Moscow’s conquest of south-eastern ukraine broke not only the postwar consensus on borders, but the peace of Westphalia that made states accountable for the factions inside their borders. To some degree this may help Europeans, and westerners, understand that their definition of war includes the assumption that wars are conducted by states against states rather than by factions within states against states or factions within other states – and that like the high trust society they live in, and the rule of law they live under, or the democracy that they practice, is just another European idiosyncrasy – an artifact of history that like trust, law, democracy, can readily convert to human norms of low trust, corruption, and totalitariansm.

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