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Max Hastings

What the War in Ukraine Tells Us About Deterring China

Putin invaded because he thought the West would back down, so it’s vital to make sure Beijing knows it would pay a huge price for its aggression.



Photographer: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

The war in Ukraine is a year old this month, and only those who believe in Santa Claus will bet on its ending by this date in 2024. It represents one of the most terrible tragedies to befall Europe, and indeed the world, since 1945.

What follows, however, is not a reflection on the conflict itself, but on two closely related issues: Could Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion have been prevented? And what steps can the West take to deter other aggressors from similar courses, most notably China toward Taiwan?