Short wars ending with binding negotiated settlements are of little benefit to the arms industry and its associated financial industry. The longer the war, the more wealth accrued. Twenty years of war in Afghanistan achieved nothing and changed nothing for the people of Afghanistan but the arms industry wallowed in uncountable profits.
On Saturday (April 9th 2022) UK prime minister Boris Johnson went to Kyiv to broker a gift of armaments from UK to Ukraine. The weaponry Johnson offered won’t end the war with Russia and won’t prevent Russian attacks on residential areas in Ukraine. The point of the gift of arms is for them to be used up. To enhance arms industry profits, UK doesn’t need to be directly involved in war and doesn’t need to sell arms to another government. All that needs to happen is that there exists a necessity for more “defence spending.” Gifting weaponry achieves that aim.
Johnson knows why war exists and he is aware of the constant demands of arms industry for more handouts. Gifting arms is preferable than UK getting involved directly in conflict.
As soon as the first Russian tank crossed the border into Ukraine many NATO governments displayed commitments to the welfare state for the arms industry. They declared their intent to increase “defence spending” indefinitely, and they handed weaponry and logistic assistance to the Ukrainian government and its various militias.
The centrist gloop in UK is as keen on enabling arms industry profits as any conservatives. New New Labour’s indebtedness to its wealthy donors’ desires requires Keir Starmer to attack any Labour MP or member who makes any comment that could be construed as pacifist or as suggestive of a negotiated termination of the war in Ukraine. Liberal media outlets praise Ukraine’s president unreservedly including acceptance of the presence of NAZI militia in Ukraine’s army, and they shout excitedly for military gifts.
An absurd Observer editorial eschewed analysis in favour of pseudo-emotional pleas and demands for direct military intervention by NATO in Ukraine. The editor chose to pretend to be able to offer strategic military advice including that NATO should assume control of parts of Ukraine with the threat that Russia would face “face serious, unspecified consequences” if it did not agree. “The risks are obvious. But the only alternative is endless slaughter.” The “risks” include nuclear armageddon; there is a “alternative“: Diplomatic negotiation, but that would not be welcome by the arms industry.
An intrinsic driving force of capitalism is that destruction equals profit but harmony and progress are a lot less lucrative. Johnson and his peers elsewhere in NATO countries understand the persuasiveness of that force as do Keir Starmer and liberal journalists and commentators.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people have died in Ukraine and cities are destroyed.