Sunday, March 26, 2023


      The 1990's were a nice decade for most.  Strong American-provided security.  No serious international conflicts.  Global trade penetrated deep into the former Soviet space as well as into countries that had done their best to sit out the Cold War.  The cost of the American overwatch and market access steadily expanded, but in an environment of peace and prosperity it all seemed manageable.  Germany reunified.  Europe reunified.  The Asian tigers roared.  China came into its own, driving down the price of consumer products.  Resource producers, whether in Africa, Latin America, or Down Under, made scads of money helping more parts of the world industrialize.  Globe-spanning supply chain lines made the Digital Revolution not simply possible, but inevitable.  Good times.  We all came to think of it as normal.

     It is not.

     The post-Cold War era is possible only because of a lingering American commitment to a security paradigm that suspends geopolitical competition and subsidizes the global Order.  With the Cold War security environment changed, it is a policy that no longer matches needs.  What we all think of as normal is actually the most distorted moment in human history.  That makes it terribly fragile.

     And it is over.

-Peter Zeihan, The End of the World Is Just the Beginning:  Mapping the Collapse of Globalization

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