mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Weekly Roundup
Japanese Nazis, a Health Spending Record, and Birds on Fire

Good afternoon, TAI readers! We hope you’ve enjoyed your weekend. Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, but before you finalize your holiday plans, take a moment to look back on what you may have missed over the past week:

We’ve rolled out a trio of must-read essays this week from the latest issue. Each of the three authors in this symposium addressed the idea that America is becoming more self-contained.

Obama is experiencing his “Greta Garbo moment,” writes Josef Joffe. Our President, like the Swedish film icon of yore, “just wants to be alone.” President Obama is, Joffe laments, a “reluctant and distracted maestro,” and this predilection to withdraw affects much more than just American foreign policy.

America isn’t retreating, it’s pursuing pragmatic internationalism, counters G. John Ikenberry. Those who criticize Obama’s withdrawal are incorrectly conflating interventionism with internationalism; the US can’t be everywhere all the time, and in choosing when to act it “must balance ends with means,” Ikenberry writes.

US foreign policy is in troubling disarray, as Richard N. Haass sees it. This mess “has many fathers,” but much of the blame falls on the shoulders of President Obama, whose administration has lacked the commitment and discipline to effectively implement its policies abroad.

If you’re only going to read a handful of essays this Sunday, make it the above symposium. But, if you’re not yet sated, venture on, dear reader:

Unequally Republican, the right wrestles with the inequality debate. The first essay in this series focused on how the left crafts its inequality narrative, and now Walter Russell Mead turns his sights to the historical roots of the ongoing rivalry between so-called establishment Republicans and the upstart Tea Party. This battle goes a lot farther back than you might think.

Japanese Nazis paraded through Tokyo recently, proclaiming their intent to “recover the honor of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany.” This kind of xenophobia from fringe nationalists is becoming increasingly common in today’s Japan, putting further strain on an already-tense region.

Health care spending hit a record high in Q1 this year. It’s too early to tell whether this spike is an aberration or is here to stay, but one thing is certain: optimistic claims that Obamacare was already bending down the cost curve in health care were misleading.

It’s a bird! It’s aflame! It’s…solar power’s fault. The Ivanpah solar facility in California’s Mojave Desert is the largest of its kind in the world, and it’s attracting and frying up birds at an alarming clip. This goes to show that, green or brown or in between, every energy source takes some toll on the environment.

Known unknowns in Ukraine. It’s hard to make sense of what’s happening in eastern Ukraine through the fog of, if not war, armed conflict. Andrew Michta walks us through what we can be sure of, and maybe more importantly, what we know we don’t know.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a bigger threat to humanity than climate change. In maybe the most terrifying story of the week, superbugs resistant to treatment by antibiotics are a rising threat, even more grave than previously thought, according to a new World Health Organization report.

Here’s how USPS killed an innovation everyone wanted. It would be difficult to paint a better portrait of bureaucratic incompetence than this story about the demise of Outbox, a service that would spare customers mountains of junk mail while saving the beleaguered US mail system lots of money.

Features Icon
show comments
© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service