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Cyber war and peace

By Joseph S. Nye CAMBRIDGE: Two years ago, a piece of faulty computer code infected Iran’s nuclear program and destroyed many of the centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Some observers declared this apparent sabotage to be the harbinger of a new form of warfare, and United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned Americans …

DNE

What’s wrong with transformational leadership?

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: This year’s presidential campaign in the United States has been marked by calls from Barack Obama’s would-be Republican challengers for a radical transformation of American foreign policy. Campaigns are always more extreme than the eventual reality, but countries should be wary of calls for transformational change. Things do not always work out …

DNE

When women lead

By Joseph Nye MUNICH: Would the world be more peaceful if women were in charge? A challenging new book by the Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker says that the answer is “yes.” In The Better Angels of Our Nature, Pinker presents data showing that human violence, while still very much with us today, has been gradually …

DNE

Charisma we can believe in

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: A leadership transition is scheduled in two major autocracies in 2012. Neither is likely to be a surprise. Xi Jinping is set to replace Hu Jintao as President in China, and, in Russia, Vladimir Putin has announced that he will reclaim the presidency from Dmitri Medvedev. Among the world’s democracies, political outcomes …

DNE

Obama’s Pacific pivot

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: Asia’s return to the center of world affairs is the great power shift of the21st century. In 1750, Asia had roughly three-fifths of the world’s population and accounted for three-fifths of global output. By 1900, after the Industrial Revolution in Europe and America, Asia’s share of global output had shrunk to one-fifth. …

DNE

The decline and fall of America’s decline and fall

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: The United States is going through difficult times. Its post-2008 recovery has slowed, and some observers fear that Europe’s financial problems could tip the American and world economy into a second recession. American politics, moreover, remains gridlocked over budgetary issues, and compromise will be even more difficult on the eve of the …

DNE

Ten years after the mouse roared

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: Al-Qaeda’s attack on the United States 10 years ago was a profound shock to both American and international public opinion. What lessons can we learn a decade later? Anyone who flies or tries to visit a Washington office building gets a reminder of how American security was changed by 9/11. But, while …

DNE

Democracy’s drama in terrorism’s theater

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: President George W. Bush was famous for proclaiming democracy promotion as a central focus of American foreign policy. He was not alone in this rhetoric. Most US presidents since Woodrow Wilson have made similar statements. So it was a striking departure when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified to Congress earlier …

DNE

Should China be ‘contained’?

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: This month marks the 40th anniversary of Henry Kissinger’s secret trip to Beijing, which launched the process of mending a 20-year breach in diplomatic relations between the United States and China. That trip, and President Richard Nixon’s subsequent visit, represented a major Cold War realignment. The US and China put aside …

DNE

Has economic power replaced military might?

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: At the Cold War’s end, some pundits proclaimed that “geo-economics” had replaced geopolitics. Economic power would become the key to success in world politics, a change that many people thought would usher in a world dominated by Japan and Germany. Today, some interpret the rise in China’s share of world output as …

DNE

American power after Bin Laden

By Joseph Nye OXFORD: When one state is preponderant in power resources, observers often refer to the situation as hegemonic. Today, many pundits argue that other countries’ rising power and the loss of American influence in a revolutionary Middle East point to the decline of “American hegemony.” But the term is confusing. For one thing, possession …

DNE

Is China overtaking America?

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: The twenty-first century is witnessing Asia’s return to what might be considered its historical proportions of the world’s population and economy. In 1800, Asia represented more than half of global population and output. By 1900, it represented only 20% of world output — not because something bad happened in Asia, but rather …

DNE

Obama’s tightrope

By  Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: According to a United States State Department official, the concept of “smart power” — the intelligent integration and networking of diplomacy, defense, development, and other tools of so-called “hard” and “soft” power — is at the heart of the Obama administration’s foreign-policy vision. Currently, however, Obama’s smart-power strategy is facing a stiff …

DNE

Asia in the balance

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE: Last year, the leaders of all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council visited India, accompanied by delegations of business leaders. The Indian economy has been growing at more than 8 percent annually, making it increasingly attractive for trade and investment. When US President Barack Obama visited in November, he …

DNE

The North Korean enigma

By Joseph Nye CAMBRIDGE : What is going on in North Korea? On November 23, its army fired nearly 200 artillery rounds onto the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, near the two countries’ disputed maritime border, killing four – including two civilians – and demolishing scores of houses and other structures. The presence of civilians, many …

DNE

Japan’s options

By Joseph Nye TOKYO: The current tensions between China and Japan have revived talk about how far Japan has fallen since its glory years of the 1980s. To the extent that this sense of decline is grounded in reality, can Japan recover? Japan’s economy has suffered two decades of slow growth because of the poor policy …

DNE

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