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Russia's invasion of Ukraine has brought to the fore an important debate about what kind of world we live in.Colonial wars, a routine feature of international life for thousands of years, are extinct. Wars between countries – not just major powers, not just in Europe – have also dropped dramatically, by more than 50 percent over the last three decades. The best way to deal with Russia's aggression in Crimea is not to present it as routine national interest-based foreign policy to be countered by Washington in a contest between two great powers. It is to point out, as Obama did eloquently this week in Brussels, that Russia is grossly endangering a global order that has benefited the entire world.Some of this difference is the nature of the stakes, but it might also have to do with the fact that the Obama administration has taken pains to present Russia's actions in a broader context and get other countries to see them as such.
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