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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.

Increased Support For Afghanistan

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This past week, the Marine Corps announced that it will be deploying 300 Marines to Afghanistan’s Helmand province to serve in an “advise-and-assist” capacity. According to Brig. Gen. Roger B. Turner Jr., who will command these Marines, their duties will include helping the Afghans in intelligence, logistics, and other combat-enabling functions. Their most immediate concern will be the defense of the province’s beleaguered capital, Lashkar Gah.

Trump And Putin: Buddies Now, Buddies Forever? The History Of The U.S.-Russian Relationship Says “No”

by Josef Joffevia Military History in the News
Monday, December 19, 2016

Donald Trump’s love affair with Vladimir Putin is not new. In 2007, he applauded him for “doing a great job.” In his 2011 book Time to Get Tough, he avowed his “respect.” Two years later, he wondered if Putin will be his “best new friend.” In 2015, he announced: “I think I’d get along very well with Vladimir Putin.” In return, Putin praised Trump as a “talented person.” And so it went all the way to the most recent tweet where the president-elect scorned the CIA for reporting that the Russians had tried to manipulate the election.

The Trumpinator

by Josef Joffevia Military History in the News
Friday, December 16, 2016

Mr. Trump takes on the CIA, and his chance of winning tends toward nil.

Who Runs The World?

by Josef Joffevia Military History in the News
Monday, December 5, 2016

According to the conspiracy theorists, it is, or used to be, the Jews, the Freemasons or the Bolsheviks who ran the world. Or Bilderberg and the Council on Foreign Relations. Wrong. It is Goldman Sachs, as a very sober, factual piece in the Financial Times has it.

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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.