Walter Russell Mead

Walter Russell Mead
Walter Russell Mead
  • Born: June 12, 1952
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Academic









Quote Topics Cited
Although war cannot be ended, wars can. War & Peace
Americans change religions frequently, and most Americans have friends or family in religious groups other than their own…. Americans remain religious while growing increasingly tolerant. Religion & God
Foreign policy mandarins often wish the public would leave them alone so that they can get on with the serious business of statecraft. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Free trade is the result of prosperity rather than the cause of prosperity .... Without growth over a long period of time you will not have a political commitment to free trade. Development & Growth
In order to have the benefits of free trade, you must have full employment in the trading countries. Foreign Trade
Jacksonian common sense does not give much weight to the concept of disproportionate force, believing that if you are attacked, you have the right and even the duty to respond with overwhelming force until the enemy surrenders. Defense & National Security
Jacksonianism [populism] is always an important force in American politics; at times of social and economic stress and change … its importance tends to grow. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Like it or not, the United States is a revolutionary power. Whether the government is trying to overthrow foreign dictators is almost irrelevant. American society is about the most revolutionary force on the planet. The Internet is more subversive than the CIA in its prime. The dynamism of American Society is constantly creating new businesses, new technologies, new ideas and new social models. These innovations travel, and they make trouble when they do. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Like Samson in the temple of the Philistines, a collapsing U.S. economy would inflict enormous, unacceptable damage on the rest of the world. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Maybe we’ve done the best thing but sometimes have done it in the worst way. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Nationalism is the most powerful force on earth today. States. Nations & Nationhood
Nigeria may have contained Ebola, but keeping Boko Haram from establishing an Islamic State will be a hard and bloody fight. Terrorism
Once nations get emotional, their relationships can change at bewildering speed. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The important decisions of the country are being made by a smaller and smaller group in the White House…. The Executive Branch has lost the ability to use the resources that are there [The Civil Servants]. Management & Managing Government
The mainline Protestant churches were historically the center of gravity of the U.S. political, cultural, and intellectual establishment. Their collapse in the past five decades is one of the most important changes the United States has undergone in the contemporary era, but there has been little serious thought about its meaning. Religion & God
The rejection of the scientific consensus on climate change is one of the many examples of populist revolt against expert consensus in the United States today. Public Opinion & Polling
Trying to recreate for people the ways in which the past was similar to the present is an important part of what a historian has to do, and what a student of foreign policy has to do. History ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Carter's hopes died when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and he ended up having to reverse policy and launch the military buildup that Reagan continued. Mr. Obama would be forced back into a war on terror if terrorist groups pull off enough damaging or frightening attacks to force this issue to the fore. War & Peace
It is a kind of ego booster, the way Egypt's winning the 1973 war, in the first stages, was an uplift. But I did not find when I spoke to people that the war in Iraq was seen as the major issue in American-Arab relations. War & Peace
Jordan is the only Arab state that has provided citizenship to Palestinian refugees and integrated them. But something has to be done about the Palestinians living in refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon.
Life isn't easy, and leadership is harder still. Life ;Leaders & Leadership
Mr. Obama's approach to engagement to some degree makes him dependent on people who wish neither him nor America well. This doesn't have to end badly and I hope that it doesn't - but it's not an ideal position after one's first year in power. Power ;Hope
The American people are extraordinarily comfortable, affluent, and secure. It's easy for us to make the argument that God's purpose is being fulfilled through history and through the rise of American power. And to some degree, it probably is. Power ;History ;Religion & God
The Arab states don't seem to do a good job of providing for their own people, so I am not sure why they would suddenly develop an ability to help the Palestinians.
There is not a great sense that the Americans know what they are doing, or are making much progress in Iraq. And there is satisfaction in seeing that the Iraqis are successful in resisting the United States.
This very individualistic form of Protestant Christianity that became so basic in English and then American life is to a large degree responsible for the historical success of Britain and America. Life ;Success
Unlike some, I don't claim to hold the mystic key to the future. But judging from past events, it seems to me that those who want to prophesy the imminent end of America's unique global role have a harder case to make than those who think we will limp on for a while, making a mess of things as usual. Future
We Americans look at the last 300 years of history, and we basically see a world that's getting better and better. The rule of freedom expands. The economy develops. We have risen to become the world's greatest power. Power ;History ;Freedom & Liberty
When Edward Gibbon was writing about the fall of the Roman Empire in the late 18th century, he could argue that transportation hadn't changed since ancient times. An imperial messenger on the Roman roads could get from Rome to London even faster in A.D. 100 than in 1750. But by 1850, and even more obviously today, all of that has changed.
You look at the steamboat, the railroad, the car, the airplane - not all of these were invented in the Anglo-American world, but they were popularized and extended by it. They were made possible by the financial architecture, the capital intensive operations invented and developed by the Anglo-Americans.