Putin’s spectacularly counterproductive war seems unlikely to augur a new era of interstate war

John Mueller at The Cato Institute:

Some analysts now fear that the long decline of interstate war may be about to reverse. In an article for The Economist published shortly before the Russian invasion, the Israeli writer Yuval Noah Harari declared the decline in international war to be “the greatest political and moral achievement of modern civilization.” But he also worried that a war in Ukraine could bring about “a return to the law of the jungle.” In an essay published in May in Foreign Affairs, the political scientist Tanisha Fazal expressed concern that Putin’s war could result in “an increase in not only the incidence but also the brutality of war.”

But five months into the current phase of the war in Ukraine, it seems more likely that Putin’s venture will reinforce and revitalize the aversion to and disdain for international war. The key objective is not so much about winning as making sure that the country that started the war is far worse off than if it had not done so. That has already been substantially achieved.

More here.