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Poster Collection, CU 83, Hoover Institution Archives

The Decision To Drop The Atomic Bombs - 70 Years On

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A new exhibition at the American University Museum in Washington marking the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki () portrays the Japanese people incinerated by the blasts and sickened by radiation as victims. 

Why the Islamic State Is Weathering the Air Campaign

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

On June 2, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken told France Inter radio that the U.S.-led air campaign against ISIS had killed 10,000 members in the nine months since the attacks began. This was undoubtedly a salvo in the information campaign against the extremist group, as well as an attempt to downplay the recent loss of Ramadi to the Islamic State.

Why National Reputation Matters

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Thursday, June 11, 2015

The multipolar world that has emerged from the brief moment of American unilateralism following the end of the Cold War has pitted the United States against strategic competitors in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Taking advantage of American military and economic weakness, but more importantly acting on a very real perception that American policymakers are no longer capable of providing the leadership required to knit together a global order, Chinese, Russian, and Iranian leaders are busy carving out pieces of neighboring regions.

The Patriot Act And The History Of American Code Breaking

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Thursday, June 4, 2015

The uproar over the recent failure of the Senate to renew several key provisions of the Patriot Act highlights the love/hate relationship that Americans have with their intelligence agencies. During periods of heightened international tension, Americans depend on their intelligence agencies to provide accurate forecasting and early warning of pending threats to national security.

A Lesson Of Waterloo

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo—perhaps the most significant battle in European history—is already being celebrated, despite the crescendo not coming until the anniversary itself, Thursday, June 18th. The sheer number of events taking place connected to the commemorations is astonishing, and not just in the victorious countries.

Civilization In The Crossfire

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A media that has generally consigned the advances of ISIS in Iraq and Syria to its inside pages and minor news reports, has suddenly been forced to give them full prominence, not because of the thousands of deaths that ISIS is causing but rather the threat it poses to the splendid urban architecture of Zenobia’s surviving jewel of a city, Palmyra.

Propaganda On Parade

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

There can hardly be a more direct connection between military history and current affairs than over the celebration of the 70th anniversary of V-E Day in Russia on May 9. Vladimir Putin attempted to use the huge commemorations to promote the Russian armed forces, criticize the United States, sabre-rattle against Ukraine, cement alliances with rivals and opponents of the West, and generally to stoke up Russian hyper-nationalism.

Turkey’s Inglorious Past

by Andrew Robertsvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The centenary of the start of the “Meds Yeghern” (Great Calamity)—the Turkish genocide against the minority Armenian Christian population of the Ottoman Empire—has come at an awkward time for the government of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Clausewitz: Dead at Last?

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

At a recent meeting of the senior officers of one of the services, an academic expert on terrorism—one of the fashionable topics in Washington these days—announced that in the modern world Clausewitz was irrelevant because he had nothing to say about ISIS or the various other nasty malignancies bothering the international landscape.

Wars of Religion

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Thursday, April 16, 2015

In his masterful account of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides lays out the bitter fruit of civil wars within the Greek poleis of his time, particularly in the city state of Corcyra. In words that echo through the centuries, the great Greek historian warned that in such conflicts (3.82), “words, too, had to change their usual meanings...


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.