Beyond the motives for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, U.S. policymakers are much more worried about the challenge that could pose to their world dominance.
Many U.S. pundits claim that if Russia gets away with the invasion of Ukraine, wouldn’t only signal the U.S. and NATO are weak but also could open Putin’s appetite toward more land grabs in neighboring Europe. It could also embolden China to go down the same path to take over Taiwan.
But what Russia had done in Georgia( Abkhazia and South Ossetia) and now in Ukraine and China might do in Taiwan, is what the U.S. did in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Professor John Mearsheimer puts it, It’s simply the great power competition.
As Jeffrey Sacks argues, the U.S. has to get over the self-narrative trap that it has to lead the world and others follow the line. That has become a history of the past. China and Russia, but mainly China, have become strong enough to challenge that dominance.
A zero-sum-game mindset in this great power rivalry could be devastating to the world because it would lead ultimately to confrontation.
Many experts, including Harvard professor Graham Allison, warn the U.S. of falling into the Thucydides’ trap. There will be no winner in any future nuclear war.
A more inclusive and power-sharing world system could avoid the world a devastating war. Cooperative competition between big powers is likely to sustain peace.