The War in Ukraine Highlights Two Empires in Decline

Nearly three months into the war Ukraine, events up-ended quite a few assumptions by quite a few people. I count myself in that crowd.

I didn't expect Vladimir Putin to order the invasion.

When he did, I expected it to go the way of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War -- a quick rout of Ukrainian forces, a stern "don't ever do that again" warning from Putin (as with Ukraine, the Georgia dust-up had to do with attempts to re-conquer seceded, pro-Russian areas), and a quick return to International Relations Business as Usual.

When it didn't go that way, I at least expected Russian forces to wrap up the...


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