The growing danger of great-power conflict – How shifts in technology and geopolitics are renewing the threat – The Economist

This Economist lead is a recommended read. I’m not sure that I agree that an increase in US military expenditure alone is the answer. The US needs to leverage its political power through global alliance, rather than alone. It needs to regain the moral high ground and again become the beacon of democracy. Perceived US domestic weakness, like the opioid epidemic, emboldens potential enemies internationally. Yes, the Obama squandered years internationally have drastically increased the risk of war. So far, many of Trump’s foreign policy decisions have increased the risks as well. But Trump has inherited an economically robust US. If Trump turns to soft power, he might still outmaneuver his potential foes.

The Wong Way to Treat the Opiod Crisis – op ed – NYT

Here’s a good read in the NYT.

Unfortunately, the article misses an important dimension namely personal wealth. If you have a wealthy family you can buy your favored therepy, including buprenorphine and methadone via expensive clinics. If you aren’t wealthy then perhaps your family will get endebted for you? Otherwise, it’s rehabilitation and ‘cold turkey’.

Clearly, there are arguments for and against ‘medication’ vs. ‘cold turkey’. For most illnesses, the doctor does not say ‘take the pain for a month’ then I’ll prescribe a pain-killer. But the comparison raises the question whether addiction is an illness?