How Does Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Impact us in America?
For weeks, the world has watched the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine escalate into war. Consequences were weighed by all sides while tensions grew. Early Thursday morning, confirmation was made, as Russia had launched a "full-scale invasion", against Ukraine. Utilizing air, land & sea, the invasion included a barrage of 100 missiles, and 75 bombers. The intent, as Putin describes, is for the "demilitarization and denazification" of the neighboring country. It was Ukraine's military infrastructure and border guard units that suffered the first strategic attack, followed by Russian forces entering into Ukraine. A series of explosions have been recorded throughout the country of Ukraine, as seen in the following graphic:
United States President Joe Biden, in response to the conflict had the following to say, "Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences.” Thus far, President Biden has been adamant about not placing American troops into the conflict, though he has deployed ground & air forces to assist NATO allies. Six F-35s were ordered to NATO’s eastern front by President Joe Biden for assistance. In addition, President Biden has released a new set of sanctions against Russia, with the intent to, "impose severe costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time." These sanctions were coordinated with America’s allies in Europe & Asia, effectively isolating Russia from the rest of the world. While the topic of Russia’s conflict with the Ukraine has been at the forefront of the news for days, the invasion has just begun. This leads us to question, what can the coming conflict mean? Specifically, what does this mean for America?
How Does This Impact America?
No country exists alone. Damage to one country inevitably damages others, most assuredly through trade and financial markets. The recent waves in the global market has led to impacts all over the world due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here in the U.S., the DOW dropped 1.38%, and oil prices jumped over $100 per barrel, which is the highest it has been since the Obama administration in 2014. Even some of the most assured markets like Gold, Silver, and other precious metals responded to the invasion.
While President Biden has claimed he has no intentions of involving American troops, the reality is that this is merely a current position that is likely subject to change should the conflict continue to escalate. Similar to World War 2, America had an interest in avoiding a war until the fight was brought to Pearl Harbor. In regard to a fight being brought to us, the Russian President Valadimir Putin has stated that he will enact “consequences greater than any you have faced in history” over any attempted interference. Given the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, and President Biden providing assistance to our allies in this conflict, the question now remains…will Putin make good on his threat? If so…what could that look like?
There’s no way to know for sure, but a full-scale “Red Dawn” style invasion against the United States would seem to be highly unlikely. However, that’s not to say there aren’t a means of attacking the United States from afar. Excluding the utilization of nuclear weapons, America is extremely at risk of an attack on our outdated electrical grid. General Lloyd Austin, a Commander in the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), stated on the subject of a terrorist attack against America’s electric grid that, “It is not a matter of if…it is when.”
Ted Koppel conducted an investigation into the security of the electric grid powering the United States. In his researched, he discovered that the Chinese & the Russians have developed a type of cyber time bomb that could cut power to the majority of the country. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta compared this to a cyber Pearl Harbor, and the reality is that there is no set plan for protecting the public should this cyber warfare occur. Tens of millions of people would be without power for months at a time, & due to our energy dependence in nearly every facet of our life, this would result in millions of people dying.
One of the largest threats should our country be left without electricity, comes the form of desperation from those within. In times of crisis, stores are looted, food is hoarded, and supply chains come to a screeching halt. Depending on the weather, people can suffer heat stroke due to lack of AC, or freeze to death in their homes (as we saw during the Texas snowstorm in 2021). When grocery store shelves are left bare, people take extraordinary measures to feed their families. Whether or not Russia (or another hostile country) will attack our electrical grid in 2022 is entirely unknown, but it is a risk, and as mentioned, “It is not a question of if…it is when.” The best thing citizens can do is be prepared, and hope that those preparations are not needed anytime soon.
7 Ways to Prepare for Emergencies
Freeze dried foods and other lightweight food sources are a good choice in the event you need to relocate quickly or stay on the move. Focus on the amount of calories needed to sustain yourself and any staying/traveling with you. For extended events (several months or years), it’s good to have some extra food in the event you need to barter. Some companies offer ready to eat meals that just require water to be added. This brings us to the next important necessity of clean drinking water.
While humans can go 1-2 months without food, we can only last 3-7 days without water depending on the circumstances. At 8.34 lbs. per gallon, water can pose some challenges unless you have the luxury of staying in one location or traveling in a vehicle with storage space. If you need to stay on the move, good water filtration is probably the most realistic means of maintaining keeping clean water (assuming you’re not in the middle of the desert). There are numerous water filtration devices on the market ranging from small hand-held devices or larger units such as the Berkey and similar gravity-fed filters. It’s also a good idea to boil your water in advance to kill off any microorganisms and pathogens.
Source of Heat/Fire
Fire helped bring us out of the stone ages and it’s essential in a SHTF scenario. In a situation where the power grid is down, it’s a safe bet that you’re not going to be cooking and heating in the traditional manners. This is where propane stoves and wood burning stoves can be a life saver, just take care to be mindful of carbon monoxide indoors.
Self Defense and Personal Protection
In a situation where a polite society is rapidly deteriorating into lawlessness, firearms and body armor may be necessities. Whether you’re in a CQB/CQC situation or engaging targets at a greater distance, your gear makes all the difference. This is where training in your body armor and plate carrier makes all the difference. Do you know your capabilities and handicaps when wearing your full body armor kit? Do you have the right MOLLE accessories on your plate carrier? Have you regularly trained with your firearm in different positions? The videos below cover such topics. Remember, buying your body armor and gear is only the first step.
Whether you need a reliable source or light or the ability to power equipment, a source of electricity is a tremendous advantage. This means stocking up on the necessary batteries and storing them in waterproof containers or bags where they will not be exposed to humidity. This could also mean portable generators or even portable solar panels depending on how much electricity is needed. There are even small wood burning devices such as the BioLite that can generate electricity for personal devices such as cell phones.
A simple tourniquet can prevent tragedy. While people tend to put a lot of focus on the possibility of bullet wounds, there’s probably a better chance of accident-related injury. In a SHTF scenario, people will be doing a lot of activities they may not be used to. This is where it’s especially easy for accidents to occur. Having a lightweight and easy to carry medical kit such as our Advanced First Aid Kit (AFAK) is essential. The AFAK provides all the necessary medical supplies to treat traumatic bleeding to buy the time needed to find medical assistance.
What’s the Plan?
Last but certainly not least, have a plan for multiple scenarios. What is your plan if you stay in your home? What’s your plan if you have to relocate or stay on the move? Having to make these decisions on the fly could be a recipe for disaster. Create a plan and constantly look for ways to improve and evolve the plan as you learn new information and skills. Also, plan for potential problems that aren’t on this list. You can find libraries full of information on prepping by simply searching the internet or purchasing survival books. There’s no shortage of information (and opinions) out there.
Should a sustained power outage occur, there could likely be a breakdown in the rule of law. Looting, home invasions and even rioting could devastate many cities. Having personal protection (such as body armor) to use in the case of emergency or while seeking a safer location, could become a matter of life or death. While Spartan Armor Systems® has tripled production capacity in 2022, you never know when we will see a run on body armor such as we saw in 2020. This would result in longer lead times for all body armor manufacturers. If you’ve given thought to buying body armor, we encourage you to get protected well in advance of any anticipated emergency. We are happy to answer any questions you have to ensure that you get the body armor that’s right for you.
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