Putin warned us in his speech to the Russian General Assembly that Russia has arms that render much of the US arsenal obsolete. He illustrated the new ones with a giant screen clearly showing their devastating heretofore-unknown capabilities, including the hypersonic missile Kinzhal that zeroes in on its target at 5 times the speed of sound, and the latest variant of its top MIRV ICBM, the Sarmat RS-28, which has a top flight speed of 4.3 miles per second, or 15,480 mph, and carries up to 15 warheads that can wipe out a territory equivalent in size to the state of Texas.
Putin is not trying to start an arms race or break the US' bank, far from it. But as he keeps saying, no one listens to him. He was trying, in his presentation to the Gen Assembly, to show the US that there is no other way but to negotiate. But Washington has meanwhile chosen to continue breaking the bank, spending several times more than any other country – half the US budget – on defence, and some economists now believe it is over for the economy now that another trillion has been added to the debt, thanks to the irresponsibility of both parties. Obviously, there is an end to everything, and, thanks to America’s corrupt “defence” procurement culture, in addition to profligate spending on other items, there is no good option for reducing the debt bubble. QE4 (more money “printing”) would devalue the US dollar significantly, and this at a time when China is threatening counter-measures to Trump’s one-man trade war – measures that could quite well include a massive sell-off of Treasuries by China. Russia could follow suit. War would not help because many Americans would die in a conflict that could easily go nuclear (although John Bolton is threatening to attack Iran, which is bristling with missiles big and small and also with Russian air defence systems designed to bring down US planes and missiles). The trouble with the US is not just the Deep State but alo Americans, who seem unable to shake the old image of the US as the indispensable nation that must keep other states in line. A visit to the Breitbart reader forum illustrates why all presidents are permanently beholden from here to eternity to the whims of a populace that is incapable of living in a nation that, despite its own disastrous governance, does not control global affairs and would never accept a cut in the defence budget no matter what the cost. Thus if the US ever changes its mind about bearing the title of Hegemon Forever, that change will necessarily come not from within but from without.
Putin was trying to show that the money spent on air defence was wasted and that it is high time the US sat across the bargaining table from it to reduce nuclear arms. He made that clear in the Megyn Kelly interview when he feigned blowing the cash out of his hand, saying all air defences were money blown away with the wind. The new defence budget requests $21.9 billion for shipbuilding, even though naval experts ought to know that each one of the new and refurbished ships can be blown inexorably out of the water within minutes, regardless of their coordinates, by the Kinzhal, and there is nothing anyone can do to prevent this because even if that missile travelled at a conventional speed, it snakes around existing defences, creating an unpredictable and non-interceptable trajectory at dazzling speeds beyond all potentials of known anti-air defences to intercept it. This is true of aircraft carriers as well, implying possible destruction of the carrier plus up to 75 on-board aircraft.
But Trump has never been motivated by reality but rather by the impact of his own bombast on mindless audiences. Thus he missed Putin’s point and opted for spending more on now-obsolete arms and ships. As the excerpt from our earlier post on defence costs shows, most defence spending is aimed solely at filling the pockets of contractors. The reason for this is clear if we look at the amounts spent by Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics and others on political candidates and PACs. Open Secrets reports that defence contractors spent a total of $127,335,211 on lobbying last year and sent 788 former government servants into their own work force as a reward for squandering tax payer money. Most of the money goes to decision makers in defence procurement, almost all of them Neocon/Neoliberal war hawks. Clearly this is not lobbying, it is bribery, and the fact that Russia and China do not allow this corrupt system is why fewer and fewer international defence customers are buying American and more and more are buying Russian at deep deep prices by comparison. This is one main reason why almost every MENA country purchased considerable amounts of Russian arms last year, as we documented here.
But beyond this, an increasing number of Americans know that the defence lobby owns our government and our economy and will squeeze us to death eventually. They are the government.
Here is a translation we posted in July 2017 showing that the main goal of US defence spending has nothing to do with defending the US but is to reward the lobbyists for their largesse to candidates:
F-35 disaster: The point is to spend money ... to send it to Lockheed
Pierre Sprey, the "father" of the air power that makes the US makes great today, that is, the F16 and A10, issues a crushing verdict on the so highly acclaimed Lockheed Martin F-35.
by Viribus Unitis
Pierre Sprey was born in Nice in 1937; his family fled to the USA in 1940, when he was 3 years old, to escape the Nazis who occupied France. There he worked as an analyst and program organizer in the Ministry of Defense. The now infamous Fairchild A10 "Warthog" are from a program that he initiated. The German combat pilot Colonel Rudel helped develop the A10. he was very intensively involved in programs such as the F-16, and was critically involved with the F-15. When he talks about planes and their ability to fight, he knows what he’s talking about.
From minute 03:45, assesses Sprey: "it's hopeless in a dogfight." You can guarantee that a 1950s designed MiG 21 or a Mirage, will just hopelessly whip the F-35. In dogfighting it (the F35) is hopeless. You can assume that, guaranteed, the MiG 21 or the French Mirage, developed in the 1950s, will hopelessly outmaneuver the F-35."
“From minute 07:30,” Pierre Sprey says in response to a question. “The point is to spend money. This is the mission of the airplane. It is for Congress to send money to Lockheed. This is the true mission of the aircraft."
END OF TRANSLATION
According to Bloomberg, the just-passed defence budget includes 77 F-35s for a total of $10.7 billion. The Russian counterpart, Su-35 is rated as a more manoeuverable and faster (F-35 1.60 Mach vs Mach 1.726 for the su-35). After the F-35 first came out, it sold for USD180.000.000 a piece vs the Su-35’s price of USD75.000.000. The Fiscal Times reports that the total cost over the life of the planes will be over USD1.5 trillion. While development costs for Russia are unavailable, it is safe to say that Russia has nowhere near that kind of money to develop a plane.