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With Russian troops occupying Ukrainian territory and the Chinese navy inhabiting Philippine territorial waters in the South China Sea, the world is now entering a dangerous time warp.In geopolitical terms, Russia and China are reenacting the norms of the 19th century, when states competed by amassing hard power in a system of unbridled nationalism and rigid state sovereignty. For the U.S., the destruction wrought by Europe's rapacious nationalisms, reflected in colonialism and two world wars, had to end in 1945 .The U.S. took the lead in building a system of international law, creating the U.N., and fostering free trade and open markets around the world, while maintaining the security umbrella that allowed transnational institutions such as the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to develop.Now, however, with China rising, global power rebalancing and the U.S. worn down by two-decade-long wars that have eroded its credibility, the postwar international order appears to be under intense strain.The EU's 21st-century dream now confronts the 19th-century Czarist bear, flashing its atavistic claws on the Russia-Ukraine border.
After the ISIS murders, Japan seeks to end its military impotence
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