NEW YORK – Increasing global interconnection—growing cross-border flows of people, goods, energy, emails, television and radio signals, data, drugs, terrorists, weapons, carbon dioxide, food, dollars, and, of course, viruses (both biological or software)—has been a defining feature of the modern world. The question, though, is whether globalization has peaked – and, if so, whether what follows is to be welcomed or resisted.
NEW YORK – US President Donald Trump has labeled himself a wartime president, and many others around the world are using similar language. It’s a description that raises an obvious question: What does the history and nature of war tell us about fighting a virus?
NEW YORK – After nearly two decades, 2,400 soldiers killed, another 20,000 wounded, and as much as $2 trillion spent, the United States is understandably eager to withdraw from Afghanistan. President Donald Trump wants to be able to claim in advance of the November 2020 election that he fulfilled his campaign promise to end the country’s longest war, and his Democratic challengers share his desire to extricate the US from the conflict.
NEW YORK – The United States emerged from the Cold War some three decades ago possessing a historically unprecedented degree of absolute and relative power. What is baffling, and what will surely leave future historians scratching their heads, is why a series of US presidents decided to devote so much of this power to the Middle East and, indeed, squander so much of America’s might on the region.
NEW YORK – It was August 5, 1990, just days after Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had invaded and conquered all of Kuwait, and US President George H.W. Bush could not have been clearer as he spoke from the South Lawn at the White House: “This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait.” Over the next six months, Bush proved to be a man of his word, as the United States sent a half-million soldiers to the Middle East and led an international coalition that liberated Kuwait.
NEW YORK – Until just a few years ago, it looked as if the problem posed by nuclear weapons had been successfully managed, if not solved. American and Russian nuclear stockpiles had been reduced substantially from their Cold War highs, and arms-control agreements were in place that limited both intermediate- and long-range systems. But all of this now could come undone.
NEW YORK – Nearly everyone has seen the dramatic images of the Amazon ablaze. Tens of thousands of fires—intentionally started or caused by logging, farming, mining, and other human activities—have broken out over the past year alone.
NEW YORK – History at any moment can be understood as a snapshot, telling us where we are, or as a moving picture, telling us not just where we are but where we have been and where we may be headed. It is a distinction with an enormous difference.
NEW YORK – It has been nearly 60 years since the philosopher and historian Thomas Kuhn wrote his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn’s thesis was simple but heretical: Breakthroughs in science occur not through the gradual accumulation of small changes to existing thinking, but rather from the sudden emergence of radical ideas that cause existing models to be replaced with something fundamentally different.