The Five Maps That Show The Challenges To China’s New Silk Road

It's the geopolitical dream of every Third Way thinker since Mao: a non-European superpower finally taking the rug out from the dastardly Western imperialists. From Reuters: Xi said China's Belt and Road plan would be open to all. He said deep-seated problems in global development had yet to be addressed effectively, with international trade and … Continue reading The Five Maps That Show The Challenges To China’s New Silk Road

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

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

And Now, A Break To North Korea

Just when you thought it was safe to ignore the mad Stalinists of Asia...DUN DUN DUN!  Executions!  Purges!  Is North Korea dying?  (No it's not!)  Let's time travel to 1960 and pretend that the internal wranglings in Pyongyang could suck us into World War III! Of course, it's not all fun and games for those … Continue reading And Now, A Break To North Korea

China’s New Air Defense Zone (And How It All Fits Into a Pattern)

To sum up the events of the past few days: China declared an air defense zone that overlaps Japan's as well as South Korea's.  The United States flew a B-52 through it, just to show that it could.  The Chinese were muted in response, but analysts all over are worried about escalation.  Someone dumb could … Continue reading China’s New Air Defense Zone (And How It All Fits Into a Pattern)

Trying to Guess the Next Twenty Years

It's fun to predict, even when we're wrong.  So let's predict away!  There's a very real chance of being wrong on specifics, so I'm not about to say "Russia will invade Mexico to secure an orb of power from time-travelers" or anything like that.  But it is possible to use geopolitical principles to guess major trends. … Continue reading Trying to Guess the Next Twenty Years

Get Ready for an Angry China

Once upon a time, a lot of people were panicking that the Soviet economy was going to outgrow the American one.  It didn't.  It didn't for three reasons: the Soviet model was terrible and encouraged inefficiency, the Soviets were tied down by numerous expensive military commitments all over the world, and Soviet geography made industrialization … Continue reading Get Ready for an Angry China