The Philippines Muddies The Waters Of East Asia’s Geopolitics

Rodrigo Duterte, who famously told President Obama to go to hell, is bringing Russian trucks and guns to his country.  But the Americans aren't worried.  According to Reuters: U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim played down any U.S. concerns about Duterte’s outreach to China and Russia and noted that the United States, a former colonial power, was … Continue reading The Philippines Muddies The Waters Of East Asia’s Geopolitics

Why Myanmar Would Gamble On Genocide

The 1961 Swedish documentary Mein Kampf ends with a lingering shot over Auschwitz.  "It must never happen again -- never again," the narrator says grimly, finishing the film.  Whether or not this is the origin of the phrase "never again" is unclear; what is clear is that by the 1960s, the Holocaust had produced a powerful human … Continue reading Why Myanmar Would Gamble On Genocide

Why Taiwan (Still) Could Start World War III

Surely you know already the tripwire: Taiwan is a de facto country but a de jure province of mainland China.  The People's Republic wants to bring it back under mainland China's rule, while the people of Taiwan want exactly the opposite.  Moreover, Taiwan's military security is guaranteed by the United States via the Taiwan Relations Act … Continue reading Why Taiwan (Still) Could Start World War III

How Vietnam Went From American Foe to American Friend

It's easy to hold grudges; it envelopes one in a sense of superiority, a feeling of wronged righteousness, that allows irrational behavior to feel very, very good.  When someone hurts you, it can be wonderful to lord that over them forever. Few wars in American history involve as many hurt feelings as the Vietnam War. … Continue reading How Vietnam Went From American Foe to American Friend

The Dynasty Has Gotten Too Fat: Or, Kim Jong Un’s Gout Is Both Predictable and Potentially Disastrous

One should never take something complicated - like a nation-state of 24.9 million - and reduce its fate to a single personality.  Caesar may be fat, incestuous, and even downright evil, but that does not mean the Empire will fall (and there are plenty of cases where bad leaders still led good states). That being … Continue reading The Dynasty Has Gotten Too Fat: Or, Kim Jong Un’s Gout Is Both Predictable and Potentially Disastrous

China and Russia Draw Closer: Or, America Should Worry, But Not Panic

Mr. Putin must feel pretty good after signing that $400 billion natural gas deal.  With a massive cash infusion such as that over a predictable schedule, Putin's Russia is in much better shape today than ever since the fall of the Soviet Union.  Crimea has been annexed, peacefully; Georgia and Ukraine blocked from both NATO … Continue reading China and Russia Draw Closer: Or, America Should Worry, But Not Panic

A Sum-Up Of Why China, Japan, And The U.S. Are All At One Another In The Pacific

The Pacific is a lot more interesting than it's been in years, thanks to a great game of ship-building, missile-deploying, and defense-procuring all around the Pacific Rim.  More than Europe, the Pacific is in the middle of a geopolitical struggle for security, prosperity, and dominance between three traditional nation-states.  Everybody wants to be happy, but … Continue reading A Sum-Up Of Why China, Japan, And The U.S. Are All At One Another In The Pacific