The war in Ukraine has affected many things, from energy prices to food to raw materials, fundamentally changing the way the world’s major economies move forward in 2023 and beyond. Inflation in the EU is her highest in 40 years, and UK is above her 10%. According to CNN’s Business News, “The UK economy contracted in the third quarter, signaling the beginning of a recession that is likely to hit Europe next.”
The EU’s zeal to drop all of Russia has plunged the European bloc into a years-long energy crisis. The newly built Nord 2 gas pipe was blown out of the water and the decision could not be undone. It is a bonanza time for U.S. gas and oil companies, as they either decline or decline. Market data show that the price the EU pays for US liquid natural gas is 40% higher than it used to pay for Russian pipeline gas. According to Reuters, “Her LNG in the US will export both a lifeline and a drainage channel for Europe in 2023.”
US exports of liquid natural gas to Europe increased by almost 140% in 2022 compared to 2021. The US will remain her main LNG supplier for years to come as the EU has voluntarily cut back on Russian gas. Reuters also reported that the United States will become a net exporter of oil in 2023. The EU is rushing to buy US oil as a replacement for oil from Russia. The astronomical rise in energy costs is forcing EU businesses to move elsewhere. As NPR reports, “Europe fears its industry will jump to the US as energy costs force factories to close.” It guarantees jobs in the industry, creates a chain reaction for its suppliers, and leads to a significant increase in corporate profits.
Also, let’s not forget the Pentagon and US military departments. Even Amazon’s delivery service may be jealous of the efficiency and speed with which the Pentagon is working to fill Ukraine’s arms order list. US dollars in military aid, with another $44 billion approved last month. It has been the frustration of all US governments that the EU has not spent her 2% of its gross domestic product on defense as required by NATO. Well what do you think? Together with Ukraine, the EU will maximize US military hardware production. According to German news source Deutsche Welle, Germany plans to put her $100 billion into defense spending from her $53 billion in 2021. Other her EU countries plan to significantly increase their military spending either to bolster their current military stockpiles or to replenish the weapons sent to Ukraine. It was destroyed by the Russians on the way.
The war will continue for many more months, if not years, so the US military-industrial complex is assured of a foreseeable future order. Incoming House Foreign Affairs Speaker Michael McCall said military aid to Ukraine would continue. In an interview with CBS News, he said: For me, it’s a pretty good investment. ”
Military tactics have changed from the beginning of what looked like World War II to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with tanks and urban small-arms combat, to the trench stalemate of World War I in the 21st century. The state of war changed. Drones and ballistic missiles hit residential complexes, infrastructure, or military targets. This war is rewriting military strategy as we know it, driving demand for attack drones, hypersonic missiles, software, space spy satellites, or low-flying, cheap reconnaissance equipment. The US is perfectly positioned to build and meet the expected demand. The constant destruction of US and EU military equipment on the front lines by the Russians will ensure jobs and profits for the US military-industrial complex for years to come.
Then it’s time to rebuild. War will come to an end. It is estimated that reconstruction of Ukraine will require up to $2 trillion and could in many cases completely replace civilian infrastructure. From power plants and electrical grids to water and sewerage to housing, American businesses are playing a leading role in rebuilding our country, translating into jobs and profits at home.
The ultimate loss here is human life. Ukrainians are paying the price of this war with their lives to protect their country, their families and their homes. For them, corporate profits and job creation elsewhere are not a concern. They either get bombed while they are at home with their families or die on the front lines in the trenches. Fighting and killing people who are in many ways brothers who share culture and family ties on both sides of the border, thousands of soldiers die and die, not to mention the Russians come second is not.
Let’s not forget the Europeans whose lifestyles have plummeted due to rising inflation, bankruptcies and suicides. Finally, people in developing countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia will experience a period of hunger and hyperinflation with levels of suffering not seen since the mid-1990s.
The outcome of the war in Ukraine has been one-sided, with few corporate winners making up the majority of the losers.
Paul Belogour is the owner of Vermont News & Media, the parent company of Brattleboro Reformer, Bennington Banner and Manchester Journal. Opinions expressed by a columnist do not necessarily reflect the views of his Vermont News & Media editorial board.