Russia has invaded Ukraine, thus breaking a post-World War II protocol that had been formed to counter the Nazis whose blitzkrieg invasions of neighboring countries began a World War. Many around the world are fearful that we are in dangerous territory. We are. What is different from the Nazi invasions is that we now have nuclear weapons that can kill millions (perhaps billions) of people.
The economic sanctions gambit seems to be the safest route, but if it bites too hard, Russia will take this as an act of war and may decide to use tactical nuclear weapons against a target not in a defense treaty with the United States, like Mongolia. This would be meant as a warning.
Others are pressing for a cyber-attack. I have argued against such approaches in “Can there be a Just Cyber-War?” Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy 5 (2013): 10-18.
The most logical agency to be spearheading peace efforts is the United Nation’s Security Council. But because Russia is a permanent member, no real action can happen under this umbrella. This needs to change. The veto of Security Council members should be subject to an “override” by two-thirds of the General Assembly. The time for such a change in procedures is now. Situations like this may become more and more prevalent—especially as China views Taiwan and countries receiving “belts and roads” aid.
The time when the United States and NATO were the world’s policemen should end. Our future should belong to the United Nations—and the time is now.