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Stephen M. Walt: 10 truly absurd features of contemporary geopolitics we never question

Written by André Ken Jakobsson, Ph.D.-candidate at Center for War Studies

The renowned Harvard professor of international affairs and self-declared realist in an ideological age, Stephen M. Walt, has created another one of his both entertaining and informative lists. This time the list counts the 10 "truly absurd features of contemporary geopolitics". Walt aims to challenge the un-questioned assumptions and state of affairs of international politics that we all have grown accustomed to. 


First on this reality check is whether the US nuclear arsenal of thousands and thousands of bombs really makes sense outside of the very theoretical and numbers intensive strategies of the last century. According to Walt a normal person would find the current US nuclear posture quite silly.

Moving on to a real absurdity, Walt points fingers at the UN Security Council’s permanent members and argues that the current setup of the WWII winners does not hold for the future. Siding with former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, Walt argues for institutional change so the importance of Germany, India, Brazil, Japan or South Africa can be taken serious.

And then Walt goes on to rub salt in the open wound of religion when asserts that God (or Allah or Yahweh or Krishna or any other deity) has bigger issues to deal with than to root for a particular country. So no more "God is on our side"-thinking in international politics.

To see the full list and find out why it is absurd that smart people keep declaring "power politics" over and also read about Walt's wish for a normal relationship with Israel, you will need to head on over to Walt's blog on Foreign Policy.

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