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NATO In The Baltics: And Then What?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Monday, July 25, 2016

On July 24, 1941, Secretary Of War Henry L. Stimson, reacting to yet another rise in tensions with Japan, ordered that U.S. forces in the Philippines be reinforced. Subsequently, the Philippine Commonwealth Army was called into direct U.S. service. Douglas MacArthur was recalled to active duty and placed in overall command.

Peace Through Predominance

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

On July 8, 1853, Commodore Matthew C. Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay with four ships to deliver a letter from U.S. President Millard Fillmore proposing peaceful commercial relations. The Japanese refused to accept the letter, until Perry made it clear that this would result in a cannonade from his ships that would have devastated downtown Tokyo.

Ending America’s Civil War, And Restarting It

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Thursday, July 7, 2016

Between June 29 and July 4, 1913, some 53,000 Union and Confederate veterans of the Civil War gathered at Gettysburg, where many had shot and bayonetted each other fifty years earlier. They embraced—often tearfully—dressed in Blue and Gray, surrounded by the flags under which each side had fought. President Woodrow Wilson told them, “We have found one another again as brothers and comrades in arms, enemies no longer, generous friends rather, our battles long past, the quarrel forgotten—except that we shall not forget the splendid valor.”

Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, The South China Sea, And Offensive Use Of Defensive Positions

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Friday, July 1, 2016

On July 3, 1863, as General George Meade’s Union troops were pouring rifle and artillery fire from behind their redoubts onto George Pickett’s Virginians charging up Cemetery Ridge on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg, they yelled: “Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!” That is because, on December 13, 1862, Union troops had suffered the Civil War’s most one-sided defeat when they had charged against Confederates dug in on Marye’s Heights.

Sacrifice At The Somme‬

by Max Bootvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, June 29, 2016

One hundred years ago, on July 1, 1916, five French divisions and eleven British divisions attacked across no man’s land in an attempt to puncture the German lines in northern France. The infantry assault had been preceded by an intense bombardment lasting seven days and involving a thousand artillery pieces. 

The Ubiquity Of Terrorism

by Max Bootvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Last December, Donald Trump roiled the presidential race by calling for a “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”

A New Map For The Middle East?

by Max Bootvia Military History in the News
Thursday, June 16, 2016

On May 16, 1916, representatives of Great Britain and France signed an agreement that had been negotiated by Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot to divide up the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence after the end of the Great War and the destruction of the Ottoman Empire.

Bread And Mosques

by Max Bootvia Military History in the News
Monday, June 6, 2016

There are some individuals—Donald Trump is now the most prominent—who seem to believe that a “population-centric” counterinsurgency is a waste of time. They don’t see the point of trying to win over the inhabitants and they reject the idea that counterinsurgency is essentially a governance contest. They believe that the way to win is by killing a lot of people. Kill enough, and there won’t be any more insurgents to oppose you.

America’s Pivot To Vietnam

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Friday, May 27, 2016

No Asian country carries more relevance and significance to the history of the United States than Vietnam in the post-WWII era. The political ethos, military institutions, and social mores of America were fundamentally altered by the war in Vietnam. Thirteen times more Americans died in that conflict than in the two Iraq wars combined; nearly 25 times more Americans were killed in the jungles and rice paddies of the Southeast Asian country than in the armed conflict in Afghanistan, America’s longest foreign war.

Russia Poised To Play A Lead Role In Asia Pacific

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Squeezed in Europe by U.S-led sanctions and robust NATO reactions in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea, Russia is now finding itself in a prime position to exploit the unfolding geopolitical dramas stirred up by China in East and Southeast Asia. Moscow has proactively demonstrated its determination to play a leading role in shaping the outcome of the highly explosive regional conflicts, at the expense of Beijing and potentially Washington as well.


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.