Dear New Silk Road Fellow Travelers,

I wanted to share with you a piece I wrote more than a month ago on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its worldwide implications.

You can find the full article over at Emerging World, my Substack newsletter.

Here is an excerpt below:

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine set off a bomb in our global order. The question on all of our minds is: Where is all of this headed?

First and foremost, there is the tragic human toll in Ukraine. Bucha. Mariupol. Kyiv. Cities little known to most of the world have now become symbols of war crimes, tragedy, and courage.

Beyond this immediate human impact, there is the feel of tectonic plates crunching, of certainties crumbling, of history spinning a new web that will entangle us all.

That old, pithy quote from Lenin is back, making its way through Twitter and chat rooms: “sometimes decades pass, and nothing happens. Then, weeks pass, and decades happen.”

I remember seeing that quote trotted out during another seemingly historic moment – the Arab Uprisings of 2010-11. But this is obviously different. This feels 19th century – land grabs and diplomats huddling and soldiers marching through the cold. But, of course, this is the 21st century, so the tools of our era — from ballistic missiles to drones to social media to sanctions — are also shaping the outcome.

What to make of these “decades” happening over the past two weeks? Of Putin’s gamble? Of Putin himself? After all, this was a leader, the pundits told us, who may be brutal, but he was ‘savvy’ and ‘clever,’ the sort who may set a fire (ask the citizens of Aleppo of Putin’s fire), but not get singed. He is certainly feeling the heat now — even as his forces continue to rain fire on Ukraine.

How long can this last? Where will this end? Will the conflict metastasize? This leads to the ultimate question: are we on the verge of World War III? These are questions almost impossible to answer, so I will not, dear reader, abuse your attention with my idle speculation. Not only is there fog in war, but there is fog in the minds of key leaders who, ultimately, will drive this war.

For the full article, go here

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