Variation in US responses towards Russian military interventions in Georgia and Ukraine can be understood through the lens of constructivism by highlighting the power and communality of norms.
NATO and Russia have failed to develop institutionalized relations that would bind each side to predictable patterns of behavior. Europe is now locked in a dangerous spiral of security competition. To avoid conflict in the future both sides need to find new ways to make binding work.
Arms control regimes fail when they are needed most. When international tensions run high, governments tend to listen to military advice. This undermines the prospect and stability of arms control.
When confronted by shocking images of gross human rights violations, massacres and massive flows of refugees, many people may shout: ‘something must be done!’ Unfortunately, such tragic images are, on a daily basis, coming out of Syria and northern Iraq…