For most of 2022, and until the great counter-offensive broke on the Russian defence lines of Zaporozhzhia on mid-2023, it seemed that the greatest priority of the Biden administration, and most of Congress, was promoting and resourcing Ukraine’s proxy war against Russia. The problems were mounting up even before the June-July catastrophe. The NATO countries discovered that the demilitarisation of Western economies came at a price. Even though the US had been carrying the NATO defence budget, not even the home of the military-industrial complex was all that industrially productive. The NATO nations realised that, combined, they could not match Russia’s production of artillery shells to serve the god of war. Even so, Russia could not produce enough to match its usage, and purchased shells from Belarus, North Korea, and perhaps, Iran. NATO scoured the former Warsaw Pact countries for ammunition for Ukrainian legacy artillery, and then Bulgaria and South Korea for NATO standard shells and Japan for TNT. As the supply became more and more critical, the US went to its magazines in Israel, where it maintained ammunition to supply Israel at short notice.

Then came October 7, and suddenly the flow of ammunition changed direction. The Ukrainians, facing one of the most powerful armed forces in the world, looked on in dismay as ammunition on which they had been counting was diverted to Israel. Priorities. When the US’ commitment to Ukraine is weighed against its commitment to Israel, Ukraine is left high and dry in the scales.

And that would be that, except for the curious situation in the US Congress about ongoing aid packages to Israel and Ukraine. The Republican majority in the House, under its new Speaker, is demanding action to close the southern border to the flood of illegal immigrants – 2.4 million “encounters” at the SouthWest border in FY 2023 – and they are using the aid packages as collateral to force such action, so far without success. The House had earlier passed a Bill for aid to Israel but not for Ukraine, predicated on matching budget cuts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which neither the Senate nor the White House will approve. So all attention in negotiations is now focussed on the border issue. The Biden Administration is not budging on tightening border controls.

Is this indicative of the actual priorities of the Biden Administration? Is keeping the border flood going actually a higher priority than arming Israel? In recent weeks the IDF has withdrawn one of four divisions from Gaza for training and R&R, claiming that it was the success of IDF operations that brought this about. Coincidentally, Israel has been under pressure from the US to lower the intensity of the campaign in Gaza, particularly in respect of attacks on civilians and Gaza infrastructure. The stalling on funding may be more a tool to remind Israel of who is paying the military piper than a reflection of the open border fanaticism that has become a staple of the thinking of elites in the sad and decaying West. Watch this space.

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9 responses to “Priorities”

  1. Damon Avatar

    Biden, in a televised pre-election address, urged immigrants to ‘surge the border’. Unfortunately, he didn’t say who would pay for them. Apparently the administration beliieves that all immigrants are not only kind and worthwhile people, but technically or professionally qualified to fit into a first world economy. So we have doctors picking crops in Florida, as suggested by Pelosi? One rule for me etc. The whole thing is a complete farce.

  2. 132andBush Avatar

    Coincidentally, Israel has been under pressure from the US to lower the intensity of the campaign in Gaza, particularly in respect of attacks on civilians and Gaza infrastructure.

    Perhaps that should read “…particularly in respect of attacks on hamas hiding behind civilians “.

  3. Arky Avatar

    Moving the West’s entire industrial base to communist China had costs which don’t appear on company’s financial statements.
    Who could predict this?
    The point of decision is rapidly being reached.
    Maybe India will produce the millions of tonnages of shipping, the rail stock, the ammunition and steel and computer chips we require to defend everything the modern world requires to exist.
    No one predicted this or warned about the perils of de-industrialisation.

  4. will Avatar

    Moving the West’s entire industrial base to communist China had costs which don’t appear on company’s financial statements.

    in 2010 the USA was the worlds biggest single trading partner, by 2020 world trade was totally transformed and it became the PRC as the worlds biggest single trading partner.

  5. Muddy Avatar

    The priorities are (1). Acquiring power, and (2). Retaining power.

    All internal social and economic issues are examined in regards to if and how they contribute to (1) and (2).

    I’m unsure as to how international concerns such as Ukraine and Israel fit within the above. I’ll leave that to the sharper pencils.

  6. Louis Litt Avatar
    Louis Litt

    Hey Arky
    Good to see you are alive and kicking.
    Ross Periot warned of the dangers of de industrialisation in the 1970s.
    My question to you Arky is with 3D printers, could they be springing up is suburban corner shops producing all those hard to get parts?

  7. Nelson_Kidd-Players Avatar

    I don’t see 3D printers as a magic bullet. In designing a conventional part, you analyse the needs, select materials make compromises between functionality, cost, materials, assembly complexity, reliability, etcetera. Hopefully you demonstrate that it shall do the job before deploying the design by the hundreds, thousands or millions.

    3D printers and make lightweight, non-structural items in low volumes. A hard-to-obtain panel for an electronic device may be ideal. As soon as you talk structural or moving parts, will thr printed piece stand up to the application? As soon as you talk volume, will the printed pieces come out fast enough? Will the piece be compatible with its environment? Are you better off salvaging a part from another item instead?

  8. Stevem Avatar

    3d printers that can print in materials such as titanium are out there – indeed currently print things like jet turbine blades. They’re still quite some way from being able to be cost effective in printing an exhaust for a Corolla though.
    Complex manufacturing is only part of the problem. Even if we could 3d print an F-35, we’ll soon have outsourced the aluminium smelting to China as well. Building an economy purely on service industries is not only a house of cards waiting to collapse, but also the way western economies are heading.

  9. Louis Litt Avatar
    Louis Litt

    Nelson and Steven
    Thank you for clarifying and explaining.

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