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Despite being misdefined by proponents and detractors alike, a new détente with Russia offers a way out of a political and military stalemate in the Ukraine crisis.
Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, critics say postcommunist reforms have failed. But the evidence says otherwise. Transition states in Europe and Eurasia have become normal countries -- no worse, and sometimes better, than other states at comparable levels of development.
Xi Jinping’s reforms are designed to produce a corruption-free, politically cohesive, and economically powerful one-party state with global reach: a Singapore on steroids. But there is no guarantee the reforms will be as transformative as the Chinese leader hopes.
With U.S. hegemony waning and no successor waiting to pick up the baton, the current international system will likely give way to a larger number of power centers acting with increasing autonomy. The post–Cold War order is unraveling, and it will be missed.
Conventional wisdom in the West blames the Ukraine crisis on Russian aggression. But this account is wrong: Washington and its European allies actually share most of the responsibility, having spent decades pushing east into Russia’s natural sphere of interest.
Washington’s current efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria will not break the stalemate. The only way to restore peace without committing U.S. troops is to build a new Syrian army capable of defeating both the Assad regime and the extremists.
Moscow has long argued that in expanding NATO eastward, Washington broke the promise it made to Soviet leaders shortly after the Berlin wall fell. But new evidence shows that the United States never actually made such a pledge.
Most economists agree that the global economy is stagnating and that governments need to stimulate growth, but lowering interest rates still further could spur a damaging cycle of booms and busts. Instead, central banks should hand consumers cash directly.
Global investors usually focus on economic data such as GDP growth, employment, and trade. But in today’s trying economic climate, they have started to train their gaze elsewhere: on national political leadership and the prospects for reform.
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