It was a year that put the world to the test. From the invasion of Ukraine to COVID-19 in China, from inflation to climate change, from Sino-American tensions to pivotal elections, 2022 asked hard questions. The ordeal has not only sent the world in a new direction, but also shown it in a new light.
The biggest surprise — and the most welcome — has been the resilience of broadly liberal countries in the West. When Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine on February 24, he expected the government of a corrupt state to buckle. After a humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, the decadent, divided West would surely fail to match condemnation of Russia with real backing for Ukraine.
In fact Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his people affirmed that self-determination and liberty are worth dying for. They became an inspiration. After an upsurge in popular support, Western governments threw their weight behind democracy’s new champion. Led by the Biden administration, the West is providing arms and aid on a scale even hawks had not imagined.