servers? The resulting chaos might be even worse. Sure China relies on American consumers to buy their stuff but I think in a trade embargo we would blink a lot faster when the anti-psychosis meds and other pharmaceuticals that keep Americans functioning suddenly stopped.

Bad times are a’coming.


  1. Tactless Wookie

    Say what you want about Ivan. But his shit works.

    Back when Russia was the USSR they had to make combat systems simple and reliable due to uneducated conscript forces.

    In WWII the Germans were armed with far superior weapons. The Ruskies, not so much. While Russia overwhelmed the Wehrmacht with numbers, simplicity also wins.

    While I’m sure they are now more technologically advanced, their gear is still simpler to operate and likely takes much less manpower to run as well.

    I’m sure the price tags are significantly lower too.

    • pyrrhus

      Ivan has hypersonic missiles, a total game changer which render our carrier fleet obsolete, and any land target subject to imminent destruction…Ivan also has superior electronic warfare, as the US has admitted, superior radar and drones, and superior jet fighters…It also doesn’t have women in the military, or trannies exempt from PT…

    • Arthur Sido

      That is the AK in a nutshell. It is simple, rugged and a conscript or an Afghan can pick it up and use it. Not as accurate maybe and kind of heavy but it works.

    • mike

      “In WWII the Germans were armed with far superior weapons.”

      That is somewhat of an overstated myth. The German’s had good tanks with the Panzer iv, but the crews were shocked at the quality of the Soviet T-34. The Germans of course were considered to be a mechanized army, but most of the supply trains were horse drawn wagons and not motor transport. The American M-1 Garand was the only auto loading rifle in common service on either side The improved Panther and Tiger tanks only brought the Germans up to near parity or perhaps a slight edge against the T-34. Every bomber the Germans had in the war except the late jet versions were obsolete. The Soviet mid-war fighter offerings were certainly a match for the Me-109, and in the West, the Americans had several fighter types by 1943 the were better than the me-109 in several ways. The late war wonder weapons Germany produced were certainly huge leaps forward, and your point holds true there, but they were far too late and too few to change anything. Having an obsolete bomber fleet and an air force doctrine that made air power’s role a mere flying artillery to support the army’s tactical requirements meant that Germany would lose the Battle of Britain in 1940 for lack of a strategic bomber and be incapable of reaching the Soviet industrial base relocated to the Urals or the factories in America throughout the war. The Amerika Bomber concept was just a pipedream, while the Americans had the B-36 intercontinental bomber drawn up in 1943. German’s reputation for technical dominance in WW2 rests mostly with early war routes of obsolete peacetime armies, some excellent tanks, and the Wunder waffen.

  2. Got Sarmat

    Hymie wasn’t kidding about nations that they really hate get ground down into third world turd welfare colonies.
    Nutty yahoo made that comment in 1990.
    Love the meme about Brandon (s)elected to make sabotage look like incompetence.

  3. Jeffrey Zoar

    Gulf War I may have been the worst thing to ever happen to the GAE. Imbued it with a false sense of invincibility which persists to this day. It’s impossible for someone like me, on the outside looking in, to say how much it still persists in light of developments to the contrary over the last year and a half (such as not being able to manufacture enough artillery shells to keep the cannon firing in a regional war), but judging from the escalatory path the GAE continues on re: Russia (and China), it evidently persists quite a bit.

    That being said, Russia can’t just disregard what a NATO counteroffensive might mean, thus it is treading cautiously in spite of repeated provocations. This hypothetical NATO counteroffensive, to be successful, would need to be successful very quickly, since NATO isn’t packing the gear to sustain it long term. Maybe it could, maybe it couldn’t, I think probably couldn’t, but the larger point is that once things escalate to that level, nobody really knows how hot things will get, potentially all the way up to “canned sunshine.”

    • pyrrhus

      Yep, NATO is running out of equipment and ammo…and you cannot depend on poorly trained NATO troops, or for that matter, US troops who have been trained to fight with air superiority, which will not exist…

  4. Gryphon

    I’ve been a Jet Mechanic for over 40 Years, and went to and beyond being “Old School”. I was able to see this problem approaching 20 Years ago, the creeping Over-complexity of all things that Fly (commercial and Military. The “KISS Principle” went out the window when the Designers from the ‘Golden Age of Jets’ (’50s and ’60s) Retired and were Replaced by ‘corporate’ types and ‘computer-aided design’. (CAD is a Fun Tool, but it’s usefulness depends on People Using It that Know WTF they are doing…)

    The Last really ‘Great Design’ was the Fairchild A-10 “Warthog”, a Plane designed for a Specific Mission, with Input by Pilots and Soldiers who knew what “Ground Attack” entails. The Claim that the F-5 Turducken can be used for “Ground Attack” is such a Lie that anyone who promotes it is a Traitor to the Soldiers (and Pilots). The USAF is currently planning to Scrap the remaining A-10’s (if they don’t get sent to the Ukraine and Shot Down by the Russians). Meanwhile, Ivan is still using his Su-25’s (a very similar plane to the ‘Hog) and making life Unpleasant for the Nazis attacking Russia.

    As for stuff like the V-22, it is one of the more Amazing feats of Aviation Engineering ever Built – Combining the two most Opposite of Air Vehicles, the Helicopter and the Airplane. But as a Practical Flying Machine, it has so many Compromises (and Single-Point Failure possibilities) that it is nearly Suicidal to consider using it in “Combat”. As an Example of a ‘Logistics Nightmare’, the idea that these overly-complex machines can be used effectively in any kind of High-Intensity Combat is, well, Retarded.

    • Arthur Sido

      I have no mechanical aptitude at all but I do understand that making things overly complicated, whether jets or cars, is a recipe for maintenance problems and that in combat that is suicide.

  5. Xzebek

    In this same vein, I remember reading a story during the Space Race with the Soviets about NASA working to develop a pen that would write in zero gravity. Substantial time and a lot of money was put into it and it was developed. The Soviets used pencils.

    • Jeffrey Zoar

      There was a similar development with artillery back in the 80s. Russia and others began using revolutionarily new barrels that increased their range. NATO/GAE accomplished the same range increase, instead of with the new barrels, with rocket boosted shells, at only 6x the price

  6. Anonymous

    I’ve mentioned this episode before on your site, Arthur, but it bears repeating.

    Some years back, the mighty U.S. fleet was being harassed in the Med off Bahrain by the tinpot navy of some Stone Age sand kingdom. A critical shipboard sensor system was allegedly bricked on a carrier during a particularly tense stand-off, leaving them blind to the threat of incoming sea-skimming missiles. I was dragged out of bed in the dead of night and flown halfway around the world to the ME, then helo’d onto the ship to “fix” the broken multi-million dollar toy. I was escorted to the radar room where I strode in, ignoring the black female navy “technician” in charge, and flipped up the breakers on the transmitter unit. Forty seconds later, they were back in business, complete with bleeps, sweeps and creeps lighting up the PPI, and I was headed back home.

    This ain’t your father’s dot-mil any longer, and hasn’t been for some time now.


    • mike

      I was personal witness to a visit from the SECNAV to a warship in port. He had all of his security thugs with him and a black female Lt. Commander in dress whites for his personal aide. There were wooden floats alongside for work details while in port and these were wedged up against the wooden pier pilings by the wind and tide working against the ship. Whenever traffic in the harbor like the frequent ferries passed by, the large wakes would cause a considerable ruckus of noise from the wooden floats grinding against the wooden pier and the ships hull. This was evidently enough to cause a distraction for the SECNAV’s speech to a select audience, and the nergress aide appeared at the ships rail to yell at the work detail down on the floats about the noise. She clearly was under the impression that people sent out to paint the hull could make the noise stop simply because she was a Lt. Commander. The incredulous looks she got back in return were priceless, but did nothing to convince her that her super woman powers were of no use in this situation. The real world is waiting eagerly to inflict a painful and permanent lesson on this woke military.

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