trains of thought

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Post photo: lightbulb | © Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay 

Actually, I didn't want to write more about this topic. But the war in Europe, which is without question a hybrid world war — my opinion (!) — is simply bothering me and is now causing me to record a few very current thoughts of my own in a blog post. These are neither structured nor prepared for a blog post; I'm just writing my grief off my chest here. The trigger for this was an article by Ivo H. Daalder and James Goldvulture in Foreign Affairs of January 9, 2023 entitled: The Long War in Ukraine—The West Needs to Plan for a Protracted Conflict With Russia.

We are still waging wars today, like in the last millennium, through our own fault, and I hold our professional politics and our arms manufacturers and dealers responsible for this. Just like I blame them for the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine. At least from a military point of view - if one had listened to responsible military people - this current war would not exist; unfortunately in this case, the primacy of politics still applies here and one has to admit frankly that wars are always made by (professional) politics. Even if professional politicians who started wars should have served (see: GröFaZ), that does not mean that the military started the war. The military usually has to wage these wars, but is ultimately always responsible for them. Career politics later signs the peace treaties and can be celebrated again. And besides professional politics, it is the arms manufacturers and dealers who take advantage of wars - I don't know of any soldier who has ever won in a war, except perhaps in experience.

By the 1980s at the latest, it was clear to everyone involved that wars, which by the way have not existed or should not have existed since 1945, should be conducted in a completely different way, if at all. By that I don't mean the "Massive Retaliation" deterrent strategy, which was already outdated at the time, but more contemporary and modern warfare techniques, such as extensive automation and the robotization of combat, which is still so hostile to German politics today. Even then, we professional soldiers were presented with concepts of how modern warfare should look like in the future.

Away from the levée en masse towards an extensive professionalization of the armed forces, which, moreover, are only deployed on a multinational basis and at least with the consent or on behalf of the United Nations. The emptiness of the battlefield was celebrated to the max, with only a few officers supported by robots and other modern weapon systems giving future wars a completely different face.

But science and the military had reckoned without industry and professional politics, just as the latter had previously abolished wars as a whole “completely ignorant” and was now trying to get them socially acceptable again. Wars are still used today to distract from the complete incompetence or even criminal machinations of the responsible professional politicians - corresponding examples can be found in abundance in recent decades. The root cause, however, was and still is that “defense policy” is the easiest way to juggle trillions of tax dollars without ever actually being held accountable — the so-called military-industrial complex can be cited as an example of this behavior.

And so not only in the Russian Federation — as we can currently experience — the “defense industry” was expanded to such an extent that career politicians and “entrepreneurs” very simply became very rich. In the western world, too, trillions of taxpayers' money were embezzled and kept in Potemkin villages at the expense of the armed forces, always with the point that this was in the interests of the economy and society. As soon as some citizens questioned this behavior, it was pointed out that one could not endanger the security of our countries, let alone want to do so.

Right now in Ukraine we are witnessing once again that progress and modern technology cannot be ignored and we - even the most military inexperienced - can all guess what future wars will be like. In addition, we experience first-hand in all the media how their own citizens and volunteers from other countries are downright burned, sometimes only to cover up criminal activities or to compensate for the omissions of decades.

In addition, there is warfare on both sides that seems to know no tomorrow and the concept of "mass instead of class", which has failed since Vietnam at the latest, is now taking it to a new high point. We are experiencing ammunition consumption that no single state can afford anymore and it must make you sit up and take notice that Ukraine alone uses up more shells in a week than even the USA can produce in a month.

But if you now believe that this is the climax of the whole thing, then you are seriously mistaken, because we also learn that the German arms industry - similar to what is usual in the Bundeswehr - supplies overpriced weapon systems which then do not serve their purpose because our arms industry traditionally only wonderful castles in the air are sold. Very up-to-date is the information that Ukraine has received the German IRIS-T system, which, by the way, now ties up enormous resources in Ukraine, but this system can fire a shot “only once every leap year” due to the lack of the necessary missiles.

Worse still, we are already witnessing a transfer of knowledge and technology in Ukraine that is hardly intended nor regulated and will do us all great harm in general, especially the western world, in the future. And this also shows once again that it was a big mistake to convert our formerly actually functioning armaments industry into pure arms dealer organizations, probably simply because of the short-term profit striving of individuals. Incidentally, the resulting bad conscience was calmed by arms export laws, which only meant that industry could avoid them again through corruption payments, which in turn represents a win-win situation for both industry and politics.

Every war must be ended as soon as possible, but unfortunately not this one in Ukraine! Because this is "only" a single theater of war, namely a world war that is slowly but surely unfolding. And if we want to win this one, we must continue to "burn" Ukrainians and Russians until the Russian Federation disintegrates with pleasure, weakening our ideological opponents enough to make them ready to return to the negotiating table.

This hopefully achieved pause in the fighting will at least be used by the other side to actually make their own armed forces fit for the future. And we, too, would be well advised to remember the original tasks of the armed forces and armaments and also to ensure that future wars do not require the senseless sacrifice of masses of people in order to bring about a "decision on the battlefield".

Of course it would be much better for everyone if we had responsible politicians, like those after the end of the Second World War, who see their task in abolishing war itself and developing models of how conflicts of interest can be settled without the use of force of arms — a contemporary form of the United Nations would provide the appropriate platform for this. But we lack the necessary politicians, and we will only get them if we put all of our democracies back in order - education, morality and responsibility should become acceptable again!

And anyone who now believes that we Germans will once again get away with it scot-free will be wrong, because even if everything went in our favour, someone would have to foot the bill and this war will cost the world trillions of euros. And the Russians, just like us Germans after the Second World War, will not be able to pay these costs, the Ukrainians will also have nothing left, the Americans are already paying more than they can, we can hardly afford the Chinese Ask for cash and so a large part of the bill will be left to us — this is just one more reason, in addition to the consequences of climate change and the costs of a “social policy” that has gotten completely out of hand, why our grandchildren at the latest have to bake much smaller bread rolls.

That's why it would be a good idea to think about it now - not who will finance the upcoming Mallorca vacation for our "benefit pensioners", but rather - how we can keep our economic system alive as a whole. I think a 100% tax on profits from guns and ammunition would be a pretty good start.

reading recommendation

An article by goes with my spontaneously written blog post Matthew Gebauer and  Constantine of Hammerstein from Spiegel 3/2023 on the subject of "A turning point in the Bundeswehr: Heerjemine - how bad the troops really are" quite well. This article was also published online on S+ on January 13, 2023.

If we perhaps want to change something for the better, then we not only have to bring the last responsible ministers to court, but also the responsible MdB and at least charge them with treason. More charges are sure to follow as the investigation progresses.


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