The Return of Pax Americana?

Putin’s War Is Fortifying the Democratic Alliance

The United States and its allies have failed to prevent Russia from brutalizing Ukraine, but they can still win the larger struggle to save the international order. Russia’s savage invasion has exposed the gap between Western countries’ soaring liberal aspirations and the paltry resources they have devoted to defend them. The United States has declared great-power competition on Moscow and Beijing but has so far failed to summon the money, the creativity, or the urgency necessary to prevail in those rivalries. Yet Russian President Vladimir Putin has now inadvertently done the United States and its allies a tremendous favor. In shocking them out of their complacency, he has given them a historic opportunity to regroup and reload for an era of intense competition—not just with Russia but also with China—and, ultimately, to rebuild an international order that just recently looked to be headed for collapse.

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