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The War Economy

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The War Economy

Sizing Up the New Axis

Noah Smith,

5 min read
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Today’s geopolitical power conflict exists within a globalized economy. 

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The new great power conflict brings together military might and manufacturing capabilities. Economics blogger Noah Smith posits that today’s “Allies” – the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Japan – will vie with a rising new “Axis” of Russia and China for geopolitical supremacy. He notes the similarities between current events and those of the 20th century’s Cold War, but he focuses on the greater political and economic implications that emerge in a globalized market in which economic self-sufficiency is much harder to achieve. 


Fractious present-day geopolitics are giving rise to a “New Axis” and “New Allies.”

Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and the looming threat of China’s invasion of Taiwan have placed both great powers in stark opposition to the West in a way that recalls the Axis and Allies of World War II. Today’s rival alliances are, on one side, an Axis comprised of Russia and China, and on the other, Allies consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Japan.

The Axis of World War II shares some affinities with today’s Axis of Russia and China: Neither was, nor is, a close alliance. Given India’s historical enmity...

About the Author

Noah Smith is an economics blogger at Noahpinion. 

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