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Pankaj Mishra

The West Is Getting In Too Deep in Ukraine

The drive to defeat Vladimir Putin is taking on a dangerous and heedless momentum all its own, just like Iraq.

German tanks are heading east again. 

German tanks are heading east again. 

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A treacherous new era in global politics has begun with fresh and dramatic military commitments by Europe and the United States to Ukraine. We should recognize its dangers quickly, without self-deception or euphemism.

Despite almost a year of harsh economic sanctions, and even severe setbacks on the battlefield, Russia appears no readier to negotiate an end to the war. Rather, it has responded by mobilizing additional troops and battering Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. Russian President Vladimir Putin is only likely to escalate further, and more viciously, in response to the West’s decision to send battle tanks to Ukraine.