em>Developing. We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates
To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.
1) Andrew A. Michta, “China, Russia and the West’s Crisis of Disbelief; Globalist dogma has weakened America’s ability to acknowledge and confront adversity,” The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2022 (5:39 pm ET);
2) “Ukraine War, April 28, 2022 (I): The risk of nuclear war is greater than people think; The challenge of ramping up war production to meet Ukraine’s needs; Fear among Western officials of conflict expanding beyond Ukraine; Being “at war” with Russia,” The Trenchant Observer, April 28, 2022.
Michta describes the “disbelief” in the challenges posed by Russia and China in the countries of the West. One consequence of this “disbelief” has been the failure to ramp up war production of arms and ammunition to meet the needs of Ukraine, and maybe not just Ukraine, for a long war with Russia.
It is because of our collective refusal to acknowledge the new reality Mr. Putin has created in Europe that Western leaders have yet to address their publics on the need to move our economies to wartime production. Instead, the military aid we send to Ukraine largely draws down our existing stocks, while our investment decisions don’t provide for manufacturing redundancies imperative in a war.
The “disbelief” in the West is a big disadvantage in the struggles with Russia and China:
Democracies are today at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the Russian-Chinese totalitarian axis, and it isn’t because the West lacks the money or material resources to confront them and prevail. Rather, much like in the late 1930s, the West doesn’t believe that the threat is real.
Michta concludes that,
Until the West’s disbelief is replaced by a determination to resist, the Russian and Chinese dictators will keep pressing on, planning their major assaults and dreaming of future victories.
The question of war production is critical to the success of Ukraine and the West in repelling Russian aggression. At least publicly, the U.S. and the West have not even begun to address it.
The lack of war production is only one of the pernicious effects of Western “disbelief”.
The Trenchant Observer
Subscribe to the Trenchant Observations newsletter on Substack, here.