From World War I to the Iraq conflict, many wars seem certain to end soon with a brief, violent shock. But often they confuse such predictions, degenerating into long slogans with domino effects that lead to far-reaching and far-reaching political, economic and humanitarian effects.
Russia’s war against Ukraine is going on like this. After the predictions for the capture of Kyiv began two months ago, the war will continue for weeks and months, if not more.
At a time when two major nuclear powers, such as Russia and the United States, are embroiled in an indirect confrontation, the possibility of a direct confrontation remains, given Washington’s massive injection of weapons into Ukraine.
And the protracted war means more uncertainty for Western leaders.
In the United States, even those struggling with rising inflation, rising grocery bills and the cost of filling gas tanks will have to bear the brunt of the midterm elections for President Joe Biden. Can cause political difficulties.
Why will the war escalate?
One of the main reasons for the war to continue.
Ukraine’s strategic picture, in which the country is far from defeat and the invader has not yet been defeated, means that neither side has the burning impetus for immediate diplomacy to end the war.
Ukraine has no confidence in Putin after his unprovoked attack, which was aimed at crushing his independence and national identity, and the genocide he has visited the country. The bravery of its civilian army and the rapid flow of aggressive Western weapons are raising hopes of victory in Kyiv.
Putin, meanwhile, has not achieved any of his goals since his humiliating return from the Kyiv suburbs. Despite reports of heavy civilian and material losses, its generals have set new war targets for their troops – to occupy the entire southern Ukrainian coast – to cut off access to the Black Sea and strangle the country. Take a sip
The United States has acknowledged these developments with a change in strategy this week, which seeks to use effective proxy warfare to weaken Russia so that it does not pose a further threat to Europe.
But Ukraine fears the battlefield could expand. Authorities on Wednesday warned of a possible new front in the southwest along the Moldovan border, including the pro-Russian enclave of Transnistria.
And the threat of a full-blown energy war that could lead to a recession in Europe and severe crises – and its effects in the United States – increased on Wednesday as Russia annexed two NATO members, Poland and Bulgaria. Cut off gas supply to Who were once in the orbit of the Soviet Union.
Everyone is a victim of a long war.
The main outcome of a protracted war – which has already presented some of the worst atrocities in Europe since the Nazi era – will tragically mean that many Ukrainians will be killed or forced out of their homes. Will But deprivation and danger to life will not be included in the country’s borders.
But in the developing world it is worse. Rising grain prices are a life-and-death issue for millions of people in countries already living in poverty and malnutrition.
The growing signs of the escalation of the Ukrainian war on Wednesday coincide with further nuclear saber-rattling by Putin, who warned that Russian enemies interfering in Ukraine would have to pay a heavy price. ۔
“We have all the tools for that. No one can brag about that. And we won’t brag. We’ll use them if we need to,” Putin said.
The horrific rhetoric could be a sign that Russia is feeling the pressure, as its targets have so far fallen short of its expectations. But his words are a worrying reminder of the continuing danger of escalating conflict, especially as the United States examines Russia’s red lines with its weapons system in Ukraine.
In Washington and Moscow, there is now a common recognition that this war is more than just Ukraine, and that this could be the beginning of a long and wide-ranging geopolitical struggle.
Russia’s top officials also praise the broader dimensions of the conflict, which has shattered post-Cold War world confidence, and turned their country into an international paradigm.
“Now, we are at war with the whole world,” said Rustam Manikayev, a senior Russian general, in comments to the Financial Times and BZ newspaper in Berlin.
What does a long war mean for Americans?
Assuming that Biden succeeds in his primary goal of preventing a catastrophic direct confrontation between the two most nuclear-armed superpowers, the effects of the protracted war in Ukraine on the United States are primarily economic and political. Will
It will have a profound effect on the lives of Americans – and Biden’s own political prospects, not only in the midterm elections but also in the run-up to the 2024 re-election.
The World Bank’s warning about commodity prices must have put the White House at risk and emphasized the fact that Ukraine is the worst place for war at a time when food and energy prices are high. This is because Russia, now facing Western sanctions, is a major exporter of natural gas, oil and coal. Ukraine – the “bread basket of Europe” – is an important source of wheat and corn. The disruption to the wholesale sale of this year’s crop could be catastrophic.
Inflation is already at its highest level since the 1980s, with Biden being accused of hurting the economy, despite a strong overall recovery since the epidemic and the historic number of jobs.
Another wave of rising food prices during the midterm elections could destroy Democratic congressional candidates.
So far, Biden has been pursuing a questionable strategy of blaming high inflation on the war, calling it “Putin’s price increase”, even though the high prices were there before the attack. Such significance is unlikely to escape the brutal reality of the election campaign, where Republicans are already leaning towards a simple message about the increase in grocery bills, which Democrats have linked to former President Donald Trump’s extremism. May underestimate efforts.
The war could hurt Biden even more than its economic impact.
The president has united the Western alliance in its efforts to punish and isolate Putin, who has restored the credibility of foreign policy in the wake of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan last year.
But recent polls suggest that the war is far from a political victory for the president, as long as he sticks to his word to keep American troops out of the fight. When he defeated Trump in 2020, no voter thought he was signing up for proxy war with Russia in Europe, the resumption of the Cold War and the bloody nuclear rhetoric that diminished. At least as long as Putin is in office.
The shocking turn of events in Europe is a reminder that the best-intentioned plans of presidents are always reversed – and that Biden’s administration is being held hostage to events beyond its control.
But it is questionable how long American voters will focus on the war in Ukraine because so many people have problems at home. If the show of war ends as it descends into a protracted conflict, Biden’s efforts to blame Putin for the economic blow will become more difficult.
And according to the latest CNN average of the recent national election, with a 41% approval rating, the president would be at risk for another broad GOP charge in the medium term – when the world is on fire. Is wandering
Against the backdrop of prolonged inflation, a sense of economic woes, and global chaos, Trump’s demagoguery will also be fertile ground for populist nationalism as he prepares for a possible 2024 rematch with Biden.