The lack of self-awareness among the many American officials who are striking a moralistic pose in opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is striking.
For example, Foreign Policy has published a column by Col. Yevgeny Vindman, asking how the world can tolerate a country like Russia on the United Nations Security Council. His specific point was that any country that invades another country must not be allowed veto power in the United Nations. Responding to Vindman, however, Stephen Wertheim pointed out what should be obvious to everyone: that’s a “fair question” and one “that applies to 2003, too.”
This all continues to highlight how the world is descending into a postglobalization world of at least two blocs: the anti-Russian one and the neutral one. Biden has already claimed that Washington will lead the ”free world” in this “new world order.” But this “free world” is increasingly looking like the US, Europe, and a handful of other allies versus everyone else. Enlarging this bloc would depend on expanding soft power based at least in part on moral leadership, especially as the US continues to become a smaller and smaller part of the global economy. Thanks to the US’s blatant disregard for a rules-based order in recent decades, this looks increasingly unlikely.
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