what in the world

What in the World?

Peter Zeihan’s expert understanding of demography, economics, energy, politics, technology, and security helps others prepare for an uncertain future.

China's housing crisis is only one element of China's economic collapse, but the downturn will have significant consequences for Xi Jinping.

Chinese housing overbuild may erode support for Xi Jinping

What was once a thriving Chinese housing market has now become a liability. According to He Keng, a former deputy head of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, there is now enough excess inventory in the country that it could house its entire population of 1.4 billion people. China’s largest privately-run property developer, Country Garden, is [...]
A Chinese invasion of Taiwan as a diversionary strategy seems improbable, but should not be completely ruled out.

Will China invade Taiwan as a diversion?

On Sept. 19, during his address to the House Armed Services Committee, Major General Joseph McGee explained why a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would likely fail. Some experts propose that China might consider using such a conflict as a distraction from its ongoing economic and political difficulties. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan highlights critical [...]
The uncertainty surrounding Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov's health raises concerns about the possibility of a future Chechen civil war.

What will happen if Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov dies?

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a staunch ally of President Vladimir Putin, has recently become the subject of serious health-related rumors. The Kremlin-backed Kadyrov, known for providing a substantial number of troops for Russia’s war in Ukraine, is suspected to be hospitalized in a coma. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan breaks down the history of [...]
On Sept. 19, Azerbaijan launched a military operation against Armenian forces. They achieved victory, but the conflict continues.

Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict paused, not over

A 2020 peace agreement aimed to settle major disputes between Azerbaijan and Armenia that originated in 1918. But on Sept. 19, 2023, Azerbaijan launched an offensive military operation against Armenian forces in defiance of the 2020 agreement. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan argues that great powers are at play in this seemingly far-off conflict, [...]
Hydrogen fuel is clean and has some promising applications, so why is it not yet the answer to our energy needs?

Hydrogen as clean energy source not ready for prime time

Hydrogen fuel is used to propel NASA rockets into space, and certain car manufacturers are placing their bets on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to advance sustainable mobility. Despite these promising applications, hydrogen fuel has yet to achieve widespread adoption. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan delves into the mechanics of hydrogen fuel, its potential for cleaner [...]
Railroads are vital networks for trade, transit and commerce, but their political value outweighs their economic advantages.

Railroads are more about political power than economic

Railroads were the engines of progress and transformation throughout the Industrial Revolution. Today, many countries continue using rail systems for both shipping and travel. Yet politics is just as much a part of railroads today as it was in the 1800s. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan says that whoever gains control over vital railway [...]
While Azerbaijan may not launch a large-scale assault against Armenia, it could successfully undertake a more manageable military action.

Why Azerbaijan launched a military operation against Armenia

On Tuesday, Sept. 19, Azerbaijan initiated what it termed “anti-terrorist” operations in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. The Azerbaijanis are insisting on the “full withdrawal” of ethnic Armenian forces as a prerequisite for peace in this disputed area. Nagorno-Karabakh, primarily inhabited by ethnic Armenians and located within Azerbaijan, has been a persistent source of conflict between [...]
China's decline has been ongoing for several years, but the nation's industrial woes may soon reverberate across the globe.

China’s collapse years in the making, not an overnight event

China is grappling with a range of challenges, including political, economic, and demographic issues. Youth unemployment rates are rising while fertility rates are declining, and banks are predicting a slowdown in economic growth. China’s economy is also feeling the effects of tech companies relocating and product bans being imposed by other countries. Straight Arrow News [...]
Global arms control agreements are collapsing as great power tensions continue to rise. The U.S. must prepare for worst-case possibilities.

What happened to the arms control treaties?

Mounting U.S. concerns over a potential Russian-North Korean arms deal has provoked a more comprehensive review of global arms control agreements. Key agreements were already disintegrating for several years before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine took them off the table entirely. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan reminds readers that these deals matter perhaps more [...]
Why certain countries should worry about the meeting between Russia's Vladimir Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

Russia, North Korea summit is a warning to the West

The meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un wrapped up, with military aid being the main topic of discussion. Some analysts and government officials in the West are concerned that this alliance could create instability in the region. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan breaks down what each side might [...]