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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Alfred McCoy Archive

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Preserving the Positive Legacy of an Empire in 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 mourn its passing. Both peace activists and military... Read More
Or How China and the U.S. Are Spawning a New Great Power Naval Rivalry
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 many pawns on a geopolitical chessboard. To some it... Read More
Or How to Build a Wall and Lose an Empire
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. Across the political spectrum, many of them felt a... Read More
How a Failed Drug War Will Defeat Trump’s Afghan Adventure
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 might,”... Read More
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How It Might Actually Be Fought
[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.] 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... Read More
Or Buck Rogers in the 21st Century
[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 the 25th Century. It... Read More
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Or How I Learned Not to Love Big Brother
[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 landscapes of Asia and Africa, thanks in part to... Read More
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Donald 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 for the past 70 years... Read More
A Political Movement’s Violent Pursuit of “Enemies”
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 fashion, to public concerns about the social costs of globalization.... Read More
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 soldiers,spending more than a trillion dollars... Read More
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Obama’s Geopolitical Strategy for Containing China
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 preparations, the Obama White House has recently unveiled some bold diplomatic... Read More
Washington Versus China in the Twenty-First Century
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, they have missed the significance of the rapid global... Read More
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From Torture to Drone Assassination, How Washington Gave Itself a Global Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card
"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 knives to Kristallnacht and beyond... Read More
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Time-Tested Weapons for U.S. Global Power
For more than six months, Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA) have been pouring out from the Washington Post, theNew York Times, the Guardian, Germany’s Der Spiegel, and Brazil’s O Globo, among other places. Yet no one has pointed out the combination of factors that made the NSA’s expanding programs to monitor... Read More
PastClassics
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?