Foreign Relations Experts on War and Immigration

Foreign Policy reports on a massive opinion poll of International Relations experts on immigration, the wisdom of leaving Iraq, and the likelihood of war between the US and China or Russia. Here is the PDF. In some cases, their answers are compared to those of the public at large.

For the most part, it’s all pretty sane and predictable.

Most people, especially the scholars, think leaving Iraq was a good idea. They are unsure whether or not the US and Russia are headed back to a Cold War (neither am I). Henry Kissinger is rated as the most effective US Secretary of State in the past 50 years. And in an amusing example of Dunning-Kruger, far more scholars answer “I don’t know” for every question than does the general public.

The risk of war with Russia (2.55/10) or China (1.91/10) over the next decade is rated as low.

This is correct. The Chinese navy is still nowhere near as strong as even the US Pacific Fleet, though it is expanding fast. So long as the disparity remains this big, China will do its utmost not to risk outright war.

As for Russia, the US will not fight it for Ukraine – period; only the most svidomy Ukrainian and a certain subgroup of paranoid Russian nationalists believe otherwise. And deranged neocon ramblings aside, Russia would be idiotic to open up a front against the NATO Baltics even if it was interested in so doing (which it isn’t).


Where there is a substantial difference between public and expert opinion is in their attitudes towards immigration.


This is clearly primarily a class thing. For IR experts, more immigrants means cheap Hispanic workers and a vague personal sense of moral superiority. For the average population, it means downwards pressure on low-skill wages and a strong personal sense of cultural inundation.

Of course, do take all this with the requisite amount of salt. So far as foreign relations and immigration are concerned, since everyone is an expert and there are no real sanctions to being wrong (no skin in the game as Nassim N. Taleb would say), almost all but the most vague predictions turn out to be wrong. Of course this would apply to myself too.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Interesting that in the two charts on risk of war with China and Russia, the specialist scholars are bimodal, the general scholars are not. In other words, among both China and Russia specialists there are two factions. A bigger faction sees low chance of war, a smaller “war will occur” faction sees higher.

    I wonder why. Maybe there is self-selection: scholars who think great power was is likely tend to gravitate to studying the great powers. Or, maybe there is an incentive to talk up the risks of war in order to attract attention, funding etc to your specialism. Or, maybe some of them really do know better.

  2. I agree with expert opinion on immigration. Restriction of immigration has a lot o socialistic components to look after weakest member of your own country. Higher tax and restriction of immigration serve the same purpose for the weakest member of society. In reality, such effort stand little chance against nature process unless the society is lucky island cutting off from the rest of world. Then with little competition, its citizens will all become dodo in the long run (thousands years later). The result is even worse.

    Welcoming competition is best strategy to prevent such consequence. Make the weakest member of society harder to reproduce is the best outcome. Sounds psychopathic? Wellcome to the Darwin’s world.

  3. Since neither China nor Russia are Muslim countries, I don’t see the U.S ever going to war with them. The last time the U.S was at war with a Non Muslim country was 40 years ago in Vietnam. After 1975 it’s been all Muslim countries.

    The only way I could see the U.S ever going to war again with a Non Muslim country again is if diabetes boy Kim Jung Un becomes even more bat shit crazy and starts feeling suicidal.

  4. Simon in London says

    Grenada, Panama & Serbia come to mind. The US also trained & backed one side in many recent non-Muslim wars, notably Georgia vs Russia.

  5. In Darwin’s world territory would be defended.

  6. As owner of land or territory, yes. But dont tell your lord who can be hired as soldiers and who can stay.

    Pure narrow ethnicity based territory only exist in primitive tribal society. Any civilization based society is controlled by elites who make decision based on elites interest. Jews were invited to Europe by the feudal lords.

  7. To make it easier to understand.

    One time I had a nasty neighbor when I was renting apartment. I reported the asshole to the land lord and hoped he could evict the him. He only gave a bland notice to whole complext without even mentioning his name. After that, the land lord did nothing. The result was that I moved to somewhere else. You really can not tell your landlord what to do.

    As landlord, you have the right to decide who can stay and renters need secondary. If you own business, you understand.

    As Anatoly said before, the world as it will be, not as we want it to be.

  8. Yes, lords behave against their Darwinian interests. Welcome to Smith’s world.

  9. silviosilver says

    America and France have not on balance been improved the tens of millions of culturally hostile underclass latinos and muslims they have taken on. The equation is self-evidently a lopsided negative.

    Given that the effects of mass immigration are so devastating it should be resisted (perhaps even reversed) to the fullest extent possible, even if it is a “natural phenomenon” that mere mortals are powerless to prevent.

    It’s a bit like murder. No society really believes it’s possible to completely eradicate it, but neither does any society condone it nor fail to do as much as it can to decrease its occurrence.

    A thought experiment: how much mass immigration would there be if immigration-boosting were treated as a crime against humanity and immigration-boosters were swiftly brought to justice?

  10. Off-topic a Serb is just telling me in Phnom Penh that Mikhael Gorbachev is a Catholic and his late wife Raisa was a Muslim.

    Are you able to confirm or deny this AK?

  11. Once you become the lord, your thought will be differernt from what you are thinking now.

  12. Welcoming competition is best strategy to prevent such consequence. Make the weakest member of society harder to reproduce is the best outcome. Sounds psychopathic? Wellcome to the Darwin’s world.

    Chinas One-Child-Policy exactly does that. If you get a second child you have to pay a big fine, of course the wealthy can pay it while the poor lose their child. It is in reality a eugenics program concealed as a population-control program.

  13. unpc downunder says

    This assumes smart elites are purely rational actors driven by logic. However, smart people are just as vulnerable to clever propaganda and self-delusion as low IQ people.

    In the past we had irrational kings and dictators like Hitler, today we have deluded liberal elites such as the Rockefeller Republicans. Many rich whites do genuinely believe that genetic differences in intelligence and temperament don’t exist, and that poor immigrants from alien cultures will eventually come good and vote for economically right-parties. Look at all the left-wing Jews in Britain and France who believe that Islamic immigration isn’t a threat to them, even as attacks on them are escalating.

    A more left field example would be heterosexual men who believe they are women trapped in men’s bodies. Most of these guys have above average intelligence and incomes, but that doesn’t stop them from being delusional.

  14. From what I’ve read rural Chinese and ethnic minorities are allowed to have more kids than urban Chinese and the Han respectively. That’s dysgenic. Smarter Chinese move to the cities and China’s minorities have lower human capital than the Han.

  15. If the one child policy in China is supposed to be eugenic it’s doing a bad job, a really, really bad job.

    Places like Shanghai have a total fertility rate of near 1.0 which is quite a bit lower than the national average. The Shanghai area is by far the smartest region of China.

    In contrast before 2014, households in rural areas were allowed two kids.

  16. Panama, Grenada, Serbia . . . .