The Cold War’s Lessons for U.S.-China Diplomacy

Diplomacy, Policies

The Cold War’s Lessons for U.S.-China Diplomacy

In 1948, President Harry Truman’s diplomats approached representatives of Joseph Stalin with an offer to discuss the many issues dividing the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The Soviet dictator responded with a simple “ha ha,” and 40 years of Cold War ensued.

That episode seemed newly resonant earlier this month, when a meeting between American and Chinese officials in Alaska turned into a televised airing of grievances. This tussle in the tundra signaled that there will be no “reset” between Washington and Beijing; a period of high-tempo competition is upon us. But Cold War history shows that diplomacy can still play a critical role, if U.S. officials view negotiation as a tool of competition rather than a replacement for it.

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Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class — And What We Can Do About It

State War, Threats

Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class — And What We Can Do About It

Our founding fathers worked hard to ensure that a small group of wealthy people would never dominate this country—they’d had enough of aristocracy. They put government to work to ensure a thriving middle class.

When the middle class took a hit, beginning in the post-Civil War Gilded Age and culminating in the Great Depression, democracy-loving leaders like Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower revitalized it through initiatives like antitrust regulations, fair labor laws, the minimum wage, Social Security, and Medicare.

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Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (American Empire Project)

Policies, Security

Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (American Empire Project)

In his pathbreaking Resource Wars, world security expert Michael Klare alerted us to the role of resources in conflicts in the post-cold-war world. Now, in Blood and Oil, he concentrates on a single precious commodity, petroleum, while issuing a warning to the United States―its most powerful, and most dependent, global consumer.

Since September 11 and the commencement of the “war on terror,” the world’s attention has been focused on the relationship between U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the oceans of crude oil that lie beneath the region’s soil. Klare traces oil’s impact on international affairs since World War II, revealing its influence on the Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Carter doctrines. He shows how America’s own wells are drying up as our demand increases; by 2010 the United States will need to import 60 percent of its oil. And since most of this supply will have to come from chronically unstable, often violently anti-American zones―the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, Latin America, and Africa―our dependency is bound to lead to recurrent military involvement.

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Blood and Oil (American Empire Project)

Energy, Policies

Blood and Oil (American Empire Project)

In his pathbreaking Resource Wars, world security expert Michael Klare alerted us to the role of resources in conflicts in the post-cold-war world. Now, in Blood and Oil, he concentrates on a single precious commodity, petroleum, while issuing a warning to the United States―its most powerful, and most dependent, global consumer.

Since September 11 and the commencement of the “war on terror,” the world’s attention has been focused on the relationship between U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the oceans of crude oil that lie beneath the region’s soil

Read More