( Fifteen-minute read)
Severe sanctions on Russia with the rectitude of the Pandemic are now creating a deep recession, resulting in an economic downfall that will be felt by people around the world.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has so far driven energy higher but the knock-on effects are yet to be seen.
If Vladimir Putin retaliates to wester sanctions by cutting off Russian supplies of Oil /Gas the result will not be just a recession but civil unrest.
Of course, one would be a fool to predict what happens in a war.
Beyond the military cost and the Human costs, this war is rapidly
turning into a quagmire not just for Russians but for all of us.
It will not just be pushing millions into poverty and threatening
a deep recession as it evolves into a proxy war with which to
attack Russia and through it China.
We have seen nothing yet.
When it comes to inflation the war’s international economic effect is starting to show in the numbers.
If the cost of energy and food is pushed up by dwindling supplies caused by the Russian-Ukraine conflict we will see inflation go well beyond 10%.
Both countries, Russia or Ukraine, were once dubbed “the breadbasket of Europe”, exporting about a quarter of the world’s wheat and half of its sunflower products, like seeds and oil.
For example, in the UK there are about 2.2 million homeowners with mortgages linked to the Bank of England’s base rate would see repayments go up, putting further pressure on household budgets that are already being squeezed by the cost of living.
Russian stocks crashed by as much as 45% in the wake of the Ukraine invasion with trading subsequently suspended, with banks and oil companies among the worst affected. It also led to steep falls on stock markets elsewhere around the world: in Europe, the UK’s FTSE 100 index has fallen over 6% since Russia crossed into Ukraine while Germany’s Dax index is nearly 10% lower.
Everyday goods – which may seem far removed from the conflict – but Russia is a leading commodities exporter.
Russia is one of the world’s largest suppliers of metals used in everything from aluminum cans to copper wires, to car components, such as nickel, which is used in lithium-ion batteries, and palladium, which is used in catalytic converters.
What we lack is a government with vision, courage, a sense of urgency, and basic competence coupled with an understanding that the world has changed.
With truth has been rejected by most of the
world’s population well before the shooting wars
started. It is difficult to discern what the
planned end state of this war is.
However, as we all know the truth is the first casualty of wars so it’s a good time to start really learning how to watch what is going on.
Here are some raw facts.
Partitioning a state causes all sorts of problems. This is how Ukraine and Northern Ireland were created in the first place – people meddling with the borders of territories.
Russia would need 800,000 troops — almost equal to its entire active-duty military — to control Ukraine long-term in the face of the armed opposition.
The slow advance of Russian troops in Ukraine shows that NATO’s fearmongering about some huge Siberian tiger force is fake; Putin commands only a paper tiger. Ukraine doesn’t need a NATO and neither do bigger states like Germany, France, Italy, or the UK.
The Russian army still has far superior firepower to the Ukrainian army. This superiority means that, despite some localized Ukrainian counter-offensives, it retains the initiative.
Faced with the hostility of the Ukrainian population united by this invasion, the Russian army will have difficulty maintaining control of the conquered territories. A protracted guerrilla war would ensue.
In a nutshell, the confrontations would continue for many more long months, even years.
Russia will not just let what’s left of Ukraine go its merry way to become another problem in a decade or so.
Something will be formed and the Russians will mostly go home but NATO will not give up on stirring the pot. They may even fold what is left into NATO and then it will really be game on.
So, we have a new war to watch.
For some, it is just a weird kind of entertainment. For others, it is a good way to refine our thinking skills and our understanding of the world. We learn how to work through misinformation and build a clear picture of what is really going on.
Where is this going to stop?
There is always a need for political courage to create space for peace and leave room for a political settlement. It takes two hands to clap.’ whatever the circumstances.
Ukraine is now engaged in a direct conflict with Russia. As a result, the model must be Ukrainian. In the event of an agreement based on these principles, the Kremlin would undoubtedly struggle to present as a “victory” a situation that, in fact, would be more “locked-in” than the one that existed before the invasion began.
Part of the problem is that Ukraine was not a neutral country when Russia first invaded it. The country formally abandoned its neutral status in late 2014.
Neutrality is not a neutral concept but a complex political one, with major implications for countries’ international and domestic policies and development.
Relations between the EU and Nato the West, especially those countries that have acted in supplying weapons to Ukraine or implementing sanctions, are very unlikely to return to the state they were in before this conflict but Ukraine is just not the wake-up call to nations that new order is emerging.
So the real question, as civilians continue to be killed throughout Ukraine and negotiators try to hammer out a compromise, is this:
What arrangement would preserve actual independence for Ukraine, while still being acceptable to the Kremlin?
The war going on in Ukraine right now is about using Ukraine as a buffer to all the problems of sovereignty in a world that is going to see more conflict as Climate change forces people to move.
How best to respond to a Russian invasion that threatens fundamental principles of sovereignty and respect for international borders that had, in theory at least, served as the foundation of European peace and security since the end of the Second World War.
Putin declared at the end of his Feb. 23 address :
“Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so to create threats to our country, to our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences as you have never experienced in your history. We are ready for any development of events. All necessary decisions in this regard have been made. I hope that I will be heard.”
While stopping short of threatening the use of nuclear weapons, Putin’s comments left no doubt that any intervention by NATO as an organization, or individual NATO members, in Ukraine would result in war with Russia.
NATO is playing a risky game, however, by continuing to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine that originate from and are shipped through NATO members’ territory.
While the threat of NATO overreach in providing air support to the Ukrainian government exists, the greatest potential for a NATO-Russian clash in Ukraine rests in the ongoing flow of refugees from Ukraine into neighboring territories.
If Russia begins its long-anticipated assault on Kyiv or otherwise engages in activities that dramatically alter the situation in the rest of Ukraine, it is anticipated that millions more Ukrainians will be seeking refugee status, creating the real potential for one of the greatest humanitarian emergencies since the end of the Second World War.
If the war in Ukraine continues unabated at a level equaling or exceeding its current scope and scale, it is not a stretch of the imagination to think that there will be a refugee-induced crisis that will require some form of humanitarian intervention.
Perhaps it is time for NATO and EU diplomats to act in a proactive fashion, reaching out to their Russian counterparts in an effort to anticipate both the problem and the solution, in a manner that does not create the conditions for inadvertent military conflict.
What is going on in Ukraine is tragic.
Ukraine has always been between a rock and a hard place with its history of being torn between East and West will not be easy to overcome.
However, the most positive outlook for a unified and prosperous Ukraine involves moving beyond this false and outdated dichotomy.
No nation of any standing will accept the presence of inimical ..interests surrounding its geographical borders.
There is a solution to the crisis in Ukraine, however — although it would require the West to think about the country in a fundamentally new way.
Is it time European nations and the USA gave serious thought to the need for the objectives of NATO?
I’m not sure NATO was ever solely a defensive force; it was equally a tool for US domination of Europe.
We are left with the Question.
Why do wars occur and recur, especially in cases when the decisions involved are made by careful and rational actors?
There are many answers to this question.
For my part, they arise from an agency problem either on the part of the current ruler or the leader of the attack. There must exist incentives for conflict and some barriers to the ability to reach an enforceable bargain.
To fully understand decisions to go to war, such decisions cannot be divorced from the broader endogenous armament environment in which they reside.,
A peace agreement only becomes attainable after the balance of power has shifted so that it becomes in both sides’ interest to agree to peace.
This can take a long time.
All human comments are appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.