The Russians come

In reality, NATO’s famous “two-percent target”, which sounds like little, means that Germany should spend 20 percent of the federal budget on armor. An article in the period of 30 August is audacious and incorrect information is used here.

A column entitled “Vladimir Putin’s dangerous Bonsai household” was published in the period on 30 August. The author Michael Thumann is a Journalist, so none of the usual official NATO propagandists of the German society for Foreign policy.

However, he has also gone through the transatlantic NATO structures. For example, he spent years at the “Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars”, which is at least a third funded directly by the US government, and he was also a Fellow at the “Transatlantic Academy” in Washington. The Name of the Academy speaks for itself.

Again, it turns out that all who want to scare us in articles with the “Russian threat”have in their Vita a close connection to the US or transatlantic Think Tanks.

And so we cannot be surprised by the article in which Mr Thumann wants to explain to us that the Russian defence budget is even smaller than the French, but still very dangerous.

He begins in his column to explain to us that Russia expects its budget small, and tells which countries have tested in the last week of rockets, including Russia. Then he writes :

“A new age has begun with vigour, in which disarmament agreements are disposed of and new weapons are tested instead. This arms race involves the dispute over who is equipping and who is‘ only ‘ responding.”

He is right, but he does not conceal to his readers that all three major disarmament agreements were terminated by the US and not by Russia. George Bush has terminated the ABM contract, Trump has just terminated the INF contract, both times Russia has protested against it and demanded the maintenance of the contracts. And the NEW START contract will expire next year and the US will refuse negotiations on its extension, which Russia has been demanding for years.

If you know that, then “the question of who is equipping and who ,only‘ responds’ is already answered. But Mr Thumann prefers not to mention these little things.

After that, he mentions that the US spends 649 billion on armor and writes:

“The Swedish Institute for Peace Research Sipri recently estimated the Russian budget at $ 61.4 billion, which was less than the French arms budget (63.8 billion). Sipri said the Russian military budget had fallen. The US spends more than ten Times as much as Russia.”

Now, Sipri is the reputable source of arms budgets, which is always quoted on the subject worldwide, including by Western media. Therefore, Mr Thumann is now faced with the Problem of doubting these figures, especially since the Russian military budget is actually declining.

To this end, he removes himself from facts and objective figures and writes:

“Nevertheless, Russia wants to equalize nuclear weapons and rockets with America. How can it be that President Putin is constantly announcing new weapons systems, holding out colossal maneuvers and testing nuclear engines if he spends only $ 61 billion on paper for the entire army? Quite simply: through creative accounting. The Russian government is systematically reducing its arms spending.”

Before we look at how he tried to prove the “creative accounting” of the Russians, had said: I would ask a completely different question: How can it be that the US weapons are the most expensive in the world? The F-35 fighter of the United States is by far the most expensive fighter in the world and costs over 120 million dollars per piece. The new SU-57 of the Russians is, after all, what you know, in all areas better than the F-35, but is expected to cost only half.


The same is true of anti-aircraft missiles. According to US experts, the best System in the world is the Russian S-400. And even that costs barely half what buyers have to spend on the American Patriot missiles. These completely overpriced prices for US weapons mean that more and more countries are shopping in Russia, even though the US is threatening sanctions for this.

It is suspected that the US arms manufacturers, who had no serious competition for almost three decades, are developing, producing and selling at completely overpriced prices. The fact that the military budgets of the Western states are not just efficient, but often even a real self-service shop for advisers, lobbyists and arms companies is always heard.

And if you compare what Germany and France can afford for their fairly comparable Budget, then you understand that, for example, incredibly much money just has to seep away in the Federal Ministry of Defence. There is no other explanation for the obvious discrepancies.

But we learn from Mr. Thumann that it must be different. However, he even supports my thesis unintentionally. He mentions three reasons that are supposed to prove that Russia expects its figures to be small here with “creative accounting”.

The first thesis of it is the ruble. He writes:

“The arms companies are mostly under state control, the sales run in rubles-mostly far below the value for which the same forging offer their weapons in the world. Because we buy the armor in rubles to internal prices, we can buy more weapons than any other country, the need to purchase on the world market‘, said recently the Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the price advantage at the expense of others. The companies make their money with foreign customers.”

This is certainly true, but it is not Russia’s fault that the US does not rely on state companies, but on private companies that want to make huge profits and therefore sell their weapons very expensive.

The Russian system of state arms companies seems to be more effective than the US System: the state buys weapons at cost price and the profits are made with Export. The System works.

But the most important thing is that Russian weapons are much cheaper in Export than US weapons. And, although the Russian companies make their profits, so mark-UPS on prices.

So the question that I asked already: Why are the US weapons for foreign customers in General, almost twice as expensive as the Russian? There can be only two reasons for this: either the US companies make so huge profits or their weapons are actually so much more expensive and they cannot lower prices because they would then make losses.

How you look at it: It is not the fault of the Russians that the US weapons are so much more expensive than Russian weapons.

The second thesis by Mr Thumann concerns “ shadow budgets”:

“Unlike in Western countries, the Russian parliament does not have any control over the defense budget, says Russian military expert Alexander Goltz. ( … ) For example, the defense spending that Russia sends to the UN in English is much lower than those that are recorded at home in Russian in the state budget, says Goltz. Certain expenditure on defence is kept secret anyway, such as expenditure on the ‘fight against terrorism’ or research subsidies on new armor. According to research by the Internet newspaper Meduza these shadow budgets grow year on year.”

This statement must also be looked at in more detail. Alexander Goltz, a Russian military expert who likes to be quoted in the West, is a fundamental opponent of Putin. This is legitimate, but it should be communicated to the reader so that his claims can be assessed.

After all, Goltz does not provide any evidence for his claim that Russia reports false figures to the UN. And that Russia keeps secret the “expenses for the fight against terrorism” can be, I don’t know. But what I know is that even in the US the cost of foreign combat operations is not included in the “normal” defense budget. This could be done in the NZZ mal read:

However, this sum does not include personnel costs or combat operations. The cost of the latter is shown separately by the Pentagon: in the Budget that the Congress has now decided for 2018, they amount to 65.7 billion dollars.

So, if you accuse Russia of something and conceal the fact that the US and other states are doing it the same way, then this is not an objective reporting, but “lying by omitting”.

And anyone who cites the “internet newspaper Meduza” as a source should also mention that this “newspaper” according to its own data is practically completely financed by Khodorkovsky, which is one of the largest opponents of Putin. As I said, This is legitimate, but the reader should know, because Meduza is everything, but not a neutral source.

But, as you can see, Thumann does not provide any reliable sources for his claims, and even more so no figures, so that one can check whether this is true at all and, above all, how much money Russia allegedly hides in the “shadow budgets” from the public. It is easy to believe Mr Thumann that the reader has no Chance of examining his allegations and allegations.

And the third Thesis of Mr. Thumann is really adventurous:

“While a country like France even lists its national police, the Gendarmerie, in the defense budget, Russia anticipates sub-forces.”

First of all, it is the exception for a country to list its police in defence expenditure. Police is a matter of the Ministry of the interior, so this accusation by Mr Thumann concerns practically all the countries of the world, including Germany, for example. Mr Thumann then goes on to say that”several ministries afford entire armies”.

As an example, he lists the interior ministry, which we have already clarified. According to this logic, the German Ministry of the interior is also carrying out a “whole army”, namely the police, which, incidentally, is much better equipped than the German armed forces. In contrast to the tanks and helicopters of the Bundeswehr, the water cannons, the police are ready and the helicopter in the air.

Mr Thumann also refers to the Russian secret service FSB as his own “army” and writes:

“When Russian armed forces kidnapped Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait at the end of 2018, these were, for example, Special Forces of the FSB.”

In this sentence is a lie, and a confusing statement are included. The reader does not know in General that the U.S. coast guard is one of the 17 U.S. intelligence services. The fact that in Russia The Secret Service is responsible for the Coast Guard is not unusual. And also the US coast guard is not paid from the U.S. defense budget. Thumann’s accusation of” shadow households “ is once again made absurd.

But with his formulation of the incident of Kerch, he finally reveals himself as a NATO Propagandist. At the end of November 2018, warships of Ukraine have invaded Russian territorial waters, have not responded to radio calls for six hours and have only been stopped by the Russian coastguard forcibly. Calling this a “kidnapping” is simply a lie.

Therefore, there is nothing left of Mr Thumann’s allegations in an analysis that could indeed be reproached by Russia. Everything he blames Russia makes Western states exactly the same.

He also completely conceals that the influential RAND Corporation, a very influential Think Tank in the US, has concluded in a strategy paper that Russia has no aggressive intentions. But instead of recommending to the government to stop the policy of confrontation, the RAND Corporation has proposed a whole set of measures to stimulate and provoke Russia so much that it finally responds.

One must also ask: why should Russia have aggressive intentions, what should it want to conquer? It has practically all kinds of mineral resources in abundance, agriculture is successful and breaks one export record after another. Russia has no reason to seek aggressive conflicts that only cost money.

Russia is only looking to defend itself and its main interests, as RAND Corporation has also stated.

But some questions remain open after reading Mr Thumann’s column and he does not even answer them: why are US weapons so much more expensive than Russian weapons, which are now in many cases even better? Why is so much money wasted in the federal Defense Ministry without any consequences? And how much money is actually wasted in the Pentagon, because there too there have always been scandals, when even billions of euros have disappeared without a trace.

Usually, Russia is always accused of corruption and corruption is undoubtedly a Problem in the country. So one would also have to ask, how such a corrupt country can have such an effective defense industry, while in Germany not even a sailing school ship can be repaired.

In Russia, it is addressed openly: The armor must be corrupt in the West, highly, otherwise, the high cost of weapons, the scandals consultant, defense contracts, missing funds, and so on can not explain.

But the good man doesn’t ask these questions …