The Misadventures of Tariff Man

Trump has two tools at his disposal as president. The first is his mouth: the insults and threats that he issues verbally or by Twitter. The second is the tariff. Trump has imposed trade restrictions left and right, on allies and adversaries, for economic and political reasons, as part of a long-term offensive and out of short-term pique. If Trump could use tariffs even more indiscriminately, no...
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The Psychology of the Wall

Geopolitics, like thermodynamics, has its laws of conservation. If a wall comes down in one place, you can bet that it will go up somewhere else. It wasn’t long after the Berlin Wall fell that different kinds of walls went up in Eastern Europe. New borders separated the Czech Republic from Slovakia, and then, after much bloodshed, the new successor states of former Yugoslavia. By the end of the...
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It’s a Borderful World

Nation-states: what a quaint notion. As a means of organizing territory, they seem to be a brief transition period between large empires and an even larger, borderless world. Sure, nation-states might live on in the form of anthems and flags and independence days, but the idea of fixed borders just doesn’t make sense in a world of cell phones, the Internet, and global assembly lines. Borders...
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The Flight 93 Doctrine

As presidencies approach their midpoints, pundits begin the inevitable search for that elusive creature: the doctrine. It’s often a quixotic quest, since presidents rarely boil down their foreign-policy visions — if they even have them — to some pithy essence. Then there’s Donald Trump. Conjuring up the current president’s foreign-policy doctrine is like arguing that the Teletubbies...
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Dear White People

In 2012, Roseanne Barr ran for president. The actress/comedian received the nomination of California’s feminist-socialist Peace and Freedom Party. She chose Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist, as her running mate. Barr took strong positions on environmental sustainability. She wanted the United States to withdrawfrom Iraq and Afghanistan, and she opposed any war with Iran....
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