Ukraine Enters 3rd Year Of War: Who Gains? – OpEd


The Ukraine War enters the third rear with questions galore like; Why cannot the conflict be resolved? Why has the war dragged on for so long? Who is winning the war? Why is Russia tilting towards Asia and the Global South? Is there a shift in the balance of power? How has Russia worked around sanctions? Has its economy been hit? What about Ukraine? What will happen if Trump comes back as US President? What happened to Ukraine’s counteroffensives? What is the West doing to stop the war? Why is no one talking about Peace in Ukraine? And there are No answers other than the West Military-Industrial Complex continues generating lucrative profits! 

Russia launched its ‘Special Military Operation’ into Ukraine two years ago and since then the Western defense companies have been making booming profits and a proliferation of geopolitical threats is likely to keep the defense industry booming with sky rocketing profits. Rightly the Ukraine War could have been settled by negotiation long ago, but special interests of US-NATO have been keen to prevent peace that would shut off the reverse or direct money trail to their Military-Industrial Complex. 

The Truth, the American US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is promoting pursuing ‘War for Profit’ while speaking in a joint Press Conference with Britain Foreign Secretary: “If you look at the investments that we made in Ukraine’s defense to deal with this aggression, 90 percent of the security assistance we provided has actually been spent here in the US with our Military-Industrial Complex manufacturers for production, and that’s produced more American jobs, more growth in our own economy”. The Ukrainian Media has also claimed only a third of aid reaches Ukraine. Blinken calls “US war aid to Ukraine a ‘Win-Win’ that we need to continue.”

Perhaps in a last and the latest show of desperation, Victoria Nuland, US Under Secretary of State debuted another argument for keeping the war money flowing for Ukraine. She said, “We have to remember that the bulk of this money is going right back into this economy to make those weapons…” (In a recent CNN interview)

There has never been any doubt about NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg Stand on Ukraine. “NATO stands with Ukraine.” He has been instrumental in garnering and coordinating support including weapons, ammunition, and training. “Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO, and over time, our support will help you make this possible.” “Weapons Are – In Fact – The Way to Peace.” “NATO is ready to support Ukraine for years in the war against Russia with modern Western military equipment and weapons.” We need to be prepared for the long term…There is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years.” 

Pumping arms into Ukraine by the West has so far prolonged this conflict which at the first place was avoidable. There is no doubt that Ukraine is fighting a battle for their just survival. The Ukraine War has been a devastating war between Russia and Ukraine producing an increasingly severe humanitarian crisis that includes massive civilian displacement of refugee movements away from embattled cities into the neighbouring countries. 

“Having pushed Ukraine into war, the US does not know how to save it. Having started it, Russia does not know where to end it.”

Military-Industrial Complexes Record Earnings

Five of the top US and European defense contractors have been making exuberant profits since the war started two years back— Rheinmetall-315%,Europe’s BAE Systems- 105%, Thales-59%, Lockheed Martin (LMT) -10%, and Northrop Grumman (NOC) -18%  in the US.  Governments have donated ammunition, tanks, and fighter jets to Ukraine, are replenishing their own depleted stockpiles, and have committed billions more to their defense budgets. Canada and the EU members of the NATO, which make up the bulk of NATO’s membership, spent 11% more on defense in 2023 than the previous year. 

The Swedish company SAAB has invested billions to build up production capacity. It has expanded its workforce by 3,600 people since the start of 2022 and expects it to grow by another 2,000 this year. It has been “A dramatic two years,” according to chief executive Micael Johansson. “I have been so long with this company, and I have never seen anything like this in terms of boosting capacity,” he added. SAAB’sprofit soared 30% last year to hit an all-time high. SAAB announced another package of military support for Ukraine last week, including donations of artillery ammunition and anti-tank weapons. Meanwhile, Poland has become a “big customer” since the war broke out.

The UK defense Company BAE Systems has also enjoyed healthy earnings and reported profit of $3.3 billion in 2023, up 8% from 2022.The company is planning “for a long-term growth trajectory.

The German febrile global environment has helped lift the shares of Renk, a newly listed German maker of military tank gearboxes, including those donated by Berlin to Ukraine. The firm’s stock has soared nearly 80% since it went public in Frankfurt on February 7. The war in Gaza has further increased the demand for defense stocks. The great power competition is largely the driver of defence spending and is going to remain on the rise as countries will not let their guard down again. Russia will remain the neighbour, which is very aggressive, so countries must have resilience and remain prepared. 

Ukrainian Military Victory: Pumping Weapons?

If Western leaders think that their arms flow to Ukraine will bring about a Ukrainian military victory, then they are being foolish. For Ukraine’s sake, the world needs to stop Putin somehow before Ukraine as a country is totally ruined. NATO’s expansion eastwards forced Putin to attack Ukraine having prewarned NATO Chief of the consequences. Ukraine has become a victim of a conflict between the US–NATO combine and Russia. 

European governments are scrambling to find ways to fill the gap. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German think tank, the EU would need to “Double its current level and pace of arms assistance” to Ukraine this year to fully replace the aid package that was provided by the US if in its future likelihood US stops providing aid.

European public opinion has generally remained solidly behind Ukraine. However, a recent key report found only 10 percent of Europeans still believe Kyiv can “Win” its battle against Moscow. The study, by the European Council on Foreign Relations, research draws on the results of a poll carried out in January 2024 in 12 European countries: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden.

The UN has failed to intervene to prevent or end the Russia-Ukraine War: “A War which should not have Happened” the combine blame goes to US-NATO. Zelensky has to shed his ego for the future of Ukrainians and the UN Chief need to play the role of a genuine strong ‘Peace Maker’ as a neutral umpire without being influenced by the US. Ukraine War will be a “War with No Winners but All Losers,” not literally as there are hidden economic gainers! Negotiations are the only way out to give Ukraine Peace a Chance. The West needs to stop thinking of profiteering from their Military-Industrial Complexes-the major gainers of this war for the sake of World Peace and Ukraine Peace in particular.

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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