Identity Politics With Chinese Characteristics

China, Demographic

Identity Politics With Chinese Characteristics

What is China? The answer is less obvious than it seems. Is the vast territory primarily a country, a civilization, or a political construct? Is it an empire or a nation-state? Is it a region with different languages and cultures or a (mostly) homogeneous people in which the great majority are closely connected by common traditions and ancestors?

For most of the past two millennia, the area known today as China was the center of empires. Some of those empires were large, extending into Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, and the northern Pacific. Others were smaller, containing only parts of present-day China. At times, the area was made up of a number of small states competing for influence, in patterns not unlike what existed in Europe after the fall of Rome. But, in general, empire has been the rule rather than the exception.

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Climate Migration: An Impending Global Challenge

Immigration, Policies

Climate Migration: An Impending Global Challenge

For months, we have watched the crisis at the Mexican border as migrants tried to enter the U.S. In March, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office estimated that there were 171,700 people attempting to cross the border—the highest number in 20 years. About 30 percent were families, of which one third were refused entry under Title 42, a public health statute.

The number of unaccompanied children arriving and being held in custody in U.S. border shelters hit over 5,700 in March. And this week, five unaccompanied girls between the ages of seven and 11 months were found at the Texas-Mexico border. While a migrant surge occurs every year as people come to the U.S. for seasonal work, the record number of children being sent by themselves is likely a sign of desperate conditions back home.

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Why Do We Forget Pandemics?

Policies, Society

Why Do We Forget Pandemics?

Until the Covid-19 pandemic, the catastrophe of the Spanish flu had been dropped from American memory.

The second Moderna shot made me sick—as predicted. A 24-hour touch of what an alarmed immune system feels like left me all the more grateful for my good fortune in avoiding the real thing and for being alive at a time when science had devised a 95 percent effective vaccine in record time.

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Breaking the silence — an intergenerational call for unity and action

Policies, Society

Breaking the silence — an intergenerational call for unity and action

“I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed … without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words — delivered at New York City’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, exactly one year prior to his assassination in 1968 — resonate even more deeply now than when he first spoke them.

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Counter-Terrorism: Rocks Of Doom

Terrorism, Threats

Counter-Terrorism: Rocks Of Doom

In western Iraq (Anbar province), the Syrian border has turned into another contested area where high-tech sensors are very useful detecting hostile border crossers. American and Iraqi forces cooperate to monitor the border and in late 2020 the Americans suggested using hidden night-vision digital cameras that covertly detect anyone crossing at night and can either store images on an SD card or transmit the data to a UAV high overhead which can then use its more powerful sensors to track the border crossers to their destination.

The success of this technique led the Iraqis asking to expand the use of this tech as well as help replacing cameras discovered and removed or destroyed by smugglers, Islamic terrorists or even some civilians looking to make some money.

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Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam

State War, Threats

Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam

Invariably, armies are accused of preparing to fight the previous war. In Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife, Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl—a veteran of both Operation Desert Storm and the current conflict in Iraq—considers the now-crucial question of how armies adapt to changing circumstances during the course of conflicts for which they are initially unprepared.

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The Unconquerable World

Demographic, Diplomacy, Policies, Wild Cards

The Unconquerable World

At times of global crisis, Jonathan Schell’s writings have offered important alternatives to conventional thinking. Now, as conflict escalates around the world, Schell gives us an impassioned, provocative book that points the way out of the unparalleled devastation of the twentieth century toward another, more peaceful path.

Tracing the expansion of violence to its culmination in nuclear stalemate, Schell uncovers a simultaneous but little-noted history of nonviolent action at every level of political life. His investigation ranges from the revolutions of America, France, and Russia, to the people’s wars of China and Vietnam, to the great nonviolent events of modern times-including Gandhi’s independence movement in India and the explosion of civic activity that brought about the surprising collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West

Other Atrocities, Threats

Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West

In a shocking and deeply disturbing tour de force, David Rieff, reporting from the Bosnia war zone and from Western capitals and United Nations headquarters, indicts the West and the United Nations for standing by and doing nothing to stop the genocide of the Bosnian Muslims. Slaughterhouse is the definitive explanation of a war that will be remembered as the greatest failure of Western diplomacy since the 1930s.

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