The Dispatch: More from CWR...

The Ukraine War and the search for common ground

War is lucrative. Plan and invest accordingly.

Ukrainian soldiers walk in Bakhmut, in Ukraine's Donetsk region Oct. 1, 2022, amid Russia's attack on the East European country. (CNS photo/Zohra Bensemra, Reuters)

I was wrong. In May and in October of 2022, I wrote articles fearing a prolonged war and hoping for a negotiated settlement in Ukraine to prevent the continuing slaughter. I knew my views were in the minority, and the angry responses to my worries confirmed my sense.

It’s time to seek common ground where all interests converge.

Over the past year, there were no negotiations, and the war continued. Over 150,000 Ukraine soldiers and another 40,000 (give or take tens of thousands) civilians have died. Nearly a third of the Ukraine population is displaced. Russians have lost 40,000 soldiers (some say more). The lights are out all over Ukraine. (There is no need to worry about the precise numbers with 100,000 here and 100,000 there.) Most media reports had Ukraine winning glorious victories. Today, Ukrainians face unmitigated disaster without a massive infusion of military and financial assistance.

Hollywood, politicians, and the media scorned those calling for negotiations to end the bloody mess. The narrative that I feared would triumph, triumphed, and the war grinds on: Putin is another Hitler. Without the U.S. war (most say “proxy war,” after months of simply referring to it as the war in Ukraine) with Russia, Russia will take over Europe. No appeasement. No compromise. No open negotiations. Ever.

I now realize I misdirected my “spider sense” about the war in Ukraine. I projected historical experiences in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. My mistake was fear, which directed me to quixotic calls for peace negotiations. I should have listened to my instincts and looked for lucrative investment opportunities. I aim to recalibrate my skills and place them at the service of my portfolio. On this, we can all agree.

Here are the results of my financial review. I worried the U.S. didn’t have an end game to stop the bloodshed. It turns out I was the one without an end game. Had I acted on my insights, I could have increased my Roth IRA retirement savings account by over fifty percent compared to the declining market.

Over the last year, the S&P 500 declined by 18%. But, defense contractors Raytheon and Northrop Grumman both increased 19% (for a nearly 40% swing). BWX Technologies stocks -– the Trident nuclear missile company – increased 36% (for a 54% swing). Investors may have missed out on buying opportunities a year ago – on the eve of the Russian invasion.

Do not neglect the lucrative military drone market, but expect stiff competition. Buyer beware. The General Atomic Avenger drone costs $12-15 million each. The cost of the Northrup Grumman X-47A is unavailable. The MQ-9 Reaper runs costs a hefty $15.9 million a pop. The MQ-1 Predator sells at the bargain-basement price of $4 million.

Bargain stocks include JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Blackrock. Over the last 12 months, JP Morgan and BlackRock stock prices declined by 7%. Goldman was up 1%. These stocks have considerable upside potential. If the U.S. arranges for an armistice in the next couple of months, we can expect American nation-building to commence using U.S tax dollars. These companies will manage U.S. capital for the reconstruction..

Closely monitor the stock purchases of the American government and political figures. American officials, Senators, and members of Congress are undoubtedly keeping an eye on developments in Ukraine. Nuclear stocks are undervalued if there is a move to escalate the war. A truce will drive up the investment company stocks – especially BlackRock. Keep an eye on the stock purchases of Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell. Pay close attention to the public statements of politicians who receive significant defense industry campaign contributions.

Although the upside potential is modest, we will not likely see significant stock declines in Raytheon and Northrop Grumman. The stock increases over the last 12 months factored in future growth related to the depletion of weapon inventories. But the stocks remain a safe hedge against an economic downturn that will take place in 2023.

The nuclear missile stocks are maxed out in value if we avert nuclear war with a premature armistice with the Russians, or undervalued if there is an exchange of tactical nuclear weapons.

The safest bet is nuclear weapon stocks. Park a considerable part of your portfolio in the following companies connected with the production of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons:

BWX Technologies
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory
General Dynamics
Honeywell International
Huntington Ingalls Industries
Lockheed Martin
Northrop Grumman
United Technologies Corporation

Chile is the primary producer of iodine that may treat radiation sickness. Some experts deny iodine is an atomic prophylactic. Nevertheless, Chile’s geography will ensure sustained industrialization in a nuclear war era. Consider Chilean companies to build a robust foreign investment portfolio.

Don’t forget to invest in companies producing body bags. On and on it goes.

What to make of the current situation? The reports vary widely and wildly. Putin is a monster, or Zelensky is a manipulative clown. Ukraine is winning. Ukraine is losing. Russia deliberately targets civilian centers, or Ukraine’s military seeks refuge among civilians inviting indiscriminate attacks. Ukrainian soldiers castrate and execute Russian POWs.

Dissent, however, from the predominant media narrative is not permitted. “I Stand with Ukraine” ranks alongside climate change, COVID, and Black Lives Matter. So if you find yourself in a minority position, don’t argue. Be happy. Look for those investment opportunities and cash in.

Past performance guarantees future results.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Father Jerry J. Pokorsky 32 Articles
Father Jerry J. Pokorsky is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington. He is pastor of St. Catherine of Siena parish in Great Falls, Virginia.. He holds a Master of Divinity degree as well as a master’s degree in moral theology.


  1. I have serious disagreements with Fr. Pokorsky’s past articles on the war in Ukraine, but this article struck me as particularly egregious. The sarcastic tone, dismissal of the deaths of tens of thousands, dubious facts, and exhortation to “cash in” are all repugnant. Fr. Pokorsky cannot be taken seriously when he writes that dissent is not permitted. He has a platform and an audience on CWR, among other locations. He has the pulpit. Several articles of his regarding the war in Ukraine have been published on CWR. If he doesn’t want to engage in substantive discussion about the war in Ukraine, such as the application of Just War Theory for example, then why articulate such a minority view in the public square knowing he would receive pushback? I hoped he would advance views grounded in Catholic teaching about how to understand the war in Ukraine.

    • What are you talking about? Fr. Pokorsky is not dismissing the deaths of tens of thousands, he is regretting these losses. He is not exhorting people to “cash in”, he is condemning war profiteering. Try harder to be fair to those with whom you disagree.

      • Reading what he wrote seems most fair, to quote:

        “There is no need to worry about the precise numbers…”

        “So if you find yourself in a minority position, don’t argue. Be happy. Look for those investment opportunities and cash in.”

        The most charitable explanation I can think of for these statements is sarcasm, but in such a case I fail to see how this article contributes anything to our understanding of the conflict and how to approach it as Catholics.

        • If a commentator known to be mentally and morally sound writes something that seems ridiculous if taken literally, it is a good idea to at least inquire as to whether he is being serious. Better yet, assume you are reading satire.

  2. I’ve been waiting for Father to respond to those nasty critics some months ago who called him out on his Russia cheerleading (aka Ukraine disgust). Little did I know that petulance would triumph. The recurring theme of sarcasm wears thin after about two sentences.

    No doubt the military industrial complex is profiting and handsomely so. Perhaps it is true that arm suppliers were giddy. All of that is truly disgusting, but so is a fallen world where real invaders need to be repelled, citizens protected and treaties honored. If all it took to make the world a peaceful place was one side, we would be in Nirvana. But, alas, there are always two sides … at least.

    Now let’s get to some real analysis rather than tantrums.

    Had President Obama possessed a spine after the first invasion and the EU stood by its promises to Ukraine, we wouldn’t be here. But weakness and failed leadership allowed Putin to think a new Russian Empire could be established without much cost to Russia. Perhaps the good Father prefers that to Ukrainian sovereignty, but Ukrainians prefer otherwise, and well they should. (By the way, if corruption is justification for invasion, we in the US had better watch out. And don’t get me started on corruption in the Church.)

    Yes, arms dealers and the like profit by war they always have and always will. But that is hardly an argument against standing up to a self-Proclaimed Peter the Great with expansionist ambitions to subdue its neighbors by brute force.

    Father, you do yourself no favors by presenting such weak arguments. It seems that your singular task must necessarily be to defend Russia’s invasion and demand that the West stand idly by. That is what you seem to counsel. Back it up with reasoned arguments, not by crying victim.

  3. Sad to say Father, your article, which I realize is a bit tongue in cheek is on target. And I worry if the warmomgers don’t make enough money off Ukraine a war over Taiwan is next up. Daddy Warbucks is getting richer.

  4. Crying through the great sarcasm. Well written. I have become convinced that the USA (and Britain perhaps) scuttled the early peace talks between the 2 Countries out of a political hatred for Putin, wanting to use Ukraine as a cat’s paw to, if not defeat, then at least embarrass Putin. I thought I was imagining such a desire on the USA’s part, but watching the coincidences of when peace talks fell apart, I have come to this conclusion. It is like the USA wanted to cause Putin to lose face as he withdrew the first time while the peace talks were ongoing, by accusing Russia of “losing” while Putin said it was a result of negotiations, then scuttling the final round of negotiations. All of this was so preventable, I find it no coincidence that the last time Putin invaded Crimea was 2014, and now again into the area in 2022. Both times the USA has been in a weakened stance against tyrants. All I can do is cry and pray for an end to this horror, and end to using Ukraine as a cat’s paw.

  5. This article, and previous articles by father Pokorsky on Ukraine are a good balance to the Rah, Rah, go Ukraine articles on CWR by George Weigel.

    People should do an internet search on “Ukraine/Corruption.

    You might think that Putin is Goliath, but Zelinsky is not David.

  6. Absolutely right. The war in Ukraine is the proxy for investment decisions. Now the media is building up the possibility of war with China. The reality is human life is worthless in the minds of leaders, only money matters. War is good business. But let’s not forget when civilization succumbs, money is worthless and many of us will be the victims of violence. We need God’s help, no human will fix the mess we are in.

  7. It’s sad to see a priest of the Catholic Church shilling for the Russian Orthodox Church and it’s patriarch Vladimir. Putin is a persecutor of the Church. They are murdering Catholic priests in Crimea and Donbass. I never thought I’d live to see Catholics in the West openly cheering the possibility of the Ukrainian Catholic Church being driven underground again.

    • “It’s sad to see a priest of the Catholic Church shilling for the Russian Orthodox Church and it’s patriarch Vladimir.”

      It is. But that’s not what Fr. Pokorsky is doing here. Seriously, what a strange, even slanderous, take.

      • Agreed. I may have a reading comprehension disorder, but that would surprise me at my age of 66 and a long and healthy professional and scholastic life. I simply do not understand any of what the critics say they understand from Fr Pokorsky’s sarcastic piece.

  8. Jesus never condemned Caesar’s wars, crucifixions, or welfare programs. The reason Jesus did not do so, is because it is God, not man, who grants peace to the world. In the Second Secret of Fatima, God offered the world peace instead of WWII. All the Catholic Church had to do is to get mankind to repent of their massive sinfulness and Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Catholic Church rejected God’s offer for peace instead of WWII, and WWII along with today’s Russian Tyrant Putin, is our punishment for doing so.

    Popes and Catholic clergy still to this day refuse to teach the Church, and the world, to repent of their massive sinfulness so that God will grant us peace on earth, as Jesus did. Instead, Popes and Catholic clergy focus on secular social justice, which will get us nowhere with God against us.

    The reason Jesus calls our first Pope, St. Peter, ‘Satan’, is because Peter is talking and thinking like the secular world. Matthew 16:23 He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

    It is God, not Putin, that man has to make peace with.

    Second Secret of Fatima
    The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI…
    …If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.

    Sister Lucia 1982, Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfilment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc.

    Wisdom 14:22
    Then it was not enough for them to err in their knowledge of God; but even though they live in a great war resulting from ignorance, they call such evils peace. For while they practice either child sacrifices or occult mysteries, or frenzied carousing in exotic rites, They no longer respect either lives or purity of marriage; but they either waylay and kill each other, or aggrieve each other by adultery.

  9. I feel sorry for everyone involved in this conflict and wish it would end.
    I think the longer it drags on the more it costs Putin at the expense of the Ukrainians. Perhaps the hope is that the powers behind Putin will eventually see him as a costly liability and replace him. Who knows?
    If one sees this as a proxy war, it’s the West punishing Putin using Ukrainian lives in which case there’s little incentive to find peace or common ground.

  10. Putin is not a hero and the full-scale invasion was not justified, although some limited seizures of Russian-speaking areas probably was considering the ongoing provocations by the Ukrainian government. As an American, though, my primary concern is with the government that acts in my name. Its conduct in this conflict and the events that led up to it have been thoroughly deplorable. Even taking into account Putin’s less than noble motives, this war never would have started had it not been for the constant pricking of the Russian bear by the corrupt “Ukrainian” regime and its Western backers. Even now, limited territorial concessions and a firm promise of Ukraine’s future neutrality (i.e. that it won’t be joining NATO) would be enough to end it. The Biden Administration, controlled by interests (exemplified by the reprehensible Victoria Nuland) who harbor ancient resentments against Russia that have nothing to do with America’s strategic interest, has no intention of allowing such a compromise. So Christian Slavs on both sides will continue to die, much to the delight of those who hate Russians and Ukrainians alike.

  11. This good priest did not gain sufficient support making logical arguments in the past so he is now quite obviously relying on satire.It reminded me of Jonathan Swift’s essay,” A Modest Proposal “.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.