For the great strategic theorist Carl von Clausewitz, strategy is about the imaginative search for options to achieve objectives and a critical analysis of which one is best.
Sometimes there are no good options and one must select the least bad option.
Europe has by no means recovered from its crisis. The new wave of migrants from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East has worsened the economic forecast. The economies of the Eurozone, with a collective growth rate of under 1.5 percent in 2015, are almost stagnant. Gone are the days of the German economic miracle. Nowadays, nearly 4.5 million young persons under 25 are unemployed in the EU-28 — a staggering figure, to which Chancellor Merkel just added an extra million refugees. Particularly in the Mediterranean countries, youth unemployment is at very high levels: 47.9 percent in Greece, 47.7 percent in Spain and 39.8 percent in Italy.
Confronted with this bleak picture, politicians, journalists, religious leaders, and public intellectuals all search for an explanation. Why is the European dream failing so many young people? How long will the economic recovery last? Will the EU be able to cope with another massive crash of the financial international system?
Fraught relations between the United States and China have a long history. Study could start with this volume, for it is an impressive labor of synthesis. In less than 250 pages of text, Dong Wang reviews more than 200 years of commercial and diplomatic history as well as the cultural and personal interchanges that have shaped attitudes on both sides of the Pacific. The curious and energetic will value the book’s 26-page bibliography and the suggestions for further reading that close each chapter. The history itself is fascinating. But the author’s tone and perspective are steeped in values that few readers…