02.08.2021 Author: Vladimir Platov

The US is Cashing In on Conflicts by Selling Outdated Equipment

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The build-up of tensions and fears of foreign military invasion has always been used by US military and political circles to grow the arms business. Since fear is the ultimate motivator, it is stronger than all other feelings. A society that constantly reproduces “horrors” creates is shaping its own reality it lives in. And it is well known that American society cannot exist without fear since the psychological incompatibility of various social groups and people has become a defining feature of the United States.

In the face of this artificially inflated American propaganda fear, governments and citizens willingly spend vast sums of money on weapons, even if they have problems financing their national budgets and social programs and/or the weapons that are being sold to them are obsolete. And if someone does not have enough money for “their own safety,” the banks are happy to lend.

That is why “gun sales, which spiked sharply during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, have continued to increase in the United States”, writes The Guardian. And although there are a huge number of firearms already circulating in American society as well as a seemingly never-ending cycle of mass shootings.

The same thing is happening in foreign arms markets. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) 2016-2020 Trends in International Arms Transfers, indicates that the US holds a strong lead in global arms exports despite the coronavirus pandemic, leading the top five most significant exporters of this “commodity” in the past five years. The share of US exports in the international arms transfers has risen from 32 percent to 37 percent over that period, as it sells arms and military equipment to 96 countries, leaving those other arms suppliers far behind.

Washington is quite insistent on forcing NATO countries to buy its weapons, the weapons that they openly criticize. For example, the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, while acknowledging in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche that the United States is an important actor in NATO, but because of its actions the Alliance Charter that was designed to maintain solidarity turns into an instrument that forces NATO members to purchase American weapons. At the same time, according to her, Europe “does not yet have the military mechanisms that would correspond to its economic and political power.” However, she argues, the US should not oblige NATO members to buy their weapons.

At the same time, not everyone in Europe is unconditionally willing to buy American weapons, and in the Old Continent, they are beginning to develop weapons without the United States. At present, about 50 joint defense projects of the European Union are under development in varying degrees of implementation. However, when any of the NATO member states tries to buy weapons and military equipment on the side or create its own weapon systems, Washington’s vengeance is usually quick to follow, as it wouldn’t allow “any independence from the United States.”

Thus, the PL-01 stealth tank created in Poland to counteract Russia, it seems, will not see the light of day. This was the conclusion made an American military expert Peter Suciu in an article for 19FortyFive The Pl-01 project was introduced back in September 2013 and was developed by Obrum. It bore a resemblance to Russia’s most advanced T-14 Armata project that allows the commander, driver and gunner to enjoy protection of the main hull, while the unmanned turret is controlled remotely. The tank was supposed to be equipped with a 120mm cannon; it had to be able to launch anti-tank-guided missiles. It was also planned to mount a 7.62 mm machine gun or a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun.

Instead, under the pretext of the “Russian threat,” the USA, as The National Interest noted, is forcing Poland to buy its own weapons – the M1 Abrams tank. Poland, the keystone to the defense of NATO’s eastern flank, has undertaken a long-term, multi-billion-dollar program to modernize its military. Poland has acquired the Patriot air and missile defense systems and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) long-range rocket artillery platform. Most recently, it signed a contract for fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets. And now the Polish authorities have decided to purchase four battalions of American Abrams, the deliveries are planned for 2022. This information was revealed by Poland’s deputy prime ministe that leads the Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, while adding that the deal’s worth ranges from 2.9 billion to 5 billion dollars.

Poland’s purchase of American M1 Abrams tanks, which entered service with the US Army in 1981, is “quite a remarkable turn of events,” writes Popular Mechanics magazine, because these fighting machines were initially created “to fight Soviet and Polish troops on the battlefields of Western Europe,” when Poland was still a member of the Warsaw Pact.

At the same time, back in 2017, the United States Army Command said that the main American Abrams tank is already obsolete and needs to be replaced. In his speech before the Senate Defense Committee, Lieutenant General John Murray, Deputy Chief of Army Staff, said that the M1 Abrams could not be called the best machine in its class. Many countries already have tank equipment of a similar level and even higher, particularly Russia with its Armata tanks. The problem of the US military’s technological backwardness is now so apparent that it is impossible to keep quiet about it. This is further confirmed by events in Afghanistan, where the Taliban (a movement banned in the Russian Federation) bet the US Army even with their outdated military equipment.

However, to replace the existing tank fleet with a new one, the Pentagon must first sell off the old equipment to its allies, thus the deal with Poland. By the way, the sale of a significant batch of American tanks to Australia is also coming, and along with them, a butch of oudtated helicopters are also going to be sold, bringing the total asking price to 1.9 billion dollars, which has also recently been announced in the Pentagon. True, it is not clear with whom Australia on its continent intends to fight with American tanks?

However, the blatantly obsolete US military equipment used by the US Army is now being talked about in many media. For example, the influential American magazine The National Interest believes that the following American weapons should be “sent to the dustbin of history”: intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) LGM-30G Minuteman III, in service since the 1960s; Boeing F/A-18 A/B/C/D/ Hornet; Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM; M-16 rifles, M-4 rifles, and many other examples of American military equipment. So let’s not be surprised if the media start publishing reports about these antique weapons going on sale.

Vladimir Platov, expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 


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