A Brief Note: In a post on the 15th, I mistakenly reported that the solar power credit had to be used immediately and did not carry over into future years. This is not the case. Please see the original post for more specifics.
What do the Europeans Know that We Don’t?
Two years ago, in the weeks leading up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States warned Ukraine and our allies in Europe that Russia was building up forces to invade Ukraine. Few believed us and fewer still wanted to hear it.
Now, it seems the tables have turned. Sweden warned its citizens to prepare for war; Finland closed its border with Russia; Poland is aggressively re-arming; and Germany thinks Russia could invade Europe shortly after the U.S. presidential election, especially if Biden is a lame duck. Even the UK Defense Secretary warns that the world is in a “pre-war” phase.
So, what does Europe know that the U.S. doesn’t?
It’s Their Backyard
I’m not sure that the know anything more than we do, but because any action is in their backyard, they are more attuned to it. They have to react faster than we do.
For the U.S., events in Europe are an ocean away, but for Germany, the war in Ukraine is in their backyard. For Finland, Sweden and even Poland, the war could be in their front yards before you know it. Again, I don’t know if they have any secret info; I suspect they are just more willing to act on what we all know due to the proximity of the threat.
There does seem to be speculation and chatter that the war in Ukraine will get worse in 2024. The narrative I hear is the U.S. is getting tired of funding the war and wants to push for peace. Putin will see that as a display of weakness and hit Ukraine hard, possibly opening a new front and/or using paratroopers to leapfrog the current front with its defenses and dug-in soldiers. This won’t happen until Ukraine has run out of its anti-air munitions, but that may well be happening now and continue to be the case if the U.S. slows its resupply efforts. If you see a higher percentage of missiles and drone hitting targets in Ukraine, you will know they are running low on anti-air missiles. Russia will know it, too, unless Ukraine pretends to be out to lure their aircraft closer.
The Germans have even leaked a document outlining what will happen between now and war breaking out. NATO says this is a training document, not a prediction. Still, you train for likely scenarios, not unlikely ones.
The Middle East
It’s interesting to note that Iran is now firing missiles from its own territory rather than relying on proxies to do it for them. This will give them real-world experience and feedback they can use to improve their processes and weapons platforms. Why have test launches when you can fire missiles for what they consider legitimate military reasons? And it’s hard for the world to blame them for targeting what they see as terrorists when we target terrorists all the time.
But to think it is not an escalation would be foolish. Iran found that out on Thursday when Pakistan used Iran’s attack one Pakistani soil as an excuse to kick out Pakistan’s ambassador, withdraw its own, and launch air attacks on Iranian territory. As long as Iran does not respond or raise the ante, this unlikely to develop into a war, but getting a tit-for-tat response from Pakistan reminds Iran that their actions can have consequences.
What the Houthis, Iran, and others need to remember it is difficult to wake the sleeping lion but he is fierce when roused. Our response to the Houthis in Yemen are like the lion twitching in its sleep. If they do more than pull our whiskers, I expect our response will be an escalation. Even an old lion can be deadly.
Be Like Sweden
Many Swedes are preparing their survival gear, making sure they know where their nearest bomb shelter is, and seeking advice on how to best prepare for war. I’d suggest you do the same.
We are pretty well prepped, and we only have so much storage room, so I’m rotating my food stores, replacing ammo we shoot, and looking at improving our self-sufficiency. I am buying preps that are on sale, making sure our prepper pantry stays stocked, and seriously considering installing solar power.
Depending where you are on your prepping journey, what you do may differ. Take care of the basics (food, water and shelter) and then progress onto more advanced preps. We have more than 1500 posts, so you should find plenty of “how to” info here. I recommend you pick a topic of interest from the cloud tag below and start exploring.
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