3

At the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war this year (2022), I have seen rumors on Twitter saying that the United States could actually benefit from Russia's possible invasion into Ukraine. For example, the invasion and the promised sanctions on Russia will boost the oil and natural gas exports of the U.S. and that the U.S. will be able to sell more weapons to Europe and Ukraine. In addition, the invasion will make NATO more united around the U.S.

So, if we set aside what is morally correct, in what ways will the United States actually benefit or be harmed from Russia-Ukraine war? To avoid this question falling into "opinion-based" category, I am asking the benefit/damage separately. One does not have to make any judgement or even argue whether the benefit is bigger than the damage or the other way.


Update: I changed some wording of this question to make it more answerable. Previously the title was "will the United States benefit from Russian-Ukraine conflict?", which brought some controversy.

10
  • 2
    The phrases "I wonder if..." and "I personally couldn't see how..." are probably triggering down voting. Can you rewrite this so that it doesn't appear in any way to invite opinions nor to express those of your own?
    – uhoh
    Feb 21 at 21:01
  • @uhoh what is also triggering is the suggestion that the US should contemplate the benefits of an unnecessary war. To see how outrageous the question is, imagine seriously contemplating the question "what would be the benefits of Germany invading France in 2022?"
    – grovkin
    Feb 21 at 21:34
  • 1
    @grovkin folks who do geopolitics for a living will always look at the potential gains and losses associated with any move or event. Simply asking dispassionately "Is there anything to be gained from X?" is not a priori outrageous. One thing that made AlphaGo ability to beat Go masters so reliably so interesting was its ability to just "let stuff go" and "not sweat the little stuff" while pursuing the long-term goal of winning. I was outrageous until it wasn't.
    – uhoh
    Feb 21 at 22:42
  • 1
    @uhoh I am sorry that you don't like my view. But I have expressed my judgement. Reasonable people can disagree. And I accept that you think otherwise. However, unless the wording of the question changes, my view of it will not.
    – grovkin
    Feb 21 at 22:50
  • 2
    Thanks for all the discussions and suggestions. I edited this question to make it less subjective.
    – No One
    Feb 22 at 5:29

6 Answers 6

5

It was believed by many historians that United States did benefit in many ways from WWI and similarly for WWII, that was largely due to the fact that back then there were no long-range missiles that are capable of attacking the Contiguous United States. There are a couple of risks to United States below just to get a whole view of the situation:

(1) A higher inflation

Russia's invasion will push the oil and natural gas price higher, and this will surely aggravate the situation of higher inflation in Unites States (and Western world.)

(2) The risk of nuclear war

Needless to say, the confrontation between Russa and NATO will impose a higher risk of nuclear war.

(3) A stronger tie between Russian and China

You might have already noticed that Russian and China signed a huge deal on energy, etc. The Russia's invasion will bring sanctions to them, yes, but at the same time it will also bring China closer to them. This might also be a bad signal to China-Taiwan issue.

(4) Russia may no longer support the anti-Global warming campaign.

The promised sanctions will lead to less cooperation between Russia and Western world. They will be less likely to sacrifice their fossil fuel industry.

You might find some discussions/answers for your question in this thread as well:

Why does the US treat the problems of Russia and Ukraine as its own?

4
  • For point#4 that's not exactly a risk to the U.S. as Russia is only #23 on the chart regarding air pollution.
    – JMERICKS
    Feb 22 at 19:13
  • 5
    I would hardly say that a country that went overnight from being debtor to a country-creditor "did benefit in many ways from WWII". It benefited MASSIVELY. It became THE world superpower practically overnight.
    – dosvarog
    Feb 22 at 21:09
  • @dosvarog - Well, hundreds of thousands of Americans dead in the war kind of counterbalances things, so I would still say "in some ways."
    – Obie 2.0
    Feb 25 at 2:25
  • 2
    @dosvarog I wouldn't say that America became the world superpower until after the end of the Cold War, and the time period where that was true seems to be rapidly coming to an end.
    – nick012000
    Apr 29 at 19:29
3

USA profits as now they can sell gas and oil to Europe insted of Russia. US allies are going to buy more weapons from USA. Finland and Sveden have joined NATO, something USA were not able to reach even during the Cold War.

2

Disadvantage: we get a spike in energy prices, which is never a good thing, especially coming on top of a generally dismal economic picture.

Benefit: most of the civilized world has reacted very negatively to the invasion, to the point of signing on with serious, economy strangling sanctions.

This isn't so much a positive for the US, as it is a blow to the concept of military aggression as a beneficial policy for the aggressor. Thanks to the global reaction, future aggressors have another variable to deal with: stiff international sanctions. Especially if that aggressor's economy is highly dependent upon international trade.

A key point to remember is that Russia has yet to come up with what most other nations consider a valid reason for this action.

Indirectly to the benefit of the US: The damage that has been done to the reputation of the Russian military. This is because It appears that the rumors of Russian oligarchs pilfering the money intended to maintain military readiness have some validity.

There is ample evidence that both maintenance and training have been severely neglected, far more than we might have imagined. In a modern, mechanized army, that is a real problem, evident as the 'second most powerful military in the world' struggles to attack an economically depressed and much smaller opponent.

This means that the threat of Russian military action isn't nearly as ominous as it once might have been, which benefits the US because they now have more knowledge about Russia.

And the likelihood of Russia using military force to achieve a political goal has been greatly reduced. Panic inducing news stories aside, Russia today isn't anxious to go up against a NATO whose readiness is likely quite high.

Indirect benefit to the US: Europe has now placed security against military action as a high priority. Sweden and Finland may do the previously unthinkable: join NATO. And Germany, long dragging its heels on military capability, is changing, too.

For the US, this means less revenue spent on European defense.

Another possible benefit is that this may be the end of Putin and his oligarchs. It appears they had done far more damage to the country than previously imagined. It is possible that the Russian military, who as far as we know has had its funds stripped away to pay for yachts and sports clubs, and now massive numbers of its soldiers killed by the result of corruption, may get fed up with this and throw in with a faction that wants to remove Putin. The motivation to do so certainly exists. This benefits the US because they will possibly turn an enemy into an ally or neutral party.

1
  • 3
    As for the "valid reason for this action", I'm reminded that the justifications for invading Iraq in 2003 changed frequently. I don't think that any invader is required to have a "good reason" beyond what is necessary at that very moment to satisfy their internal politics.
    – Tangurena
    May 4 at 15:01
0

Nobody benefits from this war, whatever the outcome. Some nations will suffer more, some suffer less, but there's absolutely no benefit to anybody, unless you call suffering less than others a benefit. I know, some people enjoy Schadenfreude, but objectively this is not a benefit.

Ukraine is in ruins with tens of thousands of civilians dead. Russia is going to reap the full effect of the sanctions by the Fall, in addition to tens of thousands of dead soldiers. In Europe gas prices are through the roof, much worse than in US, in addition to the crisis of housing millions of refugees. In US the effects are rather mild in comparison, but I fail to understand how does the relatively milder negative effect translates into a positive one.

If you are in a car crash with 3 other people, and one of them dies, another one becomes paraplegic, another one breaks his leg, and you got away with minor scratches, would you consider the crash beneficial to you just because you got injured less than others?

1
  • I don't see the point of this answer. The only part of this answer that answers this question is that you said gas prices went up in the US, but that was already mentioned in this answer, which came well before yours. Jun 1 at 17:15
-2

US Benefit: break Europe away from Russia

US harm:

  1. US has to fulfill Europe's oil needs, sending oil prices sky high
  2. US & Europe can't buy food from Russia sending food prices sky high
  3. Europe can't buy fertilizer from from Russia, sending food manufacturing prices sky high

Why would US do this?

As mentioned in the below answer, "divide and conquer"

-3

If Russia wins the war and achieves its regional objectives, this can start the decay of the USA's superpower status.

For instance:

(1) The EU will move closer to Russia in terms of European peace as Russia is a next-door neighbor. The EU will try to prevent any future Ukraine-like war.

(2) Russia-China alliance will form and that may badly hurt or even end the dominance of the USD.

2
  • 1
    (1) - I doubt in it, since if EU would like to integrate Russia in european project, it could be done early, effectively,and even maybe would prevent today's events. (2) - China would like about some problems in EU, but does not see it as real alliance, since Russia is stil european land ( watched from Asia). and is by far weaker then China in all factors, including military power, as we see now.
    – user184868
    Apr 30 at 5:08
  • If Russia loses (for some meaning of), Russia-China alliance is even more likely to form.
    – alamar
    Jun 2 at 8:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .