As a weekly columnist rather than daily reporter, I have the luxury of deciding what I think is most important to write about. While the war in Ukraine may be falling off the front page of newspapers, it should remain at the forefront of our thinking. Vladimir Putin’s brutal and unprovoked assault could destroy a sovereign, independent and democratic country that poses no military threat to Russia, and it threatens to undermine the peace that Europe has enjoyed since the end of World War II.
The battle for Ukraine is a hinge of history. If the U.S. and its allies successfully help Kyiv turn back Russian aggression, the global forces supporting democracy and the rule of law will be strengthened—perhaps enough to arrest the past decade’s decline of democratic governance around the world. If America fails, autocrats around the world will conclude that democrats lack the will to defend their own cause. As China’s rulers eye Taiwan, they are also watching the Donbas.