by Hayden Daniel, The Daily Caller:
As Russian troops amassed on Ukraine’s borders, foreign policy “experts” brimmed with confidence that Vladimir Putin would back down, that he would respect the balance of power established after the Cold War. After Russian tanks thundered across the border, they were sure that the flood of condemnations and sanctions would crush his regime and force the invaders to withdraw. Russian forces continue to close in on Kyiv.
Putin’s attack on Ukraine will have more serious repercussions than rising gas prices, wavering confidence that the United States can act as the world’s policeman or even the dismantling of a sovereign nation. It represents a shock to the system for the cozy “rules-based international order” that has for decades reassured the West that things like naked aggression are relics of the past.
Today’s foreign policy intelligentsia share the same outlook as those of the Great Powers prior to 1914. Diplomacy is too advanced, the global economy is too intertwined, technology is too advanced and the balance of power is too strong to allow a long, devastating war. They were devastatingly wrong then, and those who cling to the contemporary version of that worldview are just as wrong now.
They say this is unthinkable that a modern, European city like Kyiv could look like it does — bombed out and filled with soldiers. But their grandparents probably remember a time when almost every major European city looked like Kyiv does, or worse.
The new order founded after World War II has abandoned the idea of war as a legitimate extension of politics and national policy. In fact, the very term “war” has almost become a taboo. Instead, they are referred to as “police actions” or “counterterrorism operations.” Traditionally in international relations you have two paths, diplomacy and war. Diplomacy has always been the preferred route, but once it is exhausted, war is the only other option. That option was accepted as a viable means of achieving national goals for most of human history.
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