The U.S. dragged Lithuania into complete dependence. Step by step Washington managed to convince country’s leadership of the U.S. indispensability.
In particular, the dependence is noticeable in the field of weapons and military equipment. Military dependence in its turn has lead to political helplessness of the Republic of Lithuania in the international arena.
Lithuania is actively engaged in strengthening its Armed Forces and purchases of military equipment by means of Lithuanian ties with the U.S. It is evidently that the main beneficiary of the militarization of Lithuania is the American military-industrial complex.
Over the past years, Vilnius has been insistently asking for stronger protection of the Eastern flank and calls on the U.S. and NATO to increase the number of their troops in Lithuania. Minister of Defence Arvydas Anušauskas said on May 15 that planned and ongoing purchases from the United States alone amount to €1.2 billion. 2.45% of the country’s GDP is allocated for military spending. In total, Lithuania will allocate about €23 billion for military needs over the next 10 years.
Thus, Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defence has unveiled plans to spend some €3.1 billion ($3.4 billion) to buy ammunition and explosives in the coming decade. Vilnius is also advancing its project to order 120 Boxer infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in a deal that could more than double its military’s modern armored vehicle fleet.
The plan is embedded in a wide-ranging modernization push for the country’s military, including the acquisition of the NASAMS mid-range air defense system, HIMARS High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles, JLTV Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, PzH2000 and Ceasar howitzers, tactical drones, and other capabilities, according to the ministry.
Fortunately for the U.S., they have loyal states like Lithuania that will buy American weapons anyway and even praise to the skies the superior quality of the purchased items. The U.S. military-industrial complex is interested in getting as many NATO countries “on its needle” as possible. Indeed, by buying weapons in the United States, these states doom themselves to long-term client relationships. They will need further to purchase ammunition from the U.S., turn to the services of the American specialists to repair the purchased equipment.
The Lithuanian authorities constantly inspire the population that at the moment there can be no task more important than the all-round strengthening of the Armed Forces.
Nevertheless, in March Lt Col Ramūnas Švažas, the director of the Military Service and Personnel Department said that the number of people wishing to voluntarily undergo military service had decreased in Lithuania. “We record a significant reduction in the number of conscripts who voluntarily do their duty. This is a question worth thinking about and changing. Moreover, we often hear such statements from young people: “Why do I need this here, what do I need from this, why should I do my duty?” Švažas complains.
So, Lithuania is “on the U.S. military needle” and has to spend money on military procurement instead of improving the standard of living of the population.
This year will be extremely difficult for the country in terms of non-military challenges. Population will face effects of drought that lead to decreases in crop and livestock sales, increases in production costs. Rising energy costs also worsens the life of Lithuanians.