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Toronto and the Lessons of a Forgotten Battle

by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hard as it is to believe, a little over two hundred years ago today American forces sacked Toronto. The date was April 27, 1813. Yes, “Toronto the Good,” as the once straitlaced city was nicknamed, the city also known as “Hollywood North” because of all the movies and television shows (many American) filmed there, and a cherished annual tourist destination for almost three million Americans, was burnt and plundered by American arms. 

China, North Korea, And 1950’s Shadow Of War

by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Monday, April 24, 2017

When the subject is North Korea, it is hard for a military historian not to think of Thanksgiving 1950. It was around that date that Chinese forces, having stealthily entered the country and already engaged in their first attacks, hit American troops and hit them hard. Two months earlier U.S., South Korean, and other allied forces crossed the 38th parallel dividing the two Koreas, defeated North Korean forces, and advanced toward the Chinese border on the Yalu River. It was part of America’s response to the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950. America saved the south but incautiously tried to conquer the north without reckoning on Chinese intervention. It was a blunder of the first order.

Echoes Of History In Syria

by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Monday, April 10, 2017

When U.S. President Donald Trump decided to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war last week, he entered a region where it is nearly impossible to take a step without hearing the echoes of history. Civilization and war both go back a long way there.

The Day That Never Was

by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Monday, April 3, 2017

Unlike December 7, 1941, April 6, 1917 is not a date that lives, either in infamy or fame. Few Americans even know that it marks the country’s entry into World War I. It was on that spring day that the U.S. House of Representatives voted, at President Woodrow Wilson’s request, to declare war on Germany. The U.S. Senate had voted two days earlier. It was an earthquake in history, with aftershocks still reverberating but largely to silence.

Cheeseburgers At Mar-a-Lago And The Inexorable Logic Of History

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Friday, March 31, 2017

One of the most memorable lines from the recent presidential campaign was offered by the GOP frontrunner and eventual nominee: “We give state dinners to the heads of China. I say ‘why are you doing state dinners for them? They are ripping us left and right. Take them to McDonald’s and take them back to the negotiation table!’ Seriously!”

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. 

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Strategika

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.