The Cold War provided a solid generation of unfettered government growth in the US on the pretext of the Russian threat, and over the past few years American officials have relished at the new round of tensions with Russia, and the budget-busting spending it has permitted.
They’re hoping to make that permanent, with a new bill called the STAND for Ukraine Act aiming to make temporary measures imposed during Ukraine’s regime change permanent, and hamstring all future governments from a diplomatic rapprochement with Russia.
The new push centers in part on the fear that some future president might be less on-board with open-ended hostilities. Current Republican nominee Donald Trump has expressed doubt about the current acrimony, and said if elected he would be open to lifting sanctions on Russia.
It’s not just about Trump, however, and aims to preclude any president at any time in the future from such considerations, making the sanctions a permanent aspect of American policy. While there’s a lot of taxpayer money to be frittered away on preparing for war with Russia, however, those aren’t the only moneyed interests at play here.
The US-Russia Business Council is fighting vigorously against the bill, and the sanctions, with ExxonMobil’s agreed to $500 billion drilling deal with Rosneft at risk if the sanctions become permanent. Even this enormous deal could potentially just be the beginning, as the Russian Arctic contains untold oil wealth, and American oil giants are the best positioned to get it out of the ground.
This puts two wildly influential lobbying powers, America’s military contractors, and its oil industry, directly at odds with one another, and with massive sums of money ultimately at stake.