Across Europe and Asia, everyone is buying, building, or investing in weapons. New missiles, new tanks, new airplanes. The war is changing how countries look at a ground war, and those weapons that have done well, like the HIMARS and drones, are attracting the most attention.
Most of this is driven by the dagger of reality that the Russian invasion of Ukraine drove into the gut of the happy socialists ruling in European capitals. Suddenly realizing that they are not ready to defend themselves from Russia, Poland and Germany are investing in more military equipment and building larger armies. Sweden and Finland decided to join NATO, something they avoided doing for decades. Countries that hosted “no nuke” protests decades ago are expressing a willingness to host nukes on their territory.
In Asia, Japan just increased its spending on weapons. While their post WWII constitution has a “no war” clause and prohibits it from having certain offensive weapons, the interpretation of that restriction is loosening. For example, Japan may redefine medium-range missiles capable of hitting China as defensive. They are continuing to invest heavily in U.S. weapons system and home-built weapons and appear more intent on protecting some of their minor, outlying islands for Chinese or Russian aggression.
Australia is also gearing up, recognizing that it might be a prime target for China.
India also see an enemy in China, but it continues to buy Russian oil and is reliant on Russian weapons. It remains to be seen if their reliance changes when Russia runs out of weapons and as their weapons systems prove to be of dubious quality. India is not part of NATO and is maintaining its neutrality in the Russian-Ukraine conflict. They would likely remain neutral in a Russia-NATO war.
The World is Changing
For decades, many of our allies have relied on the umbrella of U.S. friendship to protect them. They now realize the umbrella is looking small and tattered as China and Russia build their capabilities and demonstrate their expansionist desires. The need to protect themselves is coming clearer. Smart countries are hurrying to build their own umbrella before it is too late.
The U.S. and Russia have a long history of fighting proxy wars, and I expect we will see more proxy wars break out over the next several years. Whether we will see a proxy war with North Korea or other Chinese proxy remains to be seen. China would probably welcome the chance to test their weapons systems and soldiers in a real-world scenario, but the danger is that a small war could get quickly out of control. They may have to settle for border skirmishes with India.
The Prepper Angle
What does more war mean to preppers? More global instability, which is generally a bad thing that can rock markets and cause shortages. We’ve seen how the war in Ukraine has driven up food prices and contributed to shortages. If war spreads, shortages could get worse. The two commodities most likely to be affected are oil and food.
What I remember about the war in Afghanistan is that when we started shipping troops overseas, supplies of 5.56 ammo dried up for a couple years and prices skyrocketed. No new Lake City or Federal 5.56 ammo was hitting the market because the military contracts were taking so much of the Lake City plant’s production. Civilians had to buy steel case Wolf ammo and other imports.
If you see American troops heading deploying in a battle zone, expect things like ammunition, MREs, freeze dried food, body armor, combat boots, and tactical nylon gear to sell out. I’m talking about good, USA-made nylon gear by companies like High Speed Gear and Eagle Industries, not Condor and similar gear made with polyester and Chinesium.
Stock up Now
The best way to not get caught short is to buy your guns, ammo and gear now, before the military stresses the manufacturing capacity and consumes what would otherwise reach the consumer market. After a frenzied market in 2020 lasting well into 2021, gun availability has increased and gun prices have dropped. The same can be said for ammo, which is far easier to find today than it was a year or 18 months ago.
The best thing about stocking up now is you won’t have to worry when supplies run dry in the future. I’ve lived through multiple market ups and downs and it’s reassuring to have a closet full of ammo while everyone else is running around complaining about the shortage, complaining about being limited to buying three boxes, and scrounging for enough rounds to go to the range.
And if war spills out of Ukraine or boils out of China and involves U.S. people and assets, you’ll want to be prepared. War is already here. More war is likely coming. Possibly in multiple theaters. That could get ugly.
Remember the scene in The Road by Cormac McCarthy where they whittle bullets to make it look like all the chambers in their revolver are full? You don’t want to be that guy.