When one looks for a “full spectrum” contest between the United States (the lone superpower) and China (its “peer competitor”), cyberspace stands out as a place where that competition is gathering momentum. The Pentagon has accused Chinese hackers of breaking into the DOD computer system. Now, we are hearing about a new round of cyber attacks in Britain and 103 other countries, including NATO members. The alleged source of the attacks is the PRC. Needless to say, Beijing is describing those allegations as “baseless.” What is interesting is that the nature of the activities in cyberspace may not be described by the use of the phrase “competition” alone. It also has the making of a non-kinetic war (kinetic space warfare is excluded from this analysis), with winners and losers.
Continue reading “Managing the Potential Chaos in Cyberspace”
MAY BE DECLINING, BUT STILL THE UBERPOWER
Regardless of whether you are among those who are baffled about the economic problems that continue to ail the U.S. with no end in sight, or among those who are cheering the noisy fall of the mightiest among nations, here is one of the most cogent explanations that Nathan Gardels provides in the Fall 2008 issue of the New Perspectives Quarterly about the grim situation that the lone uberpower faces. He writes:
In the space of a few short months, we have morphed from the citadel of free-market capitalism and freewheeling consumerism — from a land of high-flying hedge funds, Hummers and homes that doubled as ATMs — to a system in which the banks, insurance companies, mortgage industry and auto manufacturers are quasi-socialized
Continue reading “Tidibits and Morsels (4)”
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, RESTART THE BARMY ARMS RACE!
The Cold War in its old form disappeared when the Soviet Union imploded. But the U.S.-Russian competition did not. The United States continued a strange policy of expanding the NATO membership and bringing that Alliance all the way to the Russian borders, despite strong and continued protestations from Mosow. It was highly irrational on the part of the United States to think that Russia should only listen to its rhetoric–which went along the lines that “we are no longer adversaries”–and totally ignore its near obsession with the NATO enlargement.
Continue reading “Tidibits and Morsels (3)”
Assuming that General David Petraeus, the new Combat Commander of CENTO, was victorious over al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), the question of the hour is whether he can replicate that success in Afghanistan. However, before answering that question, it should be clearly understood that, despite a marked reduction in violence in the Sunni-dominated region of Iraq, no one can state with any amount of certainty that the United States has really won its campaign against AQI-dominated terror.
Continue reading “A War Looking for A Winning Strategy”
The Bush administration has thus far failed to resolve the nuclear conflict with two so-called “rogue states”–Iran and North Korea. In the final three months of his tenure, George W. Bush is making last-ditch deals with Russia and China to put pressure on Tehran and Pyongyang, respectively. The focus of those deals is to persuade North Korea, through China, to unravel its nuclear weapons program and dismantle its nuclear weapons. Though the Six-Party Talks–involving the U.S., China, South and North Korea, Russia and Japan–have been helpful, they have not succeeded in extracting a political solution to the conflict. In the case of Iran, Washington is persuading Russia to cooperate in passing tough U.N. sanctions unless Iran agrees to abandon its nuclear program. Even though Iran has been insisting that it has no aspirations to develop nuclear weapons, the Bush administration continues to pooh-pooh that explanation and states that Iran’s real intentions are to do just that.
Continue reading “Last Call: Denuclearizing Iran and North Korea”
If the United States is the declining hegemon, then who will replace it? Are we entering an era when another global hegemon will replace the U.S., or will we witness the emergence of power blocs? There are two schools of thought in the West on this issue. The first school of thought suggests that the alternative is the emerging alliance of autocracies–China, Russia, and the oil states–that will challenge the hegemony of the lone superpower. American neocons, who represent the second school of thought, suggest an alliance of democracies is evolving as a countervailing force to the aforementioned bloc. These debates are interesting and thought provoking. But how relevant are they in reflecting the emerging global realignment of power?
Continue reading “Adieu Hegemon; Hello Power Blocs!”
One of the hottest topics of discussion in the United States strategic community is that the neo-conservatives have launched a campaign of “redemption”. For now, the person most active is Douglas Feith, who served as under secretary of defense for policy under former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Feith has written a book, War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism, and is using the opportunity of its promotion to push the neo-con line. He even appeared on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show , one of the US’s most popular shows that specializes in spoofing daily news.
Continue reading “Neo-Con Rudux?”