Alison McQueen’s Political Realism in Apocalyptic Times offers a refreshing approach to religion in political theory. The book builds on the work of political scientists and political theorists over the past two decades to insert religion into international relations studies. Rather than dismissing apocalyptic language or confining it to political idealism, McQueen finds apocalyptic language in texts of political theory normally associated with political realism, leading her to consider these (purportedly realist) political theorists’ works as responses to apocalypticism.
Idealism has clearly failed to grant the United States a stronger standing in the world as it failed to accurately assess the scope and consequences of interventionism, and the strategic intent of rising powers. Great power competition and the international system’s inevitable transition to a multi-polar order calls on us to embrace the challenge with clarity. This challenge should motivate an honest reassessment of U.S. foreign policy tools and processes. Adjusting to facts and reevaluating means and methods is a sign of strength and resilience of this nation.
...the contemporary strategic environment is undergoing a profound transition in its polarity. Obama has been placed under serious pressure to form a grand strategy that allows the U.S. to manipulate events with at will. However, a look to Kennan’s writings reveals a sense of déjà vu when reflecting on Obama’s policies.
Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, governs over the largest landmass on earth, the world’s 2nd largest nuclear arsenal, and over 140 million people. Putin has been criticized as being cold, calculating, and autocratic. He has taken offensive measures in Crimea and Georgia, aggravating European leaders and resuscitating Cold War nostalgia and fear. Furthermore, Putin vehemently refuses to concede to rebel forces in Syria, despite President Bashar al Assad’s wartime atrocities and his illicit use of chemical weapons. While many argue these acts are evidence of Putin’s ruthlessness, they also reveal calculated and strategic foresight.
In light of the recent East-West tensions due to Russia’s near-annexation of Crimea, China’s aggressive behavior in the East and South China Seas, continued instability in the Middle East, and the threat of a nuclear Iran, or worse, a failed nuclear Pakistani state highlight the dangers the United States faces in the decades to come. The recently released DoD Budget and QDR both highlight the need to rebalance the force through greater investments in technological solutions at the expense of manpower along with the future applications of the joint force.