Tag: China

Empire Decline and Costly Delusions

RICHARD D. WOLFF – The last 40 to 50 years of the economic history of the G7 witnessed extreme redistributions of wealth and income upward. Those redistributions functioned as both causes and effects of neoliberal globalization. However, domestic reactions (economic and social divisions increasingly hostile and volatile) and foreign reactions (emergence of today’s China and BRICS) are undermining neoliberal globalization and beginning to challenge its accompanying inequalities. U.S. capitalism and its empire cannot yet face its decline amid a changing world. Delusions about retaining or regaining power at the top of society proliferate alongside delusional conspiracy theories and political scapegoating (immigrants, China, Russia) below.

Is North Korea Preparing for War?

MEL GURTOV – Two of America’s most prominent North Korea experts, Robert Carlin and Siegfried Hecker, begin their latest analysis lwith this sentence: “The situation on the Korean Peninsula is more dangerous than it has been at any time since early June 1950.” But US policy on North Korea over the last few decades has changed little.” At the least, the US needs to test Kim’s interest in engagement. Now.

COP28 pledge to triple nuclear energy production: ‘Trumpism enters energy policy’

FRANCOIS DIAZ-MAURIN – Last week, a group of independent energy consultants and analysts released the much-anticipated 2023 edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2023 (WNISR). The report provides a detailed assessment of the status and trends of the international nuclear industry, covering more than 40 countries. Now in its 18th edition, the report is known for its fact-based approach providing details on operation, construction, and decommissioning of the world’s nuclear reactors.

Who Needs Chinese Scientists? America Does

MEL GURTOV – Let’s remember that no one appreciates academic freedom more than visitors from China and other countries under authoritarian rule. When that freedom is violated by harassment and suspicion, word gets back to China very quickly, and the rewards for returning to China, in money and prestige, become tantalizing. 

The Russian Coup That Wasn’t

MEL GURTOV – Tensions between the Russian defense ministry and the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, had been running high for months, mainly because of differences over war strategy and Prigozhin’s accusations of insufficient battlefield support. Last week those tensions reached the boiling point. And now Putin is stuck, a position that the US and NATO can choose either to exploit or, hopefully, to press for peace.

The Tragic U.S. Choice to Prioritize War Over Peacemaking

MEDEA BENJAMIN and NICOLAS J. S. DAVIES – The United States keeps spreading violence and chaos across the world. If we want to stop our rulers from marching us toward nuclear war, climate catastrophe and mass extinction, we had better take off our blinders and start insisting on policies that reflect our best instincts and our common interests, instead of the interests of the warmongers and merchants of death who profit from war.

Why News of Population Decline and Economic Slowdown Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

RICHARD HEINBERG – Sure, the end of economic expansion and population growth is a challenging prospect. But it’s not nearly as daunting as the crisis we are setting up for ourselves if we continue to destroy nature through wasteful consumption and pollution. China’s slowdown is a welcome opportunity for global leaders and policymakers to get our priorities straight and set ourselves on a path of sustainable happiness and well-being.

Offshore Wind Installations Surged Threefold Last Year

MARIA GALLUCCI – Offshore wind power is surging around the world as countries adopt ambitious clean energy policies and as wind equipment costs decline. That growth is expected to explode over the next decade, even as the industry faces supply-chain snags and other headwinds. Those are the main takeaways from two new reports charting the recent progress and future trajectory of global offshore wind development.

Europe Is Sleepwalking Into Another World War

BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – More than 100 years after World War I, Europe’s leaders are sleepwalking toward a new all-out war. In 1914, the European governments believed that the war would last three weeks; it lasted four years and resulted in more than 20 million deaths. The same nonchalance is visible with the war in Ukraine.

What Kind of a Threat Is Russia?

JAMES W. CARDEN – In his latest book, The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency, American political scientist John Mueller demonstrates that since the end of World War II, American policymakers have developed a kind of addiction to threat inflation by “routinely elevating the problematic to the dire… focused on problems, or monsters, that essentially didn’t exist.” And with regard to the American foreign policy establishment’s current twin obsessions, Russia and China, Mueller, ever the iconoclast, counsels complacency.

A ‘Strategic Apocalypse’ in Afghanistan: A Seismic Shift, Years in the Making

ALISTAIR CROOKE – A huge geo-political event has just occurred in Afghanistan: The implosion of a key western strategy for managing what Mackinder, in the 19th century, called the Asian heartland. That it was accomplished, without fighting, and in few days, is almost unprecedented. As a consequence, among other “seismic shifts,” China is more determined to shape the region than many analysts realize.

“Usable Nukes” – Our Government’s Latest Security Fantasy

ROBERT KOEHLER – We must free ourselves from the mindset of militarism, which is perpetuated not merely by politicians and generals but, inexcusably, by much of the media, which compliantly speaks their language. In militaryspeak, civilians may be bombed but they’re never murdered, at least not by us. If we can’t avoid acknowledging their deaths, then they become collateral damage, necessary for “the restoration of strategic stability.”

Again, Washington Jumps to Conclusions over Ukraine-Russia Skirmish

ANATOL LIEVEN – The initial reaction of Biden administration officials to the latest clash between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian militia (or Russian soldiers serving as militia) in eastern Ukraine exemplifies a very dangerous pattern in U.S. and Western behavior: to believe whatever “our” side in a given crisis tells us, automatically, and without checking facts.

A Progressive Agenda for Biden’s Foreign Policy

MEL GURTOV – The predominant direction of a progressive US president should be toward “Making America Safe for the World.” That means focusing on domestic problems rather than on foreign policy crusading, relying on diplomacy before making threats and imposing sanctions, redefining the national interest with an eye toward real friends and urgent issues, and finding common ground with adversaries, starting with China, while remaining faithful to our ideals.

U.S.-China Crisis Looms in the South China Sea

MEL GURTOV – The long-running, multi-party dispute over control of islets in the South China Sea (SCS) is worsening both in rhetoric and provocative activity. Meeting in late May at the Shangri-La Dialogue on regional security, U.S. and Chinese defense officials sparred over responsibility for the increased tension, though they stopped short of issuing threats. In fact, all sides to the dispute say they want to avoid violence, prefer a diplomatic resolution, and support freedom of navigation.

China-U.S. Strategic Nuclear Stability: The Chinese View

CHARLES D. FERGUSON – “To destroy the other, you have to destroy part of yourself. To deter the other, you have to deter yourself,” according to a Chinese nuclear strategy expert. During the week of February 9th, I had the privilege to travel to China where I heard this statement during the Ninth China-U.S. Dialogue on Strategic Nuclear Dynamics in Beijing. The Dialogue was jointly convened by the China Foundation for International Strategic Studies (CFISS) and the Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). While the statements by participants were not-for-attribution, I can state that the person quoted is a senior official with extensive experience in China’s strategic nuclear planning.

How Hawkish Are Americans?

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In the midst of a nationwide election campaign in which many politicians trumpet their support for the buildup and employment of U.S. military power around the world, the American public’s disagreement with such measures is quite remarkable. Indeed, many signs point to the fact that most Americans want to avoid new wars, reduce military spending, and support international cooperation.

Obama Touts Transparency but Negotiates Secret Trade Deal

LORI WALLACH – On Sept. 6, as President Barack Obama promised jobs and transparency in his Democratic National Convention acceptance speech, his top trade officials were cloistered in conditions of extreme secrecy at the Lansdowne resort in Leesburg, Va., negotiating a massive “trade” agreement that will promote more U.S. job offshoring and ban Buy American procurement preferences.

Nun Breaches Security at N-Weapon Site

ANNIE SNIDER – Armed only with flashlights and bolt cutters, Sister Megan Gillespie Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed broke through three fences and painted pacifist slogans on the Y-12 National Security Complex at Oak Ridge, Tenn., before voluntarily surrendering to a guard who had not even seen them, according to a report from the Department of Energy’s inspector general last month.

Durban Deal Will Not Avert Catastrophic Climate Change, Say Scientists

FIONA HARVEY – Scientists and environmental groups warned that urgent action was still needed to rescue the world from climate change, despite the deal sealed on Sunday morning in Durban after two weeks of talks. Andy Atkins, executive director of Friends of the Earth, said: “This empty shell of a plan leaves the planet hurtling towards catastrophic climate change.