Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Offshore Balancing

Great Power Graphapalooza

In the course of doing my MA at the University of Chicago, I’ve had the opportunity to take a class from John Mearsheimer. Mearsheimer is one of the most widely renowned structural realists in the international relations game today. He disagrees with much of US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War, lamenting the US’s decision to expend its energies maintaining large military presences in regions of the world that contain no threats to the United States. Mearsheimer calls for a strategy of offshore balancing, in which the United States only intervenes in critical regions in order to prevent those regions from being dominated completely by another state. Otherwise, he recommends the US save its strength. I found myself curious today about what many of the world’s region’s power relationships might look like if the United States were to withdraw militarily and allow the powers in those regions to engage in security competition with one another, and I have taken some time to run the figures and make a vast plethora of charts to share with you.

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Niall Ferguson is Wrong about World War I

I ran across a piece in The Guardian in which Niall Ferguson, a British historian, made the increasingly popular argument that it was in the British national interest to avoid participating in World War I, that the decision to do so was a mistake. This argument, which I am seeing made all over the place in the popular press (as 2014 is the 100-year anniversary of the 1914 start of the war), is deeply misguided. I contend that it was an absolute strategic necessity that Britain enter the war to prevent Germany from defeating France. Here’s why.

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