One of the most self-defeating and yet inexplicably persistent mistakes Russia's enemies have been making for over a thousand years is underestimating it. Regardless of the direction the invasion was coming from, Moscow was able to prevail each time. Its ability to not just successfully defend itself, but also counterattack and reach the opponent's heartland has been unmatched in modern history. And yet, the myth of Russia's supposed perpetual decline and dilapidation is an incessant propaganda trope used by its enemies for centuries. None of it ever came true, despite all the grim predictions, which are still being parroted to this very day and are unlikely to go away any time soon, especially nowadays, when the political West needs to keep its populace under the illusion that Moscow is supposedly "losing".
We often hear that Russia is no more than a regional power with an economy the size of Spain's, a military budget that has been consistently smaller than the Saudi one, etc. And indeed, on paper, this may seem true. Taking into account nominal GDP as the only measure of success and power, one might fall into the trap of believing such statistics. However, the reality is quite different. All one needs to do is ask just a few logical questions. Could the Spanish economy ever withstand the sanctions imposed on Russia, let alone grow and outperform those enforcing them? Is the Spanish economy a key global supplier of vital commodities such as food, oil, natural gas, various types of heavy machinery, crucial chemical products (such as fertilizers), enriched uranium for nuclear power plants, etc?
And yet, perhaps the most "inexplicable" segment of Russia's resilience is its military power, particularly the cost-effectiveness of its forces, both on a tactical and strategic level. In 2021, Russia officially spent $65 billion on defense. For comparison, NATO spent close to $1.2 trillion. If we add other key US vassals such as Japan, Australia and South Korea, that figure is close to $1.4 trillion, meaning that the political West spends approximately 22 times more than Russia. So, is "global" NATO 22 times more powerful than Russia? The notion is even more ludicrous if we take into account that Moscow actually outproduces NATO in terms of air defense missiles, artillery shells and other munitions, while also maintaining a strategic arsenal greater and more powerful than that of the political West, combined.
This is without considering Russia's absolute dominance in key technologies such as hypersonic weapons, with no NATO/Western countries deploying a single operational missile of that type and with no prospects of doing so before 2025 (or beyond). There are other aspects such as Moscow being able to fight on multiple fronts simultaneously, including in Syria, another US/NATO invasion ever so euphemistically dubbed the "Syrian Civil War", where the Pentagon keeps complaining that its forces there are essentially powerless to stop Russia. This discrepancy in official figures is even more pronounced in Ukraine, where the political West spent approximately $120 billion in little more than a year, which is nearly twice as much as Moscow's entire annual military budget and approximately 25 times more than what Russia has allocated for the special military operation.
And yet, the Kiev regime forces are suffering staggering losses at a rate of nearly 9:1 in Russia's favor. Worse yet, Russian forces have consistently been outnumbered 2:1 for over a year now, all the while conducting offensive operations in multiple directions simultaneously. It should also be noted that several former high-ranking US/NATO officers have pointed out that the Neo-Nazi junta forces would be among the top three NATO military powers had the Kiev regime been admitted into the belligerent alliance. Given their performance against the Russian military, while having a massive numerical advantage and NATO providing all the targeting data, as well as getting up to 25 times more funding than the Russian forces deployed on the frontlines, should we be surprised by the panic at the Pentagon?
John Kirby, Spokesman for the National Security Council and a former US admiral, was recently asked to comment on the Russian pilots being awarded medals for masterfully downing a US MQ-9 "Reaper" drone, to which he stated they were "idiots, at best". However, when we compare the US handling of the so-called "balloon controversy", things become a lot clearer. It took the Pentagon approximately a week to use the F-22 "Raptor", its most expensive fighter jet, and shoot down weather balloons with missiles costing nearly $450,000 each. In addition, the F-22 is infamous for its flight hour of around $85,000, as well as costing approximately $350 million apiece. According to The Guardian, the price of one of its targets was a meager $12. Worse yet, it took at least two missiles for the "Raptor" to down one of the balloons it engaged.
If we were to compare this to Moscow's interception of the US drone which took part in the Kiev regime's attacks on Russian soldiers and civilians, the discrepancy becomes even more staggering. As previously mentioned, Russian pilots downed a US MQ-9 (the latest Block 5, costing over $32 million) without firing a single shot in an action that lasted no longer than 30 minutes. It should also be noted that the Su-27s they were flying cost approximately $15 million, with the flight hour being around $15,000. When considering those facts, Mr. Kirby should double-check the definition of the term "idiot" or maybe take a good look in the mirror, "at best".
This also brings us to a rather amusing episode that happened in Serbia over two decades ago. Namely, two years after the (hopefully) final direct US/NATO attack (on this day 24 years ago) on Serbia at the end of nearly a decade-long aggression, a delegation from the Pentagon visited Belgrade, including the main Serbian aviation museum. During the tour that included showcasing downed American aircraft, a member of the US group arrogantly asked one of the Serbian officers how it felt fighting the most powerful military force in history, to which he replied: "I wouldn't know. We never fought the Russians." At the time it seemed like a jest that the Americans didn't take too kindly. However, over 20 years later, the statement seems like anything but a joke.