Russia acts like any other super power

Boston Globe: ‘Russia acts like any other superpower’

IN THE idealized world, borders are sacrosanct, and all countries are fully independent. The global system does not really work that way. Big powers always try to subdue their weaker neighbors. They seek a sphere of influence — a ring of buffer states that need not be vassals but must, in the end, accept the […]

Boston Globe: ‘Strength at home is strength abroad’

THE ARC of American history is short and, in one important way, deceptive. It suggests that the United States will keep growing and progressing forever — that it will alwas dominate the world as it does today. None of this is pre-ordained, however. The rise and fall of nations is one of the immutable patterns […]

Boston Globe: ‘On CIA abuses, denial does Americans no favors’

BECAUSE I’M a wonderful guy, I don’t like people suggesting that I’ve ever done anything wrong. Countries are the same way. Yet if we frankly acknowledge our mistakes, we may avoid repeating them. But this can be painful. It feels better to gloss over unpleasant aspects of our history and pretend that we are either […]

Boston Globe: 'US, Iran share a common enemy: Heroin'

Boston Globe: ‘US, Iran share a common enemy: Heroin’

ACCORDING TO a principle of traditional geopolitics, countries should seek to help their friends and hurt their enemies. This sounds logical. It can also help assure, however, that enemies remain enemies. Sometimes it can lead countries to ignore their own interests as they seek to harm others. Decisions about whether a particular country qualifies as a […]

Boston Globe: 'Compassion does not necessitate intervention'

Boston Globe: ‘Compassion does not necessitate intervention’

Violent upheaval is now afflicting countries in almost every part of the world. Americans are eager to do whatever we can to help calm these crises. After a century of global power, this impulse is embedded in our national psyche. Americans are instinctively compassionate. We hate the thought that people are suffering anywhere. Our leaders […]