The Ukrainian advance into Russian-held territory in the East of the country seems to be astoundingly rapid. It’s causing panic inside Russia and making a joke of claims that Russia is pulling back to consolidate their position. I’m no expert, but when your troops run away from the front, leaving behind equipment, ammunition, and their dead, isn’t it a rout rather than a retreat?
Some are predicting Russia will counter the Ukrainian counter attack once the ground freezes, but there seems to be some truth to the rumors that Russia is running out of modern military equipment, issuing soviet-era tanks and “antique” rifles. I’ve seen videos of rusty AK47s, but there is no way to verify if those are guns issued to the newly called up soldiers.
In terms of what preppers must consider, the biggest threats posed by this war continue to be:
- The use of nuclear weapons by Russia that broadens the war into a full-on NATO versus Russia war, leading to World War III and the likelihood that more nukes will be used, potentially endangering countries outside of Ukraine.
- The worsening of the shortage of food, oil, gas, fertilizer, minerals, and other resources that formerly came from Russia. This will affect the entire globe, but it will be worse in Europe than in the U.S.
- The expenditure of U.S. weapons, tax dollars, and oil from the strategic petroleum reserve that we can ill afford to lose. The former weakens our ability to fight future wars and hurts our economy.
As preppers, we must continue to prepare for these eventualities.
North Korea has conducted five test missiles in the past ten days and is reportedly readying another underground nuclear weapon test that could take place before the U.S. mid-term elections. Their most recent ballistic missile launch flew over Japan and landed 2,700 miles away. Many consider it their most provocative action in the past five years.
Why is North Korea stirring up trouble? Here are a couple of plausible reasons:
- North Korea just sold millions of artillery shells and rockets to Russia. Perhaps part of that deal was for them to create a ruckus and divert some U.S. attention and resources away from the war in Ukraine.
- China is not very happy with the U.S. right now. Rather than rattle their own saber, they may have given Kim Jong Un permission to become more threatening. North Korea is acting as a proxy for China, allowing them to support Russia and disrupt things in the Pacific without being directly involved.
There is little doubt that China intends to one day reunite Taiwan with mainland China. When they will take action to force this reunification remains the big question. Some say China is already on a military footing, and an invasion could happen as early as 2023.
I think China will continue to observe the Russian war in Ukraine, learning what they can from the response of the U.S. and NATO allies. I suspect they have a great deal of interest in seeing what happens if Russia uses nukes and how well U.S. air power does compared to Russian fighters and anti-aircraft missiles.
China will want to avoid making the same mistakes Russia made with their “special military operation,” which could lead China to build up their forces so they can attack with overwhelming power. This will lead to a military build-up in the Pacific. China will also use the time to better insulate their economy and banking system from the inevitable sanctions and financial penalties the U.S. will hit them with.
Outside of the tremendous loss of life, if China and the United States get into a shooting war, the biggest threat we have to prepare for is the utter destruction of the supply chain.
While China is biding their time, the U.S. should be on-shoring as much production as possible.
How can preppers prepare for an implosion of the supply chain? By stockpiling parts and buying duplicates of essential equipment that’s made in China. By buying goods made in the USA and hoping they are just assembled here from Chinese parts. If there is some tool or device you rely on to do your job or save your life, have a back-up. Buy a new one and keep your current one as a fallback, or look for a used model and stash it away.
These aren’t the only wars brewing around the globe, and a few are simmering. Iran and Israel. Turkey and Greece. China and India. We don’t know when one could burst out into open warfare. As we face immediate problems like inflation and a recession, don’t ignore the possibility of war disruption the financial system and creating turmoil and havoc with many of the world’s systems. Things like oil shipments and commerce could be further disrupted if another war breaks out. Make sure you are prepped for that.