The problem with America’s foreign policy, exemplified by its failures in Afghanistan, is that the idea of limited government does not extend to foreign policymaking. The constitutional restrictions on executive authority in domestic affairs prevent the concentration of power in the hands of the federal government, which is bound to create room for abuse and misdirected decisions—but this is not the case in foreign policy.
Paradoxically, complete control of information space does not necessarily translate into effective governance. In dictatorships—and totalitarian regimes in general—there is a significant discrepancy between the regime’s understanding of reality and the actual state of affairs because the transmission of information from local authorities to the center is highly inefficient. State-sponsored disinformation cannot wholly overcome the knowledge problem—lack of awareness of the circumstances shaping social processes—because the transmission and analysis of information in centralized societies are problematic, even if public opinion and human actions are shaped and controlled by the government.
The United States stood behind the establishment of the Bretton Woods system in the wake of World War II in order to avoid “beggar-thy-neighbor” protectionist policies that worsened the Great Depression and paved the way for World War II. The scale of the global economic downturn caused by the novel coronavirus is, in many ways, reminiscent of the Great Depression, and Washington must lead the world in renewing the global economic and financial system to avert a potentially destructive unraveling of the contemporary global order.
There is little doubt that these recent advances will accelerate Israel’s rapprochement with other Arab states, promote peace and prosperity in the region over time, and, importantly, will upset Iran’s plans for the dominance in the region.
In our increasingly interdependent word, we cannot afford to condone what is going in other regions of the world. We have global pandemics, a globalized economy and common threats to world security and stability. Therefore, Washington should lead the free world in containing China and defending the interests of open societies—and to that end, the G10 alliance is a crucial first step.
The future of worldwide peace is unsettling; nevertheless, just as we managed to overcome so many threats in the past, provided that we undertake necessary measures, there is a good chance that the idea of perpetual peace will become actualized.
The coronavirus crisis has been a grave test of the CCP’s leadership. So far, Beijing has managed to overcome the challenge. Will this remain the case in the future? This is far from guaranteed.
Though the dollar’s dominance provides a powerful political leverage, it comes at a high economic cost: chronic trade deficits and rising debt. Until recently, Washington, in part because it supported economic development of China, Japan, and Europe, preferred to enjoy political advantages at the expense of the economic costs to the dollar. However, with the debt soaring and endangering U.S. prosperity, and China seeking to displace America’s global predominance, it is becoming critical for Washington to shift their focus from politics to economics—and curtail the dollar’s supremacy.
An excessively aggressive use of power leads to its long-term reduction – or what I call the paradox of power. Sticks alone will never work; policymakers and politicians should strive to achieve an elusive balance between carrots and sticks, metis and bie, cunning and force.
Instead of relying solely on economic pressure, Washington should employ all available tools of effective statecraft, including collective diplomacy, intermediation through allies, and public messaging.
Data is the only stable entity in our increasingly shaky and politicized environment defined by irrational fears instilled by media. Analyzing data, objective, impartial, (usually) not prone to manipulation is key to better understand our increasingly complex world.