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The Ghost Of Lenin: The Epic Fight For A Dubious Honor

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Friday, March 24, 2017

The cadres of the global commentariat often discuss the intricate relationships among the world’s most meaningful triumvirate, namely the United States, Russia, and China. Less often analyzed, however, are the very potent and peculiar interactions between Moscow and Beijing. It is the ghost of Lenin—the decades-long competition between Russia and China to be the leading rival of the United States.

Deciphering China’s Rage At South Korea

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

China is mad—really mad—at South Korea. Well-known Chinese defense and military figures are advocating direct military strikes against South Korea; state-controlled media are fanning anti-Seoul hysteria; mobs across the country are smashing South Korean-made goods and merchandise; K-pop concerts and other South Korean cultural events long on the schedule are being cancelled without explanation; South Korea-bound Chinese tourists are forced to cancel their flights and cruise tickets; many South Korean stores and companies in China are harassed and restricted by local authorities, and some are forced to close their shops.

Green, Yellow, Or Red—What Color Was Dean Acheson’s Speech?

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Thursday, March 9, 2017

On January 12 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a well-crafted speech at the National Press Club, a speech which has lived in infamy since its delivery, still haunting the U.S. and its allies in the Asia and Pacific region in general and the Korean Peninsula in particular.

Mosul, Paris, Jerusalem: Faith, Ideology, And Slaughter

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Monday, February 27, 2017

As you read this, a ragged alliance of rival forces fights to wrest Mosul’s western half from the grip of the Islamic State. The besiegers represent different ethnic and religious factions jockeying for power in the ruins. The defenders are religious fanatics of an apocalyptic faith. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are captive in their midst.

Vladimir Putin And The Reichswehr

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategic mischief reveals him to be an astute student of history. While every Russian knows something about the Red Army’s heroics in the “Great Patriotic War,” Putin, a former KGB man, studied the enemy. 

The Folly Of Harnessing Snakes

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Thursday, February 9, 2017

In its degenerate grandeur, the Umayyad dynasty that had subdued the Iberian Peninsula found itself too weak of arms and will to fight its own battles. The caliph imported fellow Muslims as mercenaries, Berber warriors whose ferocity had not been dulled by civilization. Then the Cordoba caliphate imported still more Berber troops. And more. They were, after all, fellow Muslims.

Charlie In Afghanistan, Taliban In ‘Nam

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Live long enough and you’ll be certain you saw the movie before. Recent conclusions that the Kabul government controls barely sixty per cent of Afghanistan (and much of that only by daylight) conjures memories of our failed efforts in Vietnam fifty years ago. We won every firefight—and lost.

Advising The President

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Monday, January 30, 2017

Early in the second week of his presidency, Donald Trump sparked fresh controversy with an executive order altering the composition of the National Security Council. The measure reduced the participation of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to meetings for which their expertise was relevant.

America First—Always

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

“From this moment on, it’s going to be America First,” President Donald Trump proclaimed in his inaugural address. “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” Although the new president did not delve into specifics in the address, he has made clear previously that “America First” policies will include tariffs, curbs on immigration, and reductions in overseas commitments, particularly those involving risk of military conflict.

Mosul And The Future Of Iraq

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The 100,000-man assault on the Iraqi city of Mosul has reportedly made swift gains in recent days. After months of slow going, the assault force of Iraqi Army soldiers and Kurdish and Shiite militiamen appears to be wearing down the heavily outnumbered ISIS defenders. Obama administration officials are touting the recent advances as vindication of their strategy of restricting American participation to advice and support of local forces.

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Wars, terrorism, and revolution are the daily fare of our globalized world, interconnected by instantaneous electronic news.

Military History in the News is a weekly column from the Hoover Institution that reflects on how the study of the past alone allows us to make sense of the often baffling daily violence, not by offering exact parallels from history, but rather by providing contexts of similarity and difference that foster perspective and insight—and reassurance that nothing is ever quite new.