This Week in Geopolitics, March 2016

Terrorism and Being Terrified

March 28, 2016

In 2013, President Barack Obama pointed out that more people are killed in the United States in car crashes than in terrorist attacks. More recently, he said that more people are killed by handguns in the United States than by terrorist attacks. Both statements are true. His intention in making these statements was to put terrorism into perspective, in order to calm the public and keep terrorism from defining our national policy. Obviously, his argument did not achieve its rational goals....

The Dark Night: North Korean Strategy

March 21, 2016

To understand North Korean strategy today, we must first understand the implications of its geography. Korea is a peninsula jutting southward from Manchuria. The waves of the Yellow Sea break on its western shores, and the waves of the Sea of Japan roll in on its eastern flank. It shares a 30-mile-wide border with Russia, its northeastern border about 70 miles from Vladivostok, Russia’s major eastern port. The southeast corner of Korea juts to within 100 miles of Japan to its south, and the...

Mexico as a Major Power

March 14, 2016

Mexico has the 11th-highest GDP in the world based on purchasing power parity, according to the International Monetary Fund. As Europe weakens, it will be in the top 10 in the not-too-distant future. Yet, this country is regarded by many Americans as a Third World nation, dominated by drug cartels and impoverished people desperate to get into the United States.

The Roots of Trump’s Strength

March 7, 2016

Donald Trump appears likely to be the Republican candidate for president. This does not mean that he will become president, but it does mean that he might. It also means that the basic dynamic of the American political system has shifted, suggesting the behavior of the United States might change. And that makes Trump a matter of geopolitical interest.