The postwar order cannot be maintained by allowing westphalian contamination. It’ll fundamentally undermine the rules based system.
Gideon, perhaps calling Obama “weak” isn’t fair. But implying John McCain is in favor of a military solution is unfair too, he said that’s not an option. I have yet to find anyone who seriously favors confronting Putin on the battlefield over the latter’s armed robbery of Ukraine.
Yes the long term trends don’t favor dictatorships at this point. But they could. If zero sum behavior is rewarded by non-action from the postwar order then zero-sum westphalianism will gain traction. Increasingly Europe is fraying too and unable to formulate the sort of unified response that would be best for the whole. Divided we fall.
We’re still representing the Kremlin’s outdated ‘interests’ as if they actually mean something in our view of the world when our view of the world is based on a victory over those very interests. We now have a world order that is largely based on agreements rather than on force. But the confrontation with small fry dictator Bashar al Assad showed that bluffing it out with this US president carries great rewards. And that once you defeat Obama diplomatically, you must really escalate in order to arrive on the agenda again. Putin has played this game alongside Assad, arming him to protect Russian “interests”. As if it is in the Russian interest to alienate the population of vital middle eastern countries.
At least the Americans have a more robust response than Europe. We all understand how to stop Putin, he understands now too when the Moscow stock exchange and the Ruble took a beating. He is vulnerable, losing Ukraine may be deadly to his position, but anything that jeopardizes the wealth of the Siloviki and olichargy is probably much more deadly to his position. It’s a fine line he is walking, balancing over an abyss. It’s hard to step back from the brink when you’ve already crossed it and are afraid to turn. Hed better hope the Crimea votes to remain Ukrainian.