Central to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calculations as he weighed the invasion of Ukraine was a belief that he would encounter an enfeebled and divided West. It was a reasonable expectation given political developments in those countries in recent months and the seeming discord that surfaced among them as they studied his preparations. He was wrong, however.

The West, and virtually the entire world, has united to oppose the invasion of Ukraine. While many leaders deserve credit for helping to forge this coalition, a good deal of the credit goes to U.S. President Joe Biden, who has demonstrated remarkable acuity in handling this crisis.

He and his team overcame deep fissures in U.S. domestic politics to build that international front, wrong-footed Putin and prevailed in the information war. Biden is laying out the terms for a new era in international relations, one that he believes will be defined by the struggle between democracy and authoritarian governments.