Who Needs Enemies?

In the course of a conversation with Michael Cohen yesterday evening, we agreed that the greatest existential threat the U.S. faces right now is the political paralysis in Washington that might keep the U.S. from enacting the course corrections needed to avoid financial and strategic insolvency. But if the U.S. is its own worst enemy, I noted, how is that so very different from the rest of the world today? Almost everywhere I look, I see countries that are through their own policy failures or strategic shortsightedness creating the greatest challenges they now face.

So, which country is not its own worst enemy? Collectively speaking, the European Union certainly is. Russia? Check. China? Yup. Mexico fits the bill, as does Japan and arguably India. From the perspective of anyone outside of the Pakistani military, Pakistan makes the cut. There's a strong case to be made for Israel and Georgia.

After a quick back-of-the-envelope survey, we came up with Taiwan and South Korea as countries whose principal existential threats come from outside their own borders, and Brazil as a country that just doesn't face any very real existential threats. I'm sure we missed some, but it makes for an interesting angle of attack.

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