Friendly corporate media will never ask the Biden administration tough questions, but as the war on Ukraine is about to grind into the eighth month, the multiple costs of the American-led conflict are, in fact, taking the world back decades.
American-led? Before Russia critics pounce on us, it is worth noting that the United States has not been this involved in a two-party conflict since Vietnam. The Biden mandarins have placed nearly $60 billion in direct support at stake, trotting the globe to pressure other countries to condemn Russia and enact an unprecedented, but thus-far ineffective, sanctions regime.
While it is true that it is Putin's blatant aggression that has caused this morass, we have maintained that the Biden administration did not exhaust all of its diplomatic options to prevent war. Even after the first shots were fired, the administration doubled down to punish Russia without adequately considering the collateral consequences of its decisions.
Here is our Top-10 list of the war's hidden costs, many that are irreversible and were unthinkable just a year ago.
- Seven million refugees from Ukraine have resettled across Europe, the largest migration since World War II.
- Hunger and famine in Somalia and Ethiopia have worsened because of unreliable grain shipments from Ukraine.
- The Euro, for the first time, traded at less than parity. Exchange rates represent the prestige of a nation's currency, and the Euro was launched to compete with the dollar. The Russian ruble is the world's best-performing currency, trading at 60 rubles/USD from 85 rubles/USD the day the war started.
- Euro zone inflation jumped from 2.5% last July to 9.8% this July, a disastrous record.
- Germany, the world's leader in the environmental movement, is turning to coal. Energy costs in the U.K. are expected to rise 80% this year. If winter is harsh, millions of European families will face gas rationing or edicts to lower thermostats. Already thousands of German companies have ceased operating.
- OPEC plus countries announced a cut in production rather than an increase desperately sought by the Biden administration to offset the record price of gas.
- China and Russia have drawn closer, hosting joint military exercises with friendly nations. The #3 Chinese leader is visiting Moscow. Putin is firmly in power, and there is little threat to his leadership.
- China and India have continued to buy Russian oil. Russia is earning about 250 million dollars more per day in oil revenues, not less. In July, it ramped up oil production. Restrictions are causing pain for ordinary people in other countries, but not to the Russian regime. The West's oil price cap proposal is likely to fail.
- National currencies - and agreements to deal in them, such as Yuan-Ruble, and Lira-Ruble - are weakening the dollar-based international trading system.
- A voluntary withdrawal of western brands from Russia has had little impact on Russian consumption. McDonald's and Starbucks restaurants continue to operate under new brand names. Vehicle sales from China's Great Wall Motor Co. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd now rank among Russia's best-selling cars.
Don't expect a top-down review of America's strategy, given the extraordinary failures of this administration. Biden officials continue to stick to the same mantra - that Putin has to be punished because democracy and the world order are at stake.
And don't count on the press to challenge the administration about any of the above. The media has long abdicated its role as the estate expected to bring accountability to those in power. It has instead transformed itself into a bullhorn for the Left.
Related: The Current Situation
Please share with anyone who would benefit from the tippinsights newsletter. Please direct them to the sign-up page at: