If the War Party wins in 2016, all bets are off. We will prepare to fight in the Eurasian heartland, the South China Sea, and the resource-rich lands of Africa -- because if we don't fight them there, we'll have to fight them here. Just when it seemed like we were about to give peace a chance, the United States will suddenly revert to a three-war doctrine.
Economic success does not assure peace, but economic failure and disintegration almost assures conflict. It is incumbent on the leaders of the major nations of the world to figure out how to achieve more rapid and sustained economic growth. A commitment to maintain strength, to uphold the international order, is an inherent and deeply-seated part of any successful global system. Great powers can never bluff. When they bluff, when their intentions are uncertain, they are tested. When they are tested, questions arise, and the prospect of conflict mounts.
Everyone remembers the 2008 campaign when, in the exhilaration of Obamania, the advertising slogan "no-drama Obama" had a fair amount of success. This reflected a common misunderstanding of politics, for personalities matter much less than the force field of conflicts between the various powerful sectors in oligarchic democracies.
On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," Alec Ross, former senior adviser for innovation at the State Department, talks about the role of modern technology in achieving diplomatic objectives, empowering citizens around the world, and reconciling Internet freedom with U.S. government surveillance.