However the military operations might unfold in Ukraine, we are on the brink of a world transformed. The post-Cold War security architecture has crumbled. Nobody can with certainty predict the effects, but they will reverberate for decades.

Until this morning, all too many Europeans viewed war as unthinkable and saw themselves as spectators to conflict. Now conflict has come home. As missiles rain on Ukraine, Europe’s leaders have condemned the actions and promised a response.

“We call on Russia to immediately cease its military action and choose diplomacy,” said the secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Jens Stoltenberg.

Yet diplomacy in the form of talks is not an alternative to war. President Putin has also made clear that he is not interested in more talks — and is not interested in the “international order” as the West understands it. He seeks his own kind of order and has waged what could be Europe’s largest conflict since 1989, perhaps 1945, to get it.

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