In 1937, thousands of Americans from all walks of life volunteered to fight in a poorly equipped army overseas, with no support from their own government. What was it about the Spanish Civil War that inspired such idealism and courage? And was the fight to defend the Spanish Republic against General Franco and the powers of international fascism as pure and noble as it seemed to these Americans? We examine the role that Soviet aid and influence, under Stalin's direction, played in supporting or undermining the Republican cause.
Our leading newspapers and major television news networks portray themselves as objective and impartial presenters of the news. But are they? And if not, are they biased to the left as conservatives have long claimed or beholden to corporate interests, as those on the left have claimed? If bias in the news media is a problem, what should be done about it?
John McCain has spent a lifetime in the service of his country, including twenty-two years as a naval aviator, two terms in the House of Representatives, and service in the U.S. Senate since 1986. Following his 2000 presidential campaign and the hard-fought passage of his campaign finance bill, John McCain reflects on a life in politics in his recent memoir Worth the Fighting for. A lifelong Republican, Senator McCain has broken with his party's mainstream on a number of issues in recent years. Does John McCain still consider himself a conservative? And why does McCain so often play the maverick?
In the modern democratic era, it's not uncommon for elected leaders to have little or no military training or experience. It has become an accepted notion that political leaders should therefore leave battle plans and campaign decisions to the military commanders and avoid "micromanaging" war. But is that notion correct? Or was Clemenceau right when he said that "war is too important to be left to the generals"? What lessons can we learn from studying the greatest wartime leaders, such as Lincoln, Churchill, and FDR?
Global warming, population, deforestation, mass extinctions—according to environmental groups and environmental scientists, the earth is in ever more dire straits. Should we heed these warnings and take steps to mitigate our impact on the global ecosystem? Danish statistician Bjørn Lomborg has come forward to say, not so fast. He claims the environmental state of the world is actually improving, not getting worse. His claims have generated a firestorm of condemnation in the scientific community. Why? And how can we in the general public separate ideology from fact in this debate?
According to a 1998 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, over the last half century nations that have been more open to trade have experienced double the annual growth rate of those that have been closed. So why would any nation be opposed to free trade? But, in fact, many developing countries are skeptical of free trade—believing that the rules of global trade benefit the rich, developed North at the expense of the poor, developing South. Are the critics right? With even President Bush's commitment appearing to falter, is the drive to greater free trade in crisis?
What kind of war is the war on terrorism? Ordinarily wars are fought against proper nouns—against Germany during the Second World War or against the Soviet Union during the cold war, for example. Now we're being asked to fight a war against a common noun, terrorism. Just how accurate and useful is the phrase "war on terrorism"? Is this a war? And who exactly is the enemy—Al Qaeda? Al Qaeda plus all other terrorists around the world? Al Qaeda plus all other terrorists plus all the countries in which the terrorists operate? In other words, just how good a job are the president and the administration doing, not just in prosecuting the war but in defining the objectives?
The U.S. government could go a long way toward building understanding in the Middle East by backing the study of Arabic. By Peter Berkowitz.
Govern moderately, or the governed will turn against you. Clinton learned it. Will Obama? By Peter Berkowitz.
Why liberal democracy in America depends on promoting liberal democracy abroad. By Hoover fellow Peter Berkowitz.
What are the root causes of terrorism and how should we respond to them? If the discontent and hatred that breed terrorism spring from economic, political, and cultural grievances, should we address those grievances? Or does acknowledgment of these types of causes of terrorism lend a dangerous legitimacy to terrorists themselves?
Henry Ford once said that "history is more or less bunk. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's dam is the history we make today." Do Americans care about history or not? Journalist Andrew Ferguson discusses America's relationship with its own history using the continuing fascination with Abraham Lincoln as a case study.
On May 23, President Obama gave the first major speech on national security of his second term. His purpose was to review his administration’s achievements in dealing with the war that al Qaeda launched against the United States on Sept.
These essays from a diverse group of distinguished contributors deepen our understanding of the new national security threats posed by terrorism, by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and by the spread of Islamic extremism. They examine the obstacles to making U.S. intelligence more capable and offer recommendations for effective reform.
Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the treasury, may today be better known for his death in a duel with Aaron Burr, than for the role he played as a founder of the nascent United States. His vision of a federal, mercantile nation was in opposition to Thomas Jefferson's vision of an agrarian society. Who won this battle of ideas and why? Just what is the enduring legacy of Alexander Hamilton? Peter Robinson speaks with Ron Chernow.
Interest Rate adjustments by the Federal Reserve are among the most closely watched and anticipated of all economic policy decisions. Yet many economists believe the Fed no longer has the power it once did to regulate the economy. So just how powerful is the Fed today? What tools does the Fed have to regulate the economy, and how should they be used?
Noted Author Tom Wolfe discusses the latest findings in the field of neuroscience, which Wolfe believes"... is on the threshold of a unified theory that will have an impact as powerful as that of Darwinism a hundred years ago." Over the past several decades, neuroscientists have been putting together a model of the human brain that suggests that a great deal of our behavior and motivations are hardwired in our brains. In exploring the question of what human nature is, Tom Wolfe makes the connection between this cutting edge and religion, philosophy, and psychology.
The true aim of the humanities is to prepare citizens for exercising their freedom responsibly...
We asked George Shultz, secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan, to help us put America's war on terrorism in historical, political, and moral context. What lessons can be drawn from previous attempts to deal with terrorism? What should we make of the complaints leveled against the United States by terrorist organizations? What will it take to win the war on terrorism and how long will it last?