Welcome to the Decade of Concern

We’re looking at that big bow wave and wondering how the heck we’re going to pay for it, and probably thanking our stars we won’t be here to have to answer the question. β€” Brian McKeon, Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy [2016]    The most dangerous concern is [the use] of military force against […]

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Notes From All Over (9/10/18): Constitutional Cycles, Cognitive Gadgets, and the Uses of Repression

TOP BILLING “The Recent Unpleasantness: Understanding the Cycles of Constitutional Time”Jack M. Balkin, Public Law Research Paper No. 648. 8 August 2018. (Indiana Law Journal, 2018 Forthcoming). Our present condition is a little like an eclipse, although much less enjoyable. To understand what is going on today in America, we have to think in terms […]

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Taiwan Will Be Defended by the Bullet, or Not at All

Image Source “The ultimate determinant in war is a man on the scene with a gun.” β€”J.C. Wylie, Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control Some excellent comments were written in response to last week’s post “Taiwan’s Past Matters Less Than Taiwan’s Present.” Two of these comments were particularly excellent, and I am saddened to […]

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Notes From All Over 04/08/2018 (WEIRD Catholics, Chinese Intimidation Tactics, and Human Genetics)

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit. TOP BILLING “The Origins of WEIRD Psychology”Jonathan Schulz, Duman Barahmi-Rad, Jonathan Beauchamp, and Joseph Henrich. PsyArXiv. 2 July 2018. Recent research not only confirms the existence of substantial psychological variation around the globe but also highlights the peculiarity of populations that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, […]

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Do Mil-Mil Exchanges With the Chinese Do More Harm than Good?

The PLAN destroyer Xi’an berths in Pearl Harbor to take part in the June 2016 RIMPAC exercises.Original Source. Near the beginning of Ian Easton’s excellent new book, which I shall be reviewing for another publication, is an interesting story. It is commonly claimed that increased contact (or β€œexchange”) between those under Party employ and those serving […]

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Leveraging Indian Power The Right Way

Image source. Now that the affair in Doklam has come to a close, analysts of various stripes are trying to make sense of what happened and what lessons can be learned from the episode. One of the smartest of these write ups was written by Oriana Skylar Mastro and Arzan Tarapore for War on the […]

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Costly Signaling in the South China Sea

This will be my final post in the “China Does Not Want Your Rules Based Order” series. You can read the original post that started the conversation here and the first follow up discussion here. In this post I will focus on a comment left back on the original essay by Andrew Chubb. Chubb is […]

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Arms and Influence… and China

Last week’s post “China Does Not Want Your Rules Based Order” created a stir. Many who read it were inspired to write up their own view in response; some of these have been posted in the comments thread to the original post, others on Twitter, and yet others have been sent to me in more […]

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