This isn’t another cold war. Due to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the world has become more dangerous than it’s been since World War II.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has inaugurated a new era of political competition but not a new cold war. The American people and their leaders need to prepare for a new kind of geopolitical competition—more intense, more dangerous and more aggressive than anything since World War II. Bismarck, Metternich and Louis XIV’s world of unrestrained power to achieve national objectives is back. And while the immediate threat is Russia, the more formidable one is China.
Throughout the Cold War, the great powers employed direct forces in only a handful of instances. Korea was the only conventional engagement from either bloc. The Soviets conducted limited actions within the Eastern bloc, most notably in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. But the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the U.S. intervention in Vietnam were both distinctly unconventional wars. American operations in Grenada and Panama, like Soviet deployments throughout Africa and the Middle East, were limited in scope and intensity.