Worth Reading May 30, 2022

MPD recommends an article by Eliot Cohen in Foreign Affairs, “The Return of Statecraft.” Cohen advises that the US should be less focused on grand strategy, the topic of many “learned” articles, and pay more attention to statecraft, i.e., to effectiveness and agility in pursuing our interests.  Cohen is not a committed “realist” in that he recognizes both national and moral interests: his lament is how bad a job the foreign policy establishment is doing at pursuing either.

In the May 11 edition of Foreign Affairs, MPD recommends Bilahari Kausikan’s article entitled “Threading the Needle in Southeast Asia” which is a fine guide for the  Biden Administration. Two quotes: “Aggressive Chinese behavior in the South China Sea and elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific has underscored the reality that the United States is an irreplaceable element of any strategic balance in the wider region.  The United States’ indispensablity renders concerns about its reliability moot.”
“Early actions (by the US) in the face of…Chinese maritime claims and attempts at intimidation, provided reassurance that the Biden Administration would not repeat Obama’s fundamental mistake of believing that eloquent speeches could substitute for the exercise of military muscle.”  

He also finds that Mike Ickel’s analysis of Vladimir Putin’s Victory Day Speech is well worth the read.

For a counterpoint to this month’s lead article, WDM is pleased that Robert Royal believes that “Today Is Not That Day” to give up on America.  

Lawrence Kudlow’s thoughts on the economy are almost always worth reading, and WDM thinks this one has it dead right about what is driving down stocks and how Biden’s “woke economic team” is not getting it.

Likewise, Glenn Loury’s observations about race in America are a must read, including this recent address.

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