In 1822 the English Mathematician Charles Babbage had an idea for a machine that would perform mathematical calculations rapidly and infallibly. This was long before the age of electrical circuitry, so Babbage’s plan called for the machine to be executed in brass and steel and powered by a hand crank.
Last week, after the Egyptian opposition called for a march after prayers, TIME’s Abigail Hauslohner, based in Cairo, and TIME’s Rania Abouzeid, who had just returned from covering the Tunisian uprising, walked among the protesters and felt the blunt and brutal response of the regime’s antiriot police. To escape club-bearing cops, Hauslohner ran through narrow streets and found refuge in a small courtyard, only to have a tear-gas canister land near where she stood with a small group of protesters.
As Americans wrestle with the implications of revolutions in the Middle East as well as the rise of China in Asia, we need a better understanding of what it means to have power in world politics. Traditionally, the mark of a great power was its ability to prevail in war.
Ever since the end of the cold War, the U.S.