Air Command And Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base United States
In 1989, political scientist Francis Fukuyama celebrated the victory of liberal-democratic ideology over Soviet Communism by exclaiming an end to history. In his now infamous declaration, Fukuyama contended that the end of the Cold War symbolized not only the end of an era, but also the end of mankinds ideological evolution and the universalization of the Western liberal democracy as the final form of government. Although he argued the world would still see war, Fukuyama claimed that the emergence of a liberal world order rendered conflict conducted by large states a phenomenon of the past. Unfortunately, his predictions did not account for the remnant pangs of realpolitik that characterizes the current relationship between Russia and the West. In just the past few years, Russia has once again emerged as a geopolitical foe to the liberal world order, challenging the norms established after World War II, and then again reaffirmed at the end of the Cold War. The latest conquests in the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine reveal that Russia is no longer willing to play by the rules, requiring liberal institutions like the United Nations UN and North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO to reestablish a semblance of order and stability for the sake of global peace.