The world has suffered a massive blow. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the global community’s failure to prevent the onset of such brutal attacks on innocent human beings have resulted in the erosion of people’s confidence in the civilized world.
Many countries, including some of the largest industrialized nations, have expressed their commitment to ensuring peace, for years. Through the buildup of massive militaries as show of strength, the development of advanced weapons as objects of deterrence, the rigorous gathering of intelligence, the formation of political alliances, and the engagement in perpetual diplomacy, countries have sought to compete on the global stage, but without starting direct armed conflict.
The civilized world, as we know it, is characterized by the presence of differences of ideas, opinions, and national goals. It is also characterized by the collective understanding that armed conflict hurts everyone. The rational decision, therefore, must always be to show strength while keeping guns holstered.
However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has shattered people’s expectations of the modern, civilized world. It has revealed that even to this day, savage human instincts of engaging in war, spilling blood, and forcibly taking what belongs to others can dictate macro-level decisions pertaining to government and the armed forces. It has proved that when economic and political power is concentrated in the hands of a dictator and his companions, then decisions are based on personal greed and whim, rather than logic and reasoning.
A sense of personal safety and collective security, which is inherent in a civilized world, has been wiped out of existence. The horror that has been inflicted upon the world – in the form of the images of the war in Ukraine and daily accounts of the brutal attacks on innocent Ukrainian men, women and children – is intensifying.
People have lost their confidence in the civilized world – the systems of governance and the geopolitical checks and balances that are meant to prevent the outbreak of war. We may not be able to restore this confidence in the foreseeable future.