19/03/2022
19 Mar 2022

The Western front

19 Mar 2022

The Western front

Columnists

Columns
James ForsythJames Forsyth
What can save China from Covid?

It is tempting to believe that we have gone from one crisis to another: Russia invaded Ukraine hours after Covid restrictions were lifted in England. Tempting, but wrong. Covid is now manageable because of high levels of immunity from vaccines and prior infection (just look at how our high case rate isn’t leading to calls for the reintroduction of restrictions). But it remains problematic in less highly vaccinated countries, particularly those pursuing a zero-Covid strategy.

What can save China from Covid?
Douglas Murray
The West has rediscovered its purpose

Over recent days I have been reflecting on War and Peace. Or Special Operation and Peace as it must now be known in Russia, unless you want to spend 15 years in prison. And I am reminded once again of how utterly unpredictable war always is. On this occasion almost every-thing that people imagined just a couple of weeks back has been completely inverted. In no particular order the list includes the following. A few weeks ago Vladimir Putin looked like a strongman.

The West has rediscovered its purpose
Matthew Parris
Nobody will forget what Russia has done

At the heart of the West’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sits an ambiguity that it is convenient, perhaps even necessary, for our political leaders to maintain. If we can turn the clock back on Putin’s foolish endeavour – if he can be persuaded to withdraw his troops, disavow Russia’s territorial ambitions and return to the status quo ante – then, with Ukraine again an autonomous and independent country, does the West also return to the status quo ante in our own dealings with Russia? The answer to this question matters enormously, because if we’re holding out to Moscow an opportunity to return to the same footing as in former times, resuming (as it were) normal service, then we can offer a much more attractive reward for its retreat from Ukraine.

Nobody will forget what Russia has done
Lionel Shriver
Why are so few Americans willing to defend their country?

For many of us war voyeurs watching the news with a glass of sherry, admiration of the little-engine-that-could Ukrainian fighters is underwritten by unease. As families escape to safety, plenty of feisty Ukrainians are remaining behind to battle a far more powerful aggressor, and they’re not all men, either. The question nags, then: in the same circumstances, would we stick around to defend our homelands, or would we cut our losses and get out? Earlier this month, that’s precisely what a Quinnipiac poll asked Americans.

Why are so few Americans willing to defend their country?
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