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Authored by James Rickards via DailyReckoning.com,

The steady path toward World War III continues. U.S. and NATO support for Ukraine in the war with Russia has been one long failure, but that hasn’t stopped them from escalating the war with new weapons and tactics.

Russia has met the escalation with its own escalation every step of the way. At what point do rational leaders in the West (if there are any left) pause, consider that the war is lost in Ukraine, deescalate and seek a treaty to end the war?

There’s no sign of that yet. In fact, all of the signs point to further escalation, which is a sure path to nuclear war. What good has escalation accomplished?

The West supplied Ukraine with HIMARS precision-guided artillery, but that largely failed because the Russians quickly learned how to jam the GPS guidance systems, so the missiles went off course.

That doesn’t mean the Russians shoot down or jam every HIMARS rocket Ukraine launches. Some will always get through. But overall, their effectiveness has been limited compared with expectations.

The U.S. and NATO also supplied Ukraine with Abrams, Leopard and Challenger tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles that have been left burning on the battlefield. They also require intensive maintenance Ukraine can’t necessarily provide, and are often unsuited for the battlefield conditions in Ukraine. Many Ukrainian soldiers have actually expressed a preference for Russian-made equipment over NATO’s.

Not Wonder Weapons

Meanwhile, the Patriot anti-missiles systems cannot shoot down Russian hypersonic missiles and have been destroyed one-by-one at a cost of $1 billion each. F-16s are the next wonder weapon promised. But Russia fields the most sophisticated air defense system in the world. Many planes will be shot down by Russian S-400 anti-aircraft batteries and other systems.

These planes are also old, obsolete models from NATO inventories at the end of their service lives. And they can’t even be flown by Ukrainian pilots since they barely read English (the training manuals and maintenance manuals are all in English) and have not had enough time to train.

It takes about two years to become a competent F-16 fighter pilot; the Ukrainians have barely had six months to learn. F-16s are also unsuited for the often rugged airfield conditions in Ukraine (they require pristine runways so debris doesn’t get sucked into their engines on takeoff).

They can be operated from NATO bases but that opens another can of worms.

NATO’s Latest Harebrained Scheme

What’s the next harebrained scheme from NATO? Here’s the latest example. The U.S. and its allies have green-lighted missile attacks deep inside Russia using U.S.-made ATACMS ballistic missiles with a range of up to 190 miles.

Continue Reading: zerohedge.com

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