“Even though the cost of winning the war in Ukraine has been high, as evidenced by President Biden’s request for $24 billion more in Ukraine aid, the cost of losing the war looms even higher.
“In 1991, after the West and USSR had waged the Cold War for a half-century, communist tyranny finally gave way to a new generation of democracies in former Soviet republics. In the 2000s, color revolutions and emerging civil societies brought another wave of democratic reforms. Post-Soviet countries, like Georgia, Ukraine and Armenia, kept climbing up the global freedom rankings.
“This democratic progress, achieved through decades of revolutions and billions of Western aid dollars, now hinges on the outcome of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Both good and bad actors across the region are watching to see if Ukraine’s democratic experiment will prevail, and whether Western support will remain steadfast. Failure to win and liberate Ukrainian territory would boost the fortunes of autocrats everywhere, demonstrating that, given enough time, aggression will be rewarded. In contrast, Ukrainian victory will empower pro-democracy voices all the way from Eastern Europe to the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia. …”Top