When I recorded the first part of today’s video, it was in reaction to news that the Russians were having to turn to Iran of all places to help replace the drones lost in ongoing invasion of Ukraine. That Moscow needs to rely on Tehran for anything should be concerning, but perhaps not in the reasons that immediately come to mind. This move by the Russians does not point to the Iranians expanding membership to the Axis of Evil, or a tacit recognition of their technological superiority. 

Rather, Russia’s desperate. 

Iran is not an up-and-coming manufacturing power. Nor have they broken some sort of secret code when it comes to drone and UAV technology. They’re certainly not even producing anything comparable to Turkey’s burgeoning military manufacturing sector. But unlike Turkey, Iranian drones are not dependent on Western technological imports. Or even foreign satellites. Whether or not they’ll have the impact the Russians are looking for in Ukraine is debatable, but the state of the Russian production sector has never looked worse.

Which brings us back to the Axis of Evil. No, a skull-shaped headquarters has not emerged from some fetid swamp (but who can be sure what really goes on in New Jersey politics). Rather, the Russians have tapped another unlikely “partner” to help them combat their rapidly depleting ammunition stocks: North Korea. Moscow is set to begin purchases of artillery shells from Pyongyang, a country whose conventional military production capabilities have not been stress-tested since the cessation of armed conflict on the Korean peninsula nearly seven decades ago.

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