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Face It … We Are In A “Warm War” With Putin

Face It … We Are In A “Warm War” With Putin

For a generation after World War II, the United States – and the free world – were at odds with Russia and China.  We deemed it a “Cold War” because we were not in a hot direct military confrontation.  We were, however, fighting the Siamese twins of Communism in other peoples’ lands – client states as they were called.

The proliferation of nuclear weapons created a standoff – what was appropriately named MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction.  Confrontation between the great powers was not doable because it was unthinkable.

Thanks to President Nixon, we entered an era of cooperation and peace with China – bringing the Middle Kingdom from out behind the Bamboo Curtain.  Thanks to President Reagan, we ended the old Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

For another generation, we entered an era of relative peace – opening business and trade relationships with the old Cold War adversaries.  But with the arrival of Putin in Russia and Xi Jinping in China, the old global configuration started to re-emerge.

We are not in that old Cold War, however.  It is worse than that.  We are now in what can be called a “Warm War.”  

Of course, we see similar client-state wars in places like Afghanistan, Ukraine and in the Middle East.  Much like the client-state conflicts in the Cold War, the United States and NATO have been losing them – this time by not even fighting.

The weapons of the Warm War are oil and cyber.  Russia is using its only major resource as a weapon against the west.  Foolishly, many of our NATO allies put themselves at the mercy of Moscow by making their economies dependent on Russian oil and gas.

The United States is also vulnerable since President Biden decided that the United States did not need to be oil independent – even an exporter.  America now draws up to seven percent of its oil from Russia.  In fact, if the United States is not oil independent, we must rely largely on nations that are adversaries – Russia, Iran and Venezuela.  And nations with which we have a strained relationship – such as Saudi Arabia.

Biden had hoped to disengage with Saudi Arabia because of the murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  But now that America is dependent on Middle East oil, Biden is said to be planning a trip to Saudi Arabia to beg them to put more oil on the market – and to sell directly to the United States. 

Then there is cyber.  Apart from the false accusations of Trump conspiring with Putin to influence the 2016 election, Putin DID meddle in a major way.  While he did not change numbers at the polling places, he did mount social media campaigns to create confusion and distrust – and racial tensions.  President Obama was aware of Putin’s meddling before the 2016 election but did nothing to stop it.  He did not alert the campaigns, the Congress or the American people.

It is clear to American intelligence agencies that both Putin and Xi have engaged in cyberattacks on the United States.  In one major attack, they shut down a major power grid on the east coast.  Those are acts of war — just as were the old-fashion government-sponsored acts of sabotage. 

In this new Warm War, the United States and the NATO/European allies respond to “acts” with “words.”  The timidity of the west is centered on a fear that any proportionate response would be viewed by Moscow and Beijing as a “provocation.”  They say as much.  Conversely, nothing they do is viewed as a provocation – not by them and, unfortunately, not by us.  

With the possible exception of the Reagan years, America and the western democracies have been on a losing streak.  At some point, that needs to be turned around – or we lose the lead permanently, and the authoritarians take over the world.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry HoristLarry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

4 Comments

  1. Miles collins

    It’s Biden’s fault because of his weakness and cognitive decline

  2. frank Stetson

    Yeah, Larry. we’ve been on a losing streak where our economy has mushroomed and Russia has pancaked. If it weren’t for their giant investment in military, their economy putins them right about where Italy is.

    Larry, you continue to get the oil story totally messed up. First, as I consistently have told you, in 2020, when we became a net exporter of crude oil, it was due to the pandemic and the lack of demand.

    Here is the EIA report that shows that: “Following its historic shift to being a net exporter of petroleum in 2020, the United States continued to export more petroleum (which includes crude oil, refined petroleum products, and other liquids) than it imported in 2021. According to our February 2022 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), we expect net crude oil imports to increase, making the United States a net importer of petroleum in 2022.
    A country is a net importer if it imports more of a commodity than it exports. Conversely, a country is a net exporter if it exports more of a commodity than it imports. Many factors affect net trade numbers because trade reflects supply and demand conditions both domestically and internationally.
    Historically, the United States has been a net importer of petroleum. During 2020, COVID-19 mitigation efforts caused a drop in oil demand within the United States and internationally. International petroleum prices decreased in response to less consumption, which diminished incentives for key petroleum-exporting countries to increase production. This shift allowed the United States to export more petroleum in 2020 than it had in the past.
    Also in 2020, the difference between U.S. crude oil imports and exports fell to its lowest point since at least 1985. Net crude oil imports subsequently rose by 19% in 2021 to an average of 3.2 million barrels per day (b/d) as crude oil consumption increased in response to rising economic activity. We forecast that the United States will continue to import more crude oil than it exports in 2022, reaching an estimated annual average of 3.9 million b/d. However, we expect net imports to fall to 3.4 million b/d in 2023 as domestic crude oil production increases to an all-time high of 12.6 million b/d.
    Since 2010, the United States has exported more refined petroleum products, including distillate fuel oil, hydrocarbon gas liquids, and motor gasoline, among others, than it has imported. Net exports of refined petroleum products grew to 3.3 million b/d in 2020 and remained about the same in 2021. We expect petroleum product net exports will reach new highs of 3.6 million b/d in 2022 and 3.8 million b/d in 2023.”

    I did make a mistake in that I said we have been a net exporter of all oil products since 2010. That is wrong. We have been a net exporter of refined petroleum products since 2010.

    Even in 2020, we still imported a heck of a lot of oil. 50% of what we import is from Canada. We like to treat that as our own. Which is why people often see the Keystone XL. Pipeline project as being American. Hello, Larry, Keystone XL oil was not even bound to be used in America., it was just traveling through to a refinery to be exported to another country. It’s a red herring, Larry.

    And yes, Larry. At one time, 2020, Russia accounted for 7% of our imports under Trump. That number fell in 2021 under Biden. Here is a story from the hill. Referencing all that.

    https://thehill.com/policy/international/597389-heres-where-us-gas-supplies-come-from

    As you can see from the story, Larry. There have been fluctuations. In imports and exports due to the pandemic. Which continue today. There is also the difference between. Gasoline imports. Crude oil imports. And total petroleum imports. Hopefully these stories will help.
    Larry, I really doubt that a 7% difference would cause much more than a price fluctuation. I am sure that the US can find a 7% increase with a price increase as well. But more importantly, Larry, there will be a world increase in pricing independent of whether we import Russian oil or not. So quit making this a partisan issue., It was an economic issue., it was a supply and demand issue due to the pandemic, and it’s a 7% problem for us. It’s just a much bigger problem for the world. And that affects us too. But please, Larry. Get your story right on oil. I tire of this.

    • Luther

      Frank quit trying to sound intelligent. All of the high fuel costs are laying the groundwork for socialism. Delivery of food ect. will be hindered and big brother will be ready to feed the sheep. Extremist among the dumbass environment nazis is driving the train.

      • Frank stetson

        Well, that’s your opinion.

        I thought facts are more interesting.