Mike Jason retired from the U.S. Army as a Colonel and went on to become a professor, historian, author, and speech writer. In recent years, he’s been notable both for his cogent explanation of U.S. failings during the occupation of Afghanistan, and his vocal defense of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman during Donald Trump’s first impeachment. Since this has been a day for looking at analysis of the situation in Ukraine and in Russia, this seems like a good time to bring up Jason’s look the other end of the cost of the war—what it will cost in the United States?
To start with, that costs is definitely worth it.
“The world, with American leadership, Is trying to choke off an aggressive fascist state without starting WWIII. As a result, gas prices are going to go up. Hell, the price of everything is going to go up.”
On the surface, this tradeoff seems almost superficial. Bring down an aggressive fascist state without directly engaging the U.S. military, and while doing everything possible to prevent the war from expanding outside it’s current area of conflict? It seems like an easy deal. However, as Jason points out, just because it’s a better deal than an actual shooting war between NATO and Russia, doesn’t mean it’s a get-out-of-pain free card. For many people, the increases in costs will hit hard. There are millions of people out there who are always on the brink when it comes to their finances. There are also people out there who might have just made a decision—like buying a new truck—which seemed completely reasonable without factoring in a war they didn’t know was coming.
“First, from my old unit pep talks: ‘don't be an asshole.’ Now is not the time to make your dig about someone's pick up truck choice or to be smug about your Tesla. Everything will cost more for everyone. Remember we are all in this together.”
For better than a decade, oil prices have been remarkably low. After peaking around 2008, at a point when it looked like $100 a barrel and up was the indefinite future, the rapid spread of fracking across the U.S. and around the world brought on a super abundance; a world where oil production has been limited by demand rather than production. In Cheap Oil World, some of the dependencies and decisions that were made seemed entirely reasonable (so long, of course, as the environment, and specifically the critical damage to the climate, weren’t considered).
But now we’re seeing the price of cheap oil and cheap natural gas. And if we’re not careful, we’ll pay for it in widening divisions in the U.S.
One thing that can definitely help: All those guys shouting “back to the office!” because seeing people neatly stuffed in rows of cubicles satisfies their ego, can chill for awhile. Working from home saves gas. And saving gas is the best way to limit the cost of this war.
As Hunter notes, McDonald’s has joined hundreds of other corporations in closing their Russian locations — at least for now. However, there are still big name U.S. companies operating in Russia.
Also, that damn shirt is still up on Amazon.
The Ukrainian ministry of defense is setting the number at over 11,000 Russian troops killed, wounded, or captured. That’s about 6% of those who were arrayed for this conflict.
Movement (literally) on the deal to get more MiG-29s into Ukraine by engineering a swap for F-16s. For now, it seems the MiGs are on their way to a U.S. base in Germany. Whether they’ll fly from there into Ukraine isn’t clear.
This thread checking in with a Ukrainian military officer suggests that things may be going even worse for Russia than they seem.
Included in this is a claim that Russia lost 30 helicopters yesterday in a Ukrainian counterstrike outside Kharkiv. That would be about 1% of all the helicopters Russia has brought to this conflict taken down at a blow. Note that this hasn’t been recorded at Oryx because, at least at this time, there isn’t circulating video confirming the losses.
This Polish mayor is not about to let former deputy prime minister of Italy, and head of the hard-right Northern League, Matteo Salvini, brush off his past support of Putin.