New Cold Wars Book Summary - New Cold Wars Book explained in key points
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New Cold Wars summary

David E. Sanger

China's Rise, Russia's Invasion, and America's Struggle to Defend the West

3.3 (20 ratings)
15 mins
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    New Cold Wars
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    The post–Cold War dream unravels

    After the Cold War ended in 1991, the West was confident it had won. It believed democracy was the best political system – and thought Russia and China would embrace its democratic values and join a Western-led global order. The vision was that Russia would become a democracy too and that China, with its booming economy, would integrate so deeply with the West that peace would be inevitable.

    Initially, this seemed possible. In his early years, Vladimir Putin appeared to want Russia to integrate with the global community. But beneath this facade, he harbored a deep resentment and a desire for autocratic power reminiscent of the Soviet era. His true ambitions became clear with aggressive actions like the invasion of Georgia in 2008 and the annexation of Crimea in 2014. These moves showed his determination to restore Russia’s dominance and reject Western democratic norms.

    US presidents from Bill Clinton to Joe Biden struggled with how to handle Putin. Clinton sought a cooperative relationship, promoting economic assistance and diplomacy. As Putin grew more belligerent, subsequent administrations failed to impose meaningful consequences. George W. Bush famously misjudged Putin, saying he had “looked into his soul” and found a trustworthy partner. Barack Obama tried a “reset” with Russia but faced renewed aggression. Donald Trump, criticized for his favorable rhetoric toward Putin, lacked a cohesive strategy. Biden now faces the challenge of balancing confrontation with diplomatic engagement.

    Meanwhile, the West had different – yet equally flawed – expectations for China. It believed that economic integration would bind China to a peaceful coexistence and that as China’s wealth grew, it would adopt liberal reforms and align with the West. The economic interdependence between the US and China was supposed to prevent conflict.

    But this vision has also failed. Under President Xi Jinping, China has taken a more assertive and nationalist stance. Xi’s leadership has seen a tightening grip on domestic power, a crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong, and aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea. These actions show that China is willing to challenge the global order to assert its dominance.

    Instead of fostering peace, economic entanglement between the US and China has exposed vulnerabilities and increased tensions. Issues like trade imbalances, intellectual property theft, and human rights abuses have strained relations. The COVID-19 pandemic further worsened tensions with mutual accusations and distrust.

    In the next section, we’ll dive into how Russia and China have raised the stakes in their confrontations with the West.

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    What is New Cold Wars about?

    New Cold Wars (2024) chronicles the United States’ confrontations with Russia and China as they vie for global supremacy. It details the turbulent struggle for military, economic, political, and technological dominance, exploring the pivotal questions of our era – from Ukraine’s battlefield to Taiwan’s tech hubs to the White House Situation Room.

    New Cold Wars Review

    New Cold Wars (2021) brings attention to the evolving landscape of global conflicts, focusing on the increasing tensions between superpowers and the implications of cyberwarfare. Here's why this book is a compelling read:

    • Explores complex geopolitical dynamics, shedding light on the interconnectedness of international relations in the modern digital age.
    • Analyzes the impact of technology on diplomacy, security, and warfare, offering insights into the future of global power struggles.
    • Keeps readers engaged with its timely and thought-provoking examination of the new forms of warfare shaping the international arena.

    Who should read New Cold Wars?

    • Political science enthusiasts
    • History buffs
    • Professionals in national security and defense

    About the Author

    David E. Sanger is the national security correspondent for the New York Times and the best-selling author of The Inheritance and Confront and Conceal. He regularly contributes to CNN and also teaches national security policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Sanger has won the Pulitzer Prize three times.

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    New Cold Wars FAQs 

    What is the main message of New Cold Wars?

    The main message of New Cold Wars is about the contemporary struggle for global power and the threats it poses.

    How long does it take to read New Cold Wars?

    Reading New Cold Wars may take a few hours. The Blinkist summary offers a quicker grasp in about 15 mins.

    Is New Cold Wars a good book? Is it worth reading?

    New Cold Wars is a compelling read as it sheds light on current power dynamics crucial for understanding today's world.

    Who is the author of New Cold Wars?

    David E. Sanger authored New Cold Wars.

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