To philosophers G.W.F. Hegel and George Santayana we owe the conjoined recognitions that we learn from history only that we learn nothing from history; and that where we thus fail to learn from history, we are condemned to repeat it. The foremost historical event now before us is the execrable Russian war on Ukraine: an aftertaste of the Cold War past, a foretaste of what might yet lie ahead in a Cold War revivified.
There are lessons of this ongoing conflict and transform the existent security international system is the first.
The UN Security Council structure is a manifestly dysfunctional apparatus for maintaining international peace and security. Its permanent members are themselves perpetrators of aggression and other forms of irresponsible behavior. Persisting in preserving the existing structure of the UN Security Council, each of its permanent members empowered by veto to block action against even the vilest acts of criminality by any other permanent member, continues to be an insuperable obstacle to lasting international peace and security.
The Security Council format has long been criticized for struggling, or typically failing, to agree on anything that displeases any of its five permanent members. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine only served to put this longstanding issue in much sharper focus.
Since 1945 when the UN was created in the ashes of the Second World War, more than 200 UN Security Council proposals have been vetoed, according to the UN’s records. The resolutions vetoed have included proposals on the Korean War, the Israel-Palestine conflict, climate change, reports on weapons and governance of a part of the Indian Ocean nation of Comoros. The Soviet Union and its successor Russia have used their veto power the most, followed by the US. For more than 40 years, reform of the UN Security Council has been debated but numerous efforts have failed.
So we need to think about measures to create a new security mechanism.
The rule of law has to become a viable force in resolving international disputes and to prevent the war. It must work automatically, not waiting for situation is out of control and aggressor could rich criminal aims. Not only resolute denunciation but prosecution of all violators—heads of state, however powerful, and their military minions—by the International Criminal Court.
Unfortunately, the International Criminal Court—along with the associated concept of universal jurisdiction—is a toothless instrument of power and accountability. The United States and Russia have refused to ratify the Rome Statute. To hold accountable those, in this case Putin and his military consuls, who are demonstrably guilty of the most heinous international crimes—war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression—requires those, the United States above all, to have established their right to exact accountability by relinquishing narrow national prerogatives to the larger global imperatives of rule by law.
Let’s think about a special mechanism of smart or targeted sanctions against an adversary possessed of vital resources. The sanctions shouldn’t take as a preferred alternative to military force or support against aggressor.
Collective action, guided and justified by collective interests subordinate to which, is low for every member of NATO and EU. It is expedient means, that trumps unilateral action for narrow national interests in this day and age.
The factor of personal leadership is now crucial. Leadership on the battlefield. Leadership in helping the active army. Leadership in international relations. Agreed perception management of propaganda is a central defining element of strategy in a postmodern era of contested facts and truth. To recognize the strategic importance of perceptions is to acknowledge the value of messaging, branding, and symbolism in justifying and legitimizing one’s motives and actions, while discrediting and undermining one’s adversaries.
But now, when russin invasion goes on , perhaps for the first time in the history of mankind we are now able to show everyone in the world and for ages that democracies, united, can stop any tyranny, even if at first it seems that it has unlimited resources for aggression. But this can become a reality only if Russia loses on the battlefield in Ukraine.
The price of freedom is extremely high. But still, it has to be incomparably higher for those who gave it up and are trying to return it than for those who protect it with all their might. A new security mechanism has to ensure that war is never again seen by any aggressor as a means of achieving aggressive goals