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The Wild West, The Wild South, And The Pope: What The Pundits Missed In Pope Francis’ Address To Congress

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Those who study history hear differently. In his magnificently crafted address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on September 24th, Pope Francis raised an issue that commentators overlooked or, at best, misread...

Deep History And Europe’s Migrant Crisis: The Media Present A Dishonest, One-Sided Picture

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Friday, September 18, 2015

As I write, guards are using water cannons and tear gas to turn back Middle Eastern migrants and refugees storming Hungary’s border. The media are on the side of the migrants. History sympathizes with the Hungarians.

Marks Of Weakness, Marks Of Woe: When The U.S. Goes Weak, Russia Strikes

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Monday, September 14, 2015

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, is piling on military support for the faltering Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. And Washington is shocked—as Washington’s always shocked when the predictable-but-distasteful becomes reality. Unlike the current U.S. administration, Putin doesn’t abandon embattled allies.

What The 1952 Republican Primary Teaches Us About Today’s Primary

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

As we watch a ferocious contest play out in the Republican primaries, it is worth looking back to 1952 to see how foreign policy played in that election.

In Praise Of Difficult Allies

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Thursday, August 27, 2015

This week, we friends of France celebrate the liberation of Paris from Nazi occupation in 1944. Four years earlier, the Wehrmacht’s combined arms had roared through the Ardennes forest from the Netherlands, bypassing from the north France’s eastern line of defenses.

Poster Collection, IQ 2, Hoover Institution Archives.

A Foreign Diplomat Just Taught America How to Win the War of Ideas

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Monday, August 17, 2015

It is conventional wisdom in Washington that the United States is losing the “war of ideas” to the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, al Qaeda, and even the Taliban.  All those forces of entropy and intolerance that practice and support terrorism are somehow proving superior at messaging to the country with Madison Avenue advertising, Silicon Valley innovation, Hollywood image-making, the 24-hour news cycle, and permanent political campaigning.

Presidents Obama And Wilson Play The Politics Of Fear

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Is President Obama deploying the “politics of fear” to push the Iran deal through on the domestic front? That’s what Eli Lake writes in his latest article for Bloomberg View.

Peak China

by Thomas Donnellyvia Military History in the News
Friday, July 31, 2015

The volatility in the Shanghai stock “market”—let’s not forget, they’re still Commies!—kind of complicates the narrative of China’s “rise.” A one-month wipeout of more than $3 trillion in market capitalization, even on the heels of a prior race to all-time highs, is an attention-getter, for sure.

Lassitude in the Legislature on Iran

by Thomas Donnellyvia Military History in the News
Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bringing an historical bent to the business of blogging is a temptation to, if not necessarily a manifestation of, schizophrenia. Nonetheless, President Obama’s desire to bypass the Congress in favor of the United Nations in ratifying his Iran deal marks a moment to reflect upon the relationship between legislatures and executives when it comes to making strategy.

F-35: Highway To The Danger Zone

by Thomas Donnellyvia Military History in the News
Thursday, July 16, 2015

There is something about weapons “testing” that excites all of mankind’s most irrational emotions. The worst example has been the Pentagon’s official test agency, which is—most of the time—dedicated to the proposition that anything can be blown up.


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.