Alfred W. McCoy

Articles by this author

soldier in poppy field Views
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Into the Afghan Abyss (Again)
After nine months of confusion, chaos, and cascading tweets, Donald Trump’s White House has finally made one thing crystal clear: the U.S. is staying in Afghanistan to fight and—so they insist—win. “The killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American...
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For the first time, a top strategic think-tank, closely aligned with the U.S. military and long famous for its influential strategic analyses, was seriously contemplating a major war with China that the United States would not win. Views
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
World War III With China
For the past 50 years, American leaders have been supremely confident that they could suffer military setbacks in places like Cuba or Vietnam without having their system of global hegemony, backed by the world’s wealthiest economy and finest military, affected. The country was, after all, the...
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Monday, September 11, 2017
The Pentagon’s New Wonder Weapons for World Dominion
[This piece has been adapted and expanded from Alfred W. McCoy’s new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power .] Not quite a century ago, on January 7, 1929, newspaper readers across America were captivated by a brand-new comic strip, Buck Rogers in...
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Friday, August 25, 2017
The CIA and Me (Or How I Learned Not to Love Big Brother)
Note from TomDispatch: This piece has been adapted and expanded from the introduction to Alfred W. McCoy’s new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power . In the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, Washington pursued its elusive enemies across the...
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Monday, July 17, 2017
Trump’s Road to Debacle in the Greater Middle East
The superhighway to disaster is already being paved. From Donald Trump’s first days in office, news of the damage to America’s international stature has come hard and fast. As if guided by some malign design, the new president seemed to identify the key pillars that have supported U.S. global power...
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Tuesday, April 04, 2017
The Bloodstained Rise of Global Populism
In 2016, something extraordinary happened in the politics of diverse countries around the world. With surprising speed and simultaneity, a new generation of populist leaders emerged from the margins of nominally democratic nations to win power. In doing so, they gave voice, often in virulent...
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Monday, February 22, 2016
How a Pink Flower Defeated the World’s Sole Superpower: America’s Opium War in Afghanistan
After fighting the longest war in its history, the United States stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How can this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for 15 years, deploying 100,000 of its finest troops, sacrificing the lives of 2,200 of those...
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Grandmaster of the Great Game: Maintaining American Supremacy in the 21st Century
In ways that have eluded Washington pundits and policymakers, President Barack Obama is deploying a subtle geopolitical strategy that, if successful, might give Washington a fighting chance to extend its global hegemony deep into the twenty-first century. After six years of silent, sometimes secret...
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Monday, June 08, 2015
The Geopolitics of American Global Decline
For even the greatest of empires, geography is often destiny. You wouldn’t know it in Washington, though. America’s political, national security, and foreign policy elites continue to ignore the basics of geopolitics that have shaped the fate of world empires for the past 500 years. Consequently,...
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015
The Real American Exceptionalism
"The sovereign is he who decides on the exception,” said conservative thinker Carl Schmitt in 1922, meaning that a nation’s leader can defy the law to serve the greater good. Though Schmitt’s service as Nazi Germany’s chief jurist and his unwavering support for Hitler from the night of the long...
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