Beginning with an explanation of why the post-Cold War New World Order is rapidly breaking apart, Victor Davis Hanson sees a world where nations are returning to the ancient passions, rivalries, and differences of past centuries. In light of this world transformation, Hanson looks at key challenges the United States faces around the globe: in Europe, Asia, Russia, Mexico, and Iran.
Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian, professor of classics, and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is the author of more than a dozen and a half books. His most recent volumes are Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, which Dr. Hanson edited, and The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern, a volume of Dr. Hanson's own essays.
Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007, the Claremont Institute's Statesmanship Award at its annual Churchill Dinner, and the $250,000 Bradley prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in 2008.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, "Uncommon Knowledge."
Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life; It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP; and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA.
Why have Russian-American relations been on shaky ground over the last few years? According to military historian Victor Davis Hanson, it's all thanks to an "angry" Vladimir Putin. Hanson argues that Russia deliberately sets itself at odds with American policy not out of self-interest, but because of a sense of lingering Cold War enmity against the United States.
Set of conditions under which a resort to war is morally legitimate (jus ad bellum); also, rules for the moral conduct of war (jus in bello). Among the proposed conditions for the just resort to war are that the cause be just (e.g., self-defense against an attack or the threat of imminent attack), that the authority undertaking the war be competent, that all peaceful alternatives be exhausted, and that there be a reasonable hope of success. Two of the most important conditions for the just conduct of war are that the force used be proportional to the just cause the war is supposed to serve (in the sense that the evil created by the war must not outweigh the good represented by the just cause) and that military personnel be discriminated from innocents (noncombatant civilians), who may not be killed. The concept of just war was developed in the early Christian church; it was discussed by St. Augustine in the 4th century and was still accepted by Hugo Grotius in the 17th century. Interest in the concept thereafter declined, though it was revived in the 20th century in connection with the development of nuclear weapons (the use of which, according to some, would violate the conditions of proportionality and discrimination) and the advent of humanitarian intervention to put an end to acts of genocide and other crimes committed within the borders of a single state.
I don't buy your "tu quoque" ("you also") argument. The only way to avoid doing the things you term atrocities is to completely withdraw from the world. If we don't support our allies in war and sell them armaments, their enemies and our enemies will win. If we don't compete for natural resources, we will lose our way of life and our world leadership. (I'll leave it to the lawyers to decide if our international business deals are "rip offs".) As for chaos and conflict, unless you mean the U.S. goes into smooth running countries and turns the tables over, which I don't think you mean, the U.S. doesn't create conflict or chaos. If these countries have any history, it's likely that the conflict and chaos started long before. I hope you're not comparing China's occupation of Tibet and the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan to our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. may not have clean hands, but we are FAR more benign than any previous world power and WAY better than any future alternative. Can you honestly say you think the world would be a better place if China or Russia or France or (god help us) the U.N. ran the show? Being world police isn't a job we asked for. It's probably not a job we're qualified for, but we're stuck with it. The day the U.S. lays down its leadership will be the darkest day in world history.
Victor needs to look into the mirror and see a US imperialism that is perpetrating the same sort of atrocities on the rest of the world: supporting sides in war, selling implements of war, overtaking smaller empires to rip off natural resources, creating conflict and chaos to benefit the wealthy power brokers. Same thing. Don't be so righteous. Look in your own back yard, Victor and turn your judgment on your own country. That may help bring some light to the problem.
I guess FORA has to be diverse and allow all political POVs. But I get so sick and tired of this Islamophobic BS that puts the so-called "clash of civilizations" on a racial basis- i.e.: Muslims as aliens that will somehow outbreed the "white" population like a foreign species crowding native ones. Any non-hysterical study of the stats will show that Muslims will not reach anywhere near the numbers he's spouting in under 50 years. And most of Russia's Muslims are just as "white" as "native" Russians, and have their own beefs with Mother Russia going back to when Stalin slaughtered and deported them by the millions. And please, congratulate Putin on Chechniya (another one of Stalin's chickens coming home to roost)??? Congratulate him on mass arrest & murder of civilians? If anything this will make their "muslim problem" worse- for themselves, and possibly the rest of the West.
A far more intelligent analysis of Russia is from political analyst George Friedman (founder of STRATFOR)in his book, THE NEXT 100 YEARS. Russia has always been (and always will be, unless the Arctic thaws for good) a collection of landlocked economically handicapped countries, with no easily defensible borders. From the time of the czars, Russia's glue was brute force. Russia shrunk once with the collpase of the USSR; it's inevitable that someone will fill the power vacuum- NATO, Turkey, China, etc. If it shrinks again, Russia may be back to its' boundaries from the Middle Ages, surrounded by nations that are more propsperous, more populous, and better armed.
This is an existential crisis Russia is dealing with. It may be a sop to the neocon ego to paint Putin as the fool in a Greek tragedy, but don't expect him to throw himself at our feet anytime soon. Any alliance with the US will be seen as an excuse to expand American power at Russia's expense (which it probably will be), and will likely enable Russia's bad behavior (i.e.: Chechniya). Russia has to accept the fact that it's no longer an empire, and work from there. Can it deal with the changes? I just saw a documentary about the rise of neo-Nazi groups among Russians, crusading against non-Russian "foreigners". It doesn't look good...