By Michael Lind, National Interest
The United States is in retreat, defeat, or stalemate everywhere, whether in the military arena or in the realm of trade and industrial production.
MERICAN TRIUMPHALISM is back. The difficulties encountered by Vladimir Putin’s regime in its invasion of Ukraine are being used to revive Cold War rhetoric about American leadership, the struggle for global democracy, and Western unity. America as the leader of the Free World is once more in the saddle!
Unfortunately, it is far from clear that Putin will actually lose the war. If, as a result of a negotiated compromise or prolonged stalemate, much of Ukraine remains indefinitely under Russian occupation, then in spite of the costs Putin will have succeeded in territorial revanchism in Ukraine—in addition to having annexed Crimea and successfully gone to war to keep Georgia out of NATO. The possible admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO would be a symbolic insult to Moscow, but Russia was not going to invade either country anyway.
On a global level, the U.S. campaign to get other nations to sanction Russia to punish it for invading Ukraine has been a flop. A map of the countries that have sanctioned Russia includes the United States and Canada, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Most countries in the rest of the world, including India, Mexico, and Brazil, along with most nations in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa have refused to go along. In Cold War II, the nonaligned bloc is back.