Winning by Losing

Since 2013, Russia has been keeping most of the weapons that it previously manufactured for export:

On the World Bank’s website, the data on “arms exports” show that since 2001 Russian exports in this field have not only approached those of the United States, but in some years (2002, 2013) have even exceeded the value exported by the United States.

It is not curious that the last year in which there was real value competition between the two countries was 2013. Between November 2013 and February 2014 Euromaidan took place, and in that very year a huge package of sanctions against the Russian federation (which had been in place at least since 2008) was passed, focusing especially on technologies imported by Russia for its largely public military industrial complex. As early as 2014, data from the World Bank show the sharp decline in Russian arms exports, which now account for a little more than 1/3 of US sales.

This data is not only relevant for us to understand the reason for Euromaidan, the imposition of a Russophobic regime and an entire escalation of weaponry that is well evidenced in the preparation that, for 8 years, was initiated by the neo-Nazi regime, building a totally disproportionate army and a network of fortifications in the Donbass reminiscent of Albanian bunkers. This data, together with others, confirms a number of premises that will shape our near future.

The problem is not just a “commercial substitution” problem. Not by a long shot. Martyanov explains to us, in three very important books, part of the problem. Under Putin’s reign, there was a reuse, modernization and optimization of all the installed potential left by the USSR and present in Russian society, not totally destroyed in the 90s, which allowed to offer to the world market more effective options from the military point of view, and, above all, much cheaper, considering the cost/benefit binomial. Today, the conflict between the two Slavic nations, has shown that US weaponry not only brings no substantial difference, but is outdated, especially in the field of artillery (long, short and medium distances) and air defense.

What Martyanov allowed us to foresee is that the U.S. could not allow an enormous number of world countries (from Algeria, to Saudi Arabia, to Turkey, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, or even NATO countries such as Greece…) to start buying technologies superior to theirs (such as the case of the S-400 bought by Turkey, which he says is superior to any American air defense system), but which, even when they are not superior, are incompatible with the NATO standard, which in itself raises two problems: 1. If the country joins or remains in the military allies, the fact of having different weapons systems raises interconnection problems taking away defensive and offensive effectiveness; 2. If it becomes an enemy country, it will rely on offensive systems against which NATO defensive systems are not experienced or tuned, and vice versa.

Given the way in which the USA has shown itself to be a wildly untrustworthy partner, to say nothing of the way that the Russian weapons systems have generally shown themselves to be superior, I expect that the export delta is going to decrease considerably, if not disappear entirely, once the NATO-Russian war finally comes to an end.