The New World Disorder

After his great victory in Desert Storm, George H.W. Bush went before the United Nations to declare the coming of a New World Order. The Cold War was yesterday. Communism was in its death throes. The Soviet Empire had crumbled. The Soviet Union was disintegrating. Francis Fukuyama was writing of “The End of History.” Savants … Continue reading “The New World Disorder”

Asia’s Mad Arms Race

Asia is currently in the middle of an unprecedented arms race that is not only sharpening tensions in the region but also competing with efforts by Asian countries to address poverty and growing economic disparity. The gap between rich and poor — calculated by the Gini coefficient that measures inequality — has increased from 39 … Continue reading “Asia’s Mad Arms Race”

Energy Wars 2012

Last week, the president made a rare appearance at the Pentagon to unveil a new strategic plan for U.S. military policy (and so spending) over the next decade. Let’s leave the specifics to a future TomDispatch post and focus instead on a historical footnote: Obama was evidently the first president to offer remarks from a … Continue reading “Energy Wars 2012”

The End of America’s Pacific Century

Usually it’s the giant stories that catch your eye. The wars, the uproars, the Arab Spring — the things you can’t miss. But every now and then, news stories about easily overlooked subjects somehow manage to shine the strongest light on a changing world. The Cohn sisters, Claribel and Etta, from a wealthy Baltimore family, … Continue reading “The End of America’s Pacific Century”

What Must We Defend?

“We need to be honest with the president, with the Congress, with the American people” about the consequences of cutting the defense budget, said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in his valedictory policy address to the American Enterprise Institute. “[A] smaller military, no matter how superb, will be able to go fewer places and do … Continue reading “What Must We Defend?”