Commentators argue that Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has overturned the post-war world order. But the reality is perhaps more dangerous than that.
Yes, Putin’s indefensible invasion has been transformative, violating international law and fueling a perilous escalation of violence. We have witnessed the heart-rending suffering of Ukrainians, including the 350,000 already forced to flee; the bravery unfairly required of people lining up to donate blood or organize resistance; the more than 6,000 arrests of anti-war demonstrators in Russia.
But none of this has forged a new world order; Putin has simply (and brutally) reasserted Russia’s role. The old order — with its Cold War attitudes, militaries, alliances and enmities — is reclaiming center stage.
NATO, adrift since the Soviet Union ended, now claims new purpose and energy. Hawks in Russia and the United States alike are emboldened. Weapons-makers are drawing up plans to profit in the coming arms buildup, and ideologues and demagogues are dusting off familiar rhetoric. China, clearly helping Russia mitigate its sanctions, now weighs heavily in the balance.
Read the full article in the Washington Post.