Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a year ago today, set off a cascade of global repercussions for energy, economics, geopolitics and the role of American leadership. More than 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed or wounded. Millions more have fled their homes. The war also united the West, recast global energy trade and exposed the limits of U.S. military manufacturing.
It resurrected the Western alliance
Around 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron declared the North Atlantic Treaty Organization brain dead and President Donald Trump threatened to quit. Most member nations had ignored their commitments to boost spending and rebuild militaries, even after Russia’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. The invasion of Ukraine last year brought the alliance to life. NATO members have pledged, and begun following through, with billions of dollars worth of military spending. NATO operations along its eastern edge have ballooned and its plans for action-ready forces have expanded 10-fold. Western Europe’s two biggest nonaligned countries, Finland and Sweden, have applied for membership, uniting most of Europe’s wealthiest countries in opposition to Moscow. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia look to join next.