The wage of war is gravely brutal. We are witnessing a tragic Russian attack on Ukraine. We pray for Ukraine and its citizens. We also pray for the neighboring countries and their sovereignty. And as an additional 7,000 of our own Unites States service members are deployed to Europe, we pray their safety and quick return without direct conflict engagement.
As we peer on to this conflict from across the globe, it is unclear if pre-emptive sanctions on Russia would have served as a viable deterrence to prevent this aggression. However, we and the rest of the World will never know if such pre-emptive sanctions would have prevented war because we simply watched and did not purposefully attempt to fully employ them prior to Russia’s initiation of war.
To apply them now is a reaction and demonstrates limited strategic imagination, misguided anticipation and should not be lauded as an attempt at deterrence. Instead, the current U.S. Administration pre-emptively handcuffed it’s own ability to assist Ukraine and our NATO allies when it discontinued the Keystone XL Pipeline and restricted drilling for oil and natural gas on U.S. Federal land.
This intentional disruption of our own energy production has resulted in the surge in gas prices and has, thus, significantly impacted all American Citizens. It led to the end of our energy independence and increased the World’s reliance on Russian for energy.
We also emboldened Vladimir Putin and Russia in the energy sector by removing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany. We are even reliant on Russian oil and refined products, which we were importing at the onset of this war at an estimated 500,000 barrels per day. And in this critical time of global crisis this dependency on Russian energy makes it difficult for NATO countries to de-couple their decisions on sanctions against Russia from the basic energy needs of their countries and citizens.
An immediate resumption of U.S. energy production to net export levels would decrease the world’s reliance on Russian energy and enable us to apply more impactive and unified pressure on Russia through this crisis. This could weaken Russia’s economic footing and possibly lead to a quicker end to this war. Such a step could get our troops back on American soil swiftly and safely and also immediately lower domestic gas prices- two things that the great people of United States would certainly appreciate.
Dr. Myron L. Hall – Candidate for US Senate, California