World map showing the two blocs during the Cold War in 1959

Polarities We Have Known

Above: A world map showing the two blocs during the Cold War in 1959. In political terms, a “pole” is a center of power, expressed in the familiar terms of national strength, military, diplomatic, economic, sociology, stability, leadership, determination, etc. There are three, and only three, ways in which to examine world politics through “poles”:…

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Belarus Opposition Churning

Have you heard this one from America’s leading post-Soviet expert and my colleague Paul Goble? “Elections in Belarus are like the Rocky films: with each new one, the main hero gets a little older but he still defeats everyone.” But Minsk ain’t Hollywood. Many people have had enough of sequels. There is a counter-revolution churning…

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The geopolitical transformation of the Middle East

Two distinct blocs are being formed, innately hostile to each other and with the potential at any time to break out into armed action.  After the dramatic announcement of the intention on the part of the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations with Israel, which has given rise to extensive and mostly positive commentary in…

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Kipling is Back: Neo-colonialism in Modern America

Flunking History While it is fashionable in the modern United States to disparage any and all recall of history, it is equally possible that, without knowing it, modern Americans are simply bringing forgotten history back to life. This is particularly so in left-wing ideological circles, much of academia, the media, and the “politically correct” culture.…

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Map of SEATO Member Countries

Reviving SEATO

While the North Atlantic Treaty (NAT0) is alive and well after seventy years, now with thirty members, SEATO has long-since been forgotten. As a distant “cousin” of NATO, SEATO (Southeast Asian Treaty Organization) was intended to provide the same rationale in Asia as NATO did in western Europe, i.e. to provide a collective defense against…

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Reject ‘No First Use’ Nuclear Policy

There is an activist effort among nuclear idealists to mobilize public opinion and urge elected officials to pledge to support a policy of “no first use” (NFU). Put simply, an American president who would adopt a policy of NFU would be declaring that the United States will never be the first country to use a nuclear…

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Mike Pompeo and the Beast From the East

When U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled for an official visit to Poland a week ago, the Poles were celebrating a centennial of their victory over the Soviet Union. Pompeo probably did know that there was a strong American connection, even a Hollywood one. In 1933 Merian C. Cooper produced his smash hit King…

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Bowles' new pocket map of the world

Utopian Thoughts

Realities In a world that remains in political “anarchy,” 6,000 years later, one might think that a truly global organization might arise to supervise the lurid activities of the membership. Not so. After thousands of years with incessant warfare, alliances that come and go eternally, spying, rivalry, sustained suspicion, “sovereignty,” “territoriality,” we might, at last,…

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Hezbollah’s dilemma

With its grip on Lebanon suddenly in doubt, Hezbollah will have to think more than twice before launching an assault on Israel. The gigantic series of explosions which destroyed the port of Beirut and severely damaged much of the rest of the city has, of course, been extensively commented upon. I don’t presume to know…

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International flags

World Without Order: What Else Is New?

When nation-states behave as “nation-states,” that is, since time began, the American media and public react in horror. Like, “this is unheard of,” or “how dare they.” It might help to open a book. What they “Do” The Russians are “meddling,” there is “collusion” between Putin and Trump, they seem to get along, Trump is…

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