While driving down the road today listening to Alexander Mercouris I suddenly realized that the United States and NATO have been pursuing a JENGA strategy against Russia. A lot of leaders in the NATO club are invested heavily in the belief that if enough pressure is applied to Russia then the country, the economy, the military and society will collapse like a JENGA tower. Only one little problem — that strategy has failed; the opposite happened.
Instead of growing weaker and fracturing, Russia has grown stronger and less dependent on the United States and Europe. The economy is purring along. The Russian defense industry has ramped up to unprecedented levels in the modern Russia era. For example, Russia is churning out more than two million 152mm artillery rounds a year. The Russian army is filling recruitment quotas and turning out fully trained soldiers. Russia is producing surprising numbers of hypersonic missiles and drones, which have transformed the battlefield in Russia’s favor.
Compare that with the United States. The U.S. economy is not doing well. The US bankruptcy court, for example, reported a total of 15,724 bankruptcies in the fiscal year that ended 30 June 2023. This is a 23% increase over the prior year. How about the defense industry? Well, they are raking in bucket loads of cash but turning out very little. Ukraine is running low on 155 mm shells and the United States only is making 340,000 a year. That amount is insufficient to meet Ukraine’s daily requirement. Similar story on the recruitment front — the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are falling short of their annual goals. And despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars on weapon systems, the United States still has not developed and deployed a hyper sonic missile.
The United States is facing multiple, self-inflicted disasters. The flood of illegal immigrants is drowning Democrat led cities, which once touted themselves as sanctuary cities for immigrants. New York’s Governor and the Mayor of New York City both are complaining heatedly about being overwhelmed with undocumented migrants. America’s major cities — New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco are wracked with murders, theft and muggings. The following image, from Philadelphia, is not unique to that city. You will see the same horror in the other major U.S. cities:
So yeah, the United States is playing JENGA, but the tower that will topple is not Russia. It is America that is facing catastrophe. I wish I was engaged in hyperbole, but the social fabric of America is being shredded and the partisan divide is a growing, unbridgeable chasm.
Let me give you a warning indicator. Take a look at this news item from today:
Russia said on Sept. 21 it had temporarily banned gasoline and diesel exports to all but four ex-Soviet states in response to domestic shortages, a move that will disrupt global trade that has already had to adjust to Western sanctions on Russian fuel exports.
Russia eased some of the restrictions on Sept. 25, saying it would allow the export of bunkering fuel for some vessels and diesel with high sulphur content.
Western analysts continue to be blinded by their deep-seated belief that Russia is a crumbling gas station and attributes the shortage to:
a combination of factors including maintenance at oil refineries, bottlenecks on railways and the weakness of the rouble, which incentivizes fuel exports.
Maybe. But let me suggest an alternative explanation. Russia is husbanding its stockpile of diesel fuel as a contingency for an offensive that will take control of Kiev and Odessa. Farfetched? Maybe. Recent remarks by Speaker of Russia’s Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, and echoed byForeign Minister Lavrov and Defense Chief Shoigu, carries an ominous message for the West — Russia is not interested in a negotiated settlement with Ukraine. “Ukraine must surrender on Moscow’s terms or the country will “cease to exist.” These are not isolated, idle, off-the-cuff statements. Russia is sending a very clear message. Will American listen or continue to play Russian JENGA?