Articles by: Alfred W McCoy

The Geopolitics of the Ukraine War

The Geopolitics of the Ukraine War

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping in the Struggle over Eurasia Just as the relentless grinding of the earth’s tectonic plates produces earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, so the endless superpower struggle for dominance over Eurasia is fraught with tensions and armed conflict. Beneath the visible outbreak of war in Ukraine and the U.S.-Chinese naval standoff in the South China Sea, there[Read More…]

by 11/03/2022 1 comment World
A Planet on the Brink

A Planet on the Brink

Consider us at the edge of the sort of epochal change not seen for centuries, even millennia. By the middle of this century, we will be living under such radically altered circumstances that the present decade, the 2020s, will undoubtedly seem like another era entirely, akin perhaps to the Middle Ages. And I’m not talking about the future development of[Read More…]

by 25/02/2022 Comments are Disabled World
An Epochal Decline in American Global Power

An Epochal Decline in American Global Power

Throughout 2021, Americans were absorbed in arguments over mask mandates, school closings, and the meaning of the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Meanwhile, geopolitical hot spots were erupting across Eurasia, forming a veritable ring of fire around that vast land mass. Let’s circle that continent to visit just a few of those flashpoints, each one suffused with significance for[Read More…]

by 17/01/2022 2 comments World
Climate Crisis at the Top of the World – Global Orders and Catastrophic Change

Climate Crisis at the Top of the World – Global Orders and Catastrophic Change

When midnight strikes on New Year’s Day of 2050, there will be little cause for celebration. There will, of course, be the usual toasts with fine wines in the climate-controlled compounds of the wealthy few. But for most of humanity, it’ll just be another day of adversity bordering on misery — a desperate struggle to find food, water, shelter, and safety. In[Read More…]

by 16/12/2021 Comments are Disabled Climate Change
Washington’s World Order and Catastrophic Climate Change

Washington’s World Order and Catastrophic Climate Change

When the leaders of more than 100 nations gathered in Glasgow for the U.N. climate conference last week, there was much discussion about the disastrous effect of climate change on the global environment. There was, however, little awareness of its likely political impact on the current world order that made such an international gathering possible. World orders are deeply rooted global systems[Read More…]

by 18/11/2021 Comments are Disabled World
An American Coup, A Recurring Nightmare?

An American Coup, A Recurring Nightmare?

As an eyewitness, I can recall the events of January 6th in Washington as if they were yesterday. The crowds of angry loyalists storming the building while overwhelmed security guards gave way. The slavishly loyal vice-president who would, the president hoped, restore him to power. The crush of media that seemed confused, almost overwhelmed, by the crowd’s fury. The waiter[Read More…]

by 26/10/2021 Comments are Disabled World
The Winner in Afghanistan: China

The Winner in Afghanistan: China

A Debacle Marks the Decline of Washington’s World Leadership The collapse of the American project in Afghanistan may fade fast from the news here, but don’t be fooled. It couldn’t be more significant in ways few in this country can even begin to grasp. “Remember, this is not Saigon,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a television audience on August 15th, the[Read More…]

by 13/09/2021 Comments are Disabled World
America’s Drug Wars – Fifty Years of Reinforcing Racism

America’s Drug Wars – Fifty Years of Reinforcing Racism

Fifty years ago, on June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon stood before the White House press corps, staffers at his side, to announce “a new, all-out offensive” against drug abuse, which he denounced as “America’s public enemy number one.” He called on Congress to contribute $350 million for a worldwide attack on “the sources of supply.” The first battle in this new[Read More…]

by 06/07/2021 Comments are Disabled World
The True Meaning of the Afghan “Withdrawal”

The True Meaning of the Afghan “Withdrawal”

Many of us have had a recurring nightmare. You know the one. In a fog between sleeping and waking, you’re trying desperately to escape from something awful, some looming threat, but you feel paralyzed. Then, with great relief, you suddenly wake up, covered in sweat. The next night, or the next week, though, that same dream returns. For politicians of[Read More…]

by 06/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Imperialism
Washington’s Delusion of Endless World Dominion

Washington’s Delusion of Endless World Dominion

Empires live and die by their illusions. Visions of empowerment can inspire nations to scale the heights of global hegemony. Similarly, however, illusions of omnipotence can send fading empires crashing into oblivion. So it was with Great Britain in the 1950s and so it may be with the United States today. By 1956, Britain had exploited its global empire shamelessly[Read More…]

by 22/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Imperialism
Thomas Cole, “The Course of Empire: Destruction.”

While America Was Sleeping- Waking from a Four-Year Fever Dream to Find Global Power Gone

After four years of Donald Trump’s fitful tenure, America is awakening from a long, troubled sleep to discover, like the fictional character Rip Van Winkle, that the world it once knew has changed beyond all recognition. In that classic American tale by Washington Irving published in 1819, an amiable but shiftless farmer strolls out of his colonial village to go[Read More…]

by 27/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Imperialism
Decriminalizing the Drug War?

Decriminalizing the Drug War?

Calculating the Damage from a Century of Drug Prohibition   We live in a time of change, when people are questioning old assumptions and seeking new directions. In the ongoing debate over health care, social justice, and border security, there is, however, one overlooked issue that should be at the top of everyone’s agenda, from Democratic Socialists to libertarian Republicans: America’s[Read More…]

by 10/04/2019 Comments are Disabled World
How Climate Change Could End Washington’s Global Dominion

How Climate Change Could End Washington’s Global Dominion

Once upon a time in America, we could all argue about whether or not U.S. global power was declining. Now, most observers have little doubt that the end is just a matter of timing and circumstance. Ten years ago, I predictedthat, by 2025, it would be all over for American power, a then-controversial comment that’s commonplace today. Under President Donald Trump,[Read More…]

by 01/03/2019 Comments are Disabled Climate Change