Looking Backward

Overview

These essays—many of which originally appeared in such renowned publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the International Herald Tribune, among others—reflect the pattern of policy issues to expect in the twenty-first century: a variety and complexity of themes that spill over the standard boundaries of political, economic, and military affairs.

Wolf offers a number of thought-provoking, often controversial themes throughout the collection. He ...

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Overview

These essays—many of which originally appeared in such renowned publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the International Herald Tribune, among others—reflect the pattern of policy issues to expect in the twenty-first century: a variety and complexity of themes that spill over the standard boundaries of political, economic, and military affairs.

Wolf offers a number of thought-provoking, often controversial themes throughout the collection. He suggests, for example, that rapid and full convertibility of China's currency might lead to its depreciation rather than appreciation and that China's remarkable economic performance is likely both to be sustained, and but to confront enormous and possibly disruptive impediments in its efforts to do so. He makes the case that "unilateralism" in U.S. national security policy may sometimes be preferable to "multilateralism." And he offers his insights on the "comfortable stagnation" of the Japanese economy in 1990s and the early 21st century, Kim Jong-II's financial bind, and Russia's progress and regress. Turning his attention to the Middle East, he asserts that the erroneous expectation that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons does not imply that the prior intelligence leading to this expectation was flawed—and that U.S. coalition "partners" may have interests and behaviors more congruent with those of the United States than do putative U.S. "allies." In addition, Wolf speculates on "what if" Iraq had not been invaded. And he suggests a way Sunni capitalism can trump Sunni insurgency.

The author offers a brief "postaudit" at the end of each essay, indicating whether, in his judgment, the argument set forth is still valid and relevant compared with when it was first written. He invites readers to make their own assessments, arriving at a lower or higher grade than he himself does for each essay in the collection.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817948719
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press
  • Publication date: 5/16/2008
  • Series: HOOVER INST PRESS PUBLICATION Series
  • Pages: 165
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Wolf Jr. is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is also a senior economic adviser and corporate fellow in international economics at the RAND Corporation. He is an expert in international economic policy, relationships between economic issues and foreign and defense policy, particularly in Asia and Europe, and international risk assessment. His recent research has focused on long-term economic and military trends in Asia and Europe, as well as on the economies of China, Japan, and Korea. His current research includes estimating the costs of Korean reunification and how to limit them, and a separate study of the Russian economy and its prospects.

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