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How the west lost

After the long stand-off against communism, victory seemed as total as it was sudden. But the west has since fractured and is now losing prestige and influence—does the reversal expose a moral defeat?

By Anatol Lieven   October 2020

New cold war? Chinese soldiers march in Moscow on Victory Day, 24th June this year © PAVEL GOLOVKIN/​POOL/​EPA-EFE/​Shutterstock

As the US prepares to plunge into a new cold war with China in which its chances do not look good, it’s an appropriate time to examine how we went so badly wrong after “victory” in the last Cold War. Looking back 30 years from the grim perspective of 2020, it is a challenge even for those who were adults at the time to remember just how triumphant the west appeared…

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