Magazine July 30, 2018, Issue

The Sea Will Not Be Tamed

China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning (center) takes part in a military drill of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy in the western Pacific Ocean, April 18, 2018. (Stringer/Reuters)
On China’s formidable, flawed effort to turn naval strategy upside down

China, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, is attempting to take the principles of four great Western strategic theorists and turn them on their heads.

To summarize all too briefly, Carl von Clausewitz viewed land war as the ultimate expression of international politics. Alfred T. Mahan felt that competitions between great powers were played out decisively in great ship battles at sea. Julian Corbet attempted to bridge the gap between the first two and declared that naval forces existed to aid and assist land forces engaged in decisive operations ashore. Lastly, Halford Mackinder, the great geographer-strategist, advanced his “heartland” theory, asserting

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Wisconsin Spring

Charles J. Sykes reviews The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics, by Dan Kaufman.


The Week

The Week

The Chinese cat that accurately predicted World Cup matches died suddenly. But are they sure it isn’t just flopping?


The Latest