Thoughts on Ukraine

They say the truth is the first casualty of, here we are about one week into the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the fog of war is still very thick.

Over the past few weeks, it has been conventional wisdom that Russia would take parts of Ukraine (maybe all) and then things would settle down while the world awaited further actions. In the worst-case scenario, those moves could include closing the current 40-mile wide border between Poland and Lithuania, which could lead to direct NATO military involvement and a wider conflict.

So far, things haven't unfolded as many thought they would. Supply-chain issues for the Russian military and formidable opposition are slowing Russia's advance. In addition, more sanctions and military help from countries around the world have given many hope that hostilities end early with Russia falling well short of its goals.

If Russia is unable to take control of Ukraine or even forced to retreat, Vladimir Putin could be in more than just political trouble. His inner circle may not like risking access to their personal wealth on what they might believe is an ill-advised military adventure. For Putin, this is a huge incentive to continue his attack, and escalate. Nothing is totally clear.

What we are more confident about is what the conflict means for public policy. Policies designed to suppress US energy production are going to be tougher for the voting public to digest. The same is true for many European countries, with Germany now discussing building a natural gas reserve.

How about green energy? Many will keep pushing it, and those projects will continue, but it's going to be tougher to curtail drilling, extraction, and pipelines for old-fashioned fossil fuels.