For Europe...this is a sobering moment. It marks the end of the post-Cold-War vision of a united European community stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals in which armed forces would no longer play any role in the relations between states. One should not mock that vision because it has been so successfully achieved over so much of Europe. But one can criticise the Europeans for so unrealistically assuming that Russia would easily sign up to it.
Now that Moscow has made it so clear that it hasn't signed up, the Europeans will have to start thinking strategically again about how they deal with Russia. So, two stark questions remain: where to draw the line beyond which they will not allow Russia to use force to build its influence, and how to make sure that line is never crossed.
Meanwhile, Peter Beinart says America can't afford to rescue Ukraine:
Whenever the United States debates using its money to buttress democracy and Western influence in a strategically important part of the world, commentators offer comparisons with the Marshall Plan that America offered Europe after World War II. But in today’s dollars, according to one estimate, the Marshall Plan would total roughly $740 billion. That kind of money would certainly enable far-reaching economic reforms in Ukraine, and likely anchor the country in the West for years to come. But, of course, the suggestion is absurd. Today’s Senate can barely pass an aid package 740 times as small.
We’re long past the era when America and its allies can spend vast sums to promote Western ideals and interests around the world. Except, of course, in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the U.S. is on pace to spend the equivalent of eight or nine Marshall Plans.