The above map of world alcohol consumption courtesy of The Economist.

The Patterson School’s Robert Farley, a scholar of transnational politics and national security, notes the United States’ poor showing compared to Europe and jokes, "It is obvious that our national honor must be restored; we cannot allow an alcohol gap to persist."

Alas, moving into the Red is not necessarily a good thing:

The world drank the equivalent of 6.1 litres of pure alcohol per person in 2005, according to a report from the World Health Organisation published on February 11th. The biggest boozers are mostly found in Europe and in the former Soviet states. Moldovans are the most bibulous, getting through 18.2 litres each, nearly 2 litres more than the Czechs in second place. Over 10 litres of a Moldovan’s annual intake is reckoned to be ‘unrecorded’ home-brewed liquor, making it particularly harmful to health. Such moonshine accounts for almost 30% of the world’s drinking. The WHO estimates that alcohol results in 2.5m deaths a year, more than AIDS or tuberculosis. In Russia and its former satellite states one in five male deaths is caused by drink.

This is one area where we can safely wait for the Russians to unilaterally disarm.

James Joyner is managing editor of the Atlantic Council.