How Vladimir Putin has unintentionally 'revitalized' the 'liberal international order': former NSC official

How Vladimir Putin has unintentionally 'revitalized' the 'liberal international order': former NSC official

After World War II, the terms “western liberal democratic order” and “international liberal democratic order” came to describe the alliance of democracies in North America and Western Europe — and in recent years, that order has been under attack from the United States’ MAGA movement and far-right pseudo-populist movements in other western countries. But in an article published by The Atlantic on February 28, former U.S. State Department/National Security Council official Kori Schake argues that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine has had an unintended consequence: revitalizing the western liberal democratic order, including countries belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The 59-year-old Schake now serves as director of foreign and defense policy for the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and she was a foreign policy adviser for the late Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. But while Schake is a conservative Republican who served in the George W. Bush Administration, she is no fan of former President Donald Trump and the MAGA movement. Schake endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and endorsed Joe Biden for president four years later.

In her Atlantic article, Schake explains, “Vladimir Putin has attempted to crush Ukraine’s independence and ‘westernness’ while also demonstrating NATO’s fecklessness and free countries’ unwillingness to shoulder economic burdens in defense of our values. He has achieved the opposite of each. Endeavoring to destroy the liberal international order, he has been the architect of its revitalization.”

NATO isn’t without its authoritarians —namely, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But as Schake notes, even Hungary and Turkey have taken stands against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Hungary, thought to be the weakest link in the western chain, has supported without question moves by the European Union and NATO to punish Moscow,” Schake observes. “Turkey —

arguably the most Russia-friendly NATO country, having bought missile defense systems from Moscow — has invoked its responsibilities in the 1936 Montreux Convention and closed the Bosporus strait to Russian warships.”

The Never Trumper adds, “NATO deployed its rapid-reaction force for the first time, and allies are rushing to send troops to reinforce frontline states. A cascade of places have closed their airspace to Russian craft. The United States has orchestrated action and gracefully let others have the stage, strengthening allies and institutions.”

The national security/foreign policy specialist goes on to say that even if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is removed from power by the Russian invaders, “another leader will step forward.”

“Even Russian-speaking Ukrainians have become anti-Russian,” Schake observes. “The scene depicted in Picasso’s Guernica, one of wanton and barbaric violence, is the best Putin can hope for: Conquering Ukraine will require unspeakable brutality, and even if Moscow succeeds on this count, foreign legions are flowing to Ukraine to assist an insurgency in bleeding Russia’s occupation. If Ukraine fends off Russia’s assault, it will be welcomed into NATO and the EU.”

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