Ukraine crisis: Understanding the broader picture
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I believe the current standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine is part of a global geopolitical pattern of “great-power” competition. As I explore in my 2022 Outlook, the geopolitical backdrop is becoming increasingly unpredictable and dangerous. This shift is driven primarily by US-China rivalry but also other structural factors such as domestic political polarization, and longer term, the growing impact of climate change on national security. In this new geopolitical reality, I think great powers will be more likely to act out of regional and global self-interest, especially in relation to geostrategic issues they consider core to national security. For Russia, Ukraine is such a critical security consideration and part of its wider strong geostrategic desire for cultivating “buffer states.” Accordingly, the Russian invasion threat to Ukraine is real, structural, and rooted in this emerging world order.