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  • Originally published 01/28/2014

    The Pacific Pivot

    Why America’s strategic rebalance is really just retreat.

  • Originally published 10/03/2013

    The Italian Job

    How the Pentagon is using your tax dollars to turn Italy into a launching pad for the wars of today and tomorrow.

  • Originally published 06/27/2013

    Victor Davis Hanson: We’re Like Rome, Circa A.D. 200.

    Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His new book, The Savior Generals, is just out from Bloomsbury Press.By a.d. 200, the Roman Republic was a distant memory. Few citizens of the global Roman Empire even knew of their illustrious ancestors like Scipio or Cicero. Millions no longer spoke Latin. Italian emperors were a rarity. There were no national elections.Yet Rome endured as a global power for three more centuries. What held it together?...As long as the sea was free of pirates, thieves were cleared from the roads, and merchants were allowed to profit, few cared whether the lawless Caracalla or the unhinged Elagabalus was emperor in distant Rome.Something likewise both depressing and encouraging is happening to the United States. Few Americans seem to worry that our present leaders have lied to or misled Congress and the American people without consequences....

  • Originally published 06/07/2013

    Conrad Black: A Weak U.S.

    Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, Richard M.

  • Originally published 06/06/2013

    Mary Louise Roberts documents GI conduct in WWII France

    On June 6, 1944, a massive military force arrived on the beaches of Normandy in a surprise invasion intended to overthrow Nazi Germany. The story of brave Allied forces splashing ashore under heavy fire has been immortalized in novels, memoirs, documentary films, and blockbuster movies — with American GIs cast as the unequivocal heroes of the day.A famous photo circulating the globe at the time summed things up: a happy GI embraced by ecstatic French girls.But that photo also illuminates a darker side of the story, according to University of Wisconsin-Madison History Professor Mary Louise Roberts. In her new book, "What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France," Roberts writes that while heroism abounded during liberation, for some Allied troops, command of geographical territory meant command of sexual territory, as well. As they entered and occupied the port towns of Le Havre, Reims, Cherbourg and Marseilles, many soldiers took what they wanted — when and where they wanted — from the French female population....

  • Originally published 05/30/2013

    Ward Wilson: The Bomb Didn't Beat Japan... Stalin Did

    Ward Wilson is a senior fellow at the British American Security Information Council and the author of Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons, from which this article was adapted.The U.S. use of nuclear weapons against Japan during World War II has long been a subject of emotional debate. Initially, few questioned President Truman's decision to drop two atomic bombs, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But, in 1965, historian Gar Alperovitz argued that, although the bombs did force an immediate end to the war, Japan's leaders had wanted to surrender anyway and likely would have done so before the American invasion planned for November 1. Their use was, therefore, unnecessary. Obviously, if the bombings weren't necessary to win the war, then bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was wrong. In the 48 years since, many others have joined the fray: some echoing Alperovitz and denouncing the bombings, others rejoining hotly that the bombings were moral, necessary, and life-saving.

  • Originally published 05/30/2013

    Washington Times slams Mary Louise Roberts for book on WWII GI rape

    A controversial new book about American soldiers fighting in France in WWII charges that many civilians viewed them as rapists and thieves, rather than liberators, The Daily Mail reports.History professor Mary Louise Roberts claims in her book, titled “What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France,” that when the first soldiers swarmed ashore in Normandy, it was “a veritable tsunami of male lust” that French civilians came to fear as much as the Nazis, The Mail reports.The book is set to release next month and is likely to stir significant outrage in the United States, where veterans are highly revered as heroes....

  • Originally published 05/10/2013

    Why is Our Government Prosecuting Whistleblowers?

    Image via Shutterstock.You know the saying: If you've done nothing wrong, you've nothing to hide. I hear it from my students: I've nothing to hide, so let Big Brother scrutinize my emails, my phone calls, my purchases, my activities online, and so on. Anything to keep us safe from the big, bad terrorists.

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    The Midwest honours Churchill

    ...The year was 1946. Winston Churchill stood in a small Midwestern college gymnasium in Fulton, Missouri, just a few miles to the west of St Louis. He was accompanied by President Harry Truman and had been driven to the speech by the grandfather of one of my co-workers. And his speech, later to be called The Iron Curtain Speech, would resonate from the halls of Westminster College, and be heard throughout the world.Today, those echoes are still being heard, and are being amplified in the US by the National Churchill Museum, a museum recognised by the US Congress as "America's National Churchill Museum" and built on the site of that 1946 speech. The museum, staff, volunteers and supporters are dedicated to commemorating and celebrating the life, times, and distinguished career of Sir Winston Churchill, and inspiring current and future leaders by his example of resilience, determination and resolution.And it was the museum that drew leaders from across the Midwest, elected officials and representatives of Her Majesty's Government to St Louis to honour Sir Winston and to present the Churchill Leadership Medal to former US ambassador, Stephen Brauer.

  • Originally published 05/08/2013

    Julia F. Irwin: International Humanitarianism in the United States

    Julia F. Irwin is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of South Florida. She specializes in the history of U.S. relations with the 20th century world, with a particular focus on the role of humanitarianism in U.S. foreign affairs. She is the author of Making the World Safe: The American Red Cross and a Nation’s Humanitarian Awakening. Her current research focuses on the history of U.S. responses to global natural disasters.Each year on May 8, the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies of dozens of nations unite in celebration of World Red Cross/Red Crescent Day. This global event observes the birthday of Henry Dunant, one of the founders of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), and commemorates the humanitarian principles that this organization represents. This year’s Red Cross Day is a particularly noteworthy occasion for the year 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the ICRC’s founding.

  • Originally published 04/30/2013

    French tourism campaign "ignores" Sword Beach

    D-Day veterans have criticised French tourism officials after they unveiled a new promotional campaign about the Normandy landings which ignores one of the beaches where British troops went ashore.The initiative covers only four of the five areas where Allied forces landed on 6th June 1944, omitting 'Sword' beach, where almost 700 British troops were killed or wounded.The new campaign was launched earlier this month by six tourist boards along the Normandy coast. They have joined up to create an area they are promoting with the slogan of the landings’ “secteur mythique” (mythical sector). This stretches from Utah in the west, across all the other beaches where troops came ashore but stops short of Sword, at the eastern end.It also excludes a part of the adjacent Juno beach, where Canadians soldiers invaded, as well as drop zones further inland where airborne troops landed by parachute or glider, including the area around Pegasus Bridge....

  • Originally published 04/28/2013

    Time Again for Repayable Taxes?

    Denarius of Sabina Augusta, Roman Republic era. Credit: Dartmouth College.Today, legislators facing budget deficits must decide the degree to which to cut spending, increase taxes, or borrow. All three can have negative effects on the economy and legislators’ individual prospects for re-election. Gridlock has resulted on more than one occasion.Until a few centuries ago, governments regularly resorted to additional fiscal techniques. One was to pillage other countries. That does not work well anymore because most wealth today takes the form of flighty human capital, not easily appropriated physical stuff. Moreover, wars have grown too expensive and too destructive to make them paying propositions.

  • Originally published 03/28/2013

    First female director of Secret Service sworn in

    Julia Pierson was sworn in Wednesday as the first female director of the Secret Service in its 148-year history. She took the standard federal oath administered by Vice President Joe Biden with President Obama holding the Bible in the Oval Office. "As Joe Biden pointed out, this person now probably has more control over our lives than anyone else, except for our spouses, and I couldn't be placing our lives in better hands," Obama told reporters after the swearing-in.... 

  • Originally published 02/19/2013

    What will we look back upon with pride?

    One hundred years ago, the United States completed what was then the most expensive, complex but ultimately successful government program in human history. It was a project where everything went wrong. The French had tried to build the Panama canal a few years earlier, but despite putting the builder of the Suez Canal, Ferdinand de Lesseps, on the job, they left in total failure. The American project’s first chief engineer quit after the first year. His replacement left as well. Only with the third did the project start moving. Yellow fever killed thousands of workers and caused others to flee in fright. The engineering challenges were immense and they often seemed insurmountable. Media reports about the project were largely negative....

  • Originally published 09/04/2013

    Why Deng Zhengjia Will Not Be China’s Mohamed Bouazizi

    On July 17, Deng Zhengjia, a Chinese watermelon seller, got into an altercation with chengguan (para-police) officers. The chengguan allegedly struck Deng in the head, delivering a fatal blow with a weight from his own handheld scale. Local police claimed that Deng “unexpectedly fell to the ground and died,” a statement quickly mocked online for its absurdity. Deng’s case sparked an outcry against the blatantly abusive actions of chengguan on Weibo, the popular Chinese micro-blogging platform.

  • Originally published 09/04/2013

    Stop Thinking of Only the "Arab World"

    For now, most serious treatments of the Arab uprisings will remain inadequate from a historical perspective, including this one! The first objective is to avoid the outlandish or lazy analytical treatments that proceed from some idiosyncratic political or cultural essence, and/or those monist approaches that reduce outcomes to one variable.

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