Alfred W. McCoy

Articles by this author

"Instead of multilateral trade pacts like NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or even the WTO, Trump favors bilateral deals rewritten to the (supposed) advantage of the United States." (Photo: Beijing/ Shutterstock) Views
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Beijing’s Bid for Global Power in the Age of Trump
As the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency and sixth of Xi Jinping’s draws to a close, the world seems to be witnessing one of those epochal clashes that can change the contours of global power. Just as conflicts between American President Woodrow Wilson and British Prime Minister Lloyd George...
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Golden Shower Diplomacy and the Hidden Meaning of American Decline
Month by month, tweet by tweet, the events of the past two years have made it clearer than ever that Washington’s once-formidable global might is indeed fading. As the American empire unravels with previously unimagined speed, there are many across this country’s political spectrum who will not...
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After years of seeming compliance with Washington’s rules for good global citizenship, China’s recent actions in Central Asia and the continent’s surrounding seas have revealed a two-phase strategy that would, if successful, undercut the perpetuation of American global power. (Photo: Naval Surface Warriors/flickr/cc.) Views
Monday, April 09, 2018
Gunboat Diplomacy and the Ghost of Captain Mahan
Amid the intense coverage of Russian cyber-maneuvering and North Korean missile threats, another kind of great-power rivalry has been playing out quietly in the Indian and Pacific oceans. The U.S. and Chinese navies have been repositioning warships and establishing naval bases as if they were so...
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"In a globalizing world interconnected by trade, the Internet, and the rapid proliferation of nuclear-armed missiles, walls won’t work." (Photo: BBC World Service/flickr/cc) Views
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Tweeting While Rome Burns: The World According to Trump
As 2017 ended with billionaires toasting their tax cuts and energy executives cheering their unfettered access to federal lands as well as coastal waters , there was one sector of the American elite that did not share in the champagne celebration: Washington’s corps of foreign policy experts...
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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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