Why Chinghis Khan Matters
By John Zambri, Small Wars Journal: “The importance of intelligence, and determining adversary intentions, through a network of spies and informers was well documented and practiced long before Chinggis Khan and his Mongol hoard laid waste to much of Central Asia. Why then were Mongol intelligence networks so superior to their contemporaries and what, in the post 9/11 irregular threat environment, can we learn from them?”
Managing Savagery and The Geramisov Doctrine
By B.A. Friedman, Strategy Bridge: “While western nations typically view instability as a threat, both Russia and ISIS—although two vastly different strategic actors—seemingly view instability as an opportunity. Specifically, it’s an opportunity to turn primordial human needs and desires towards their own ends.”
Reagan: The Life by H.W. Brands. PART 1 of 6.
From master storyteller and New York Times bestselling Historian H. W. Brands comes the definitive biography of a visionary and transformative president.
In his magisterial new biography, H. W. Brands brilliantly establishes Ronald Reagan as one of the two great presidents of the twentieth century, a true peer to Franklin Roosevelt.
Reagan conveys with sweep and vigor how the confident force of Reagan’s personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. Reagan shut down the age of liberalism, Brands shows, and ushered in the age of Reagan, whose defining principles are still powerfully felt today.
Employing archival sources not available to previous biographers and drawing on dozens of interviews with surviving members of Reagan’s administration, Brands has crafted a richly detailed and fascinating narrative of the presidential years. He offers new insights into Reagan’s remote management style and fractious West Wing staff, his deft handling of public sentiment to transform the tax code, and his deeply misunderstood relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, on which nothing less than the fate of the world turned.
Reagan is a storytelling triumph, an irresistible portrait of an underestimated politician whose pragmatic leadership and steadfast vision transformed the nation.
Five Things That Helped Carl Von Clausewitz Become a Great Strategic Thinker
From Vanya Eftimova Bellinger, Strategy Bridge: “While Carl von Clausewitz is often quoted, in reality his treatise On War is rarely studied in depth. Aside from the book’s unfinished character, the difficulty in translating nineteenth century German into modern English, combined with interpreting complex ideas and placing them into current context, makes it easy to understand why military professionals and the general public quickly abandon reading the book. In times when the U.S. military struggles to find its strategic footing, reading and debating Clausewitz’s complex ideas are needed more now than ever before.”
For any new occupant of the White House, the early months are like a graduate seminar in policy crammed into every half-hour meeting. What made sense on the campaign trail may have little bearing on reality in the Oval Office, and the education of a president can be rocky even for former governors or senators. For Mr. Trump, the first president in American history never to have served in government or the military, the learning curve is especially steep. – New York Times
President Donald Trump on Thursday praised the decision to drop a massive bunker-busting bomb in Afghanistan as an example of the “total authorization” he has given his military commanders. But such boasts only deepen defense experts' concerns that Trump is ceding the military too much influence over the United States' actions abroad — creating the danger of an unbalanced policy that gives short shrift to interests like diplomacy. - Politico
President Trump on Thursday called the recent high-profile military actions overseas proof that he’s fulfilling his promise to let defense leaders act decisively without interference from politicians. – Military Times
Charles Krauthammer writes: We’ve just witnessed one about-face. With a president who counts unpredictability as a virtue, he could well reverse course again. For now, however, the traditionalists are in the saddle. U.S. policy has been normalized. The world is on notice: Eight years of sleepwalking is over. America is back. – Washington Post
David Ignatius writes: President Trump, after a mostly disastrous first two months, has had a good run these past two weeks in foreign policy. He acted decisively in Syria, gained China as a possible partner in dealing with North Korea, repaired relations with NATO and began addressing the serious tensions with Russia. Why is Trump making better decisions now? And what could disrupt his progress toward a more coherent foreign policy? – Washington Post
Article Review: Andrew Michta writes: The greatest threat to the security and survival of the democratic West as the leader and the norm-setter of the international system comes not from the outside but from within. And with each passing year, the deconstruction of Western culture, and with it the nation-state, breeds more internal chaos and makes our international bonds across the West ever more tenuous. – The American Interest
Lessons from the Tragedy of Woodrow Wilson’s War
From John L. Chapman and Karl-Henrik Smith, RealClearDefense: “Today is a historical marker of immense importance in American history: it is the centenary of American entry into the Great War, later known as the First World War. One hundred years ago today, on April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, following strong majority votes in both Houses of Congress and the impassioned speech of President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session on April 2, wherein he asserted that America must fight in the European war “to make the world safe for democracy.”"
European Security at the End of American Century
From Jeffrey Mankoff, War on the Rocks: “The American century began, in a sense, 100 years ago today. On April 6, 1917, the House of Representatives voted to declare war on Germany two days after the Senate had done so, and the United States joined the Allied side in World War I. Over the next year and a half, American troops helped turn the tide of the war in bloody battles at places like Chateau-Thierry, Saint-Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne.”
African Kaiser: General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck and the Great War in Africa, 1914-1918 by Robert Gaudi. PART 1 of 4.
"At the beginning of the twentieth century, the continent of Africa was a hotbed of international trade, colonialism, and political gamesmanship. So when World War I broke out, the European powers were forced to contend with one another not just in the bloody trenches, but in the treacherous jungle. And it was in that unforgiving land that General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck would make history.
With the now-legendary Schutztruppe (Defensive Force), von Lettow-Vorbeck and a small cadre of hardened German officers fought alongside their fanatically devoted native African allies as equals, creating the first truly integrated army of the modern age.
African Kaiser is the fascinating story of a forgotten guerrilla campaign in a remote corner of Equatorial Africa in World War I; of a small army of ultraloyal African troops led by a smaller cadre of rugged German officers—of white men and black who fought side by side.
It is the story of epic marches through harsh, beautiful landscapes; of German officers riding bicycles to battle through the bush; of rhino charges and artillery duels with scavenged naval guns; of hunted German battleships hidden up unmapped river deltas teeming with crocodiles and snakes; of a desperate army in the wilderness cut off from the world, living off hippo lard and saw grass flowers—enduring starvation, malaria, and dysentery. And of the singular intercontinental voyage of Zeppelin L59, whose improbable four-thousand-mile journey to the equator and back made aviation history.
But mostly it is the story of von Lettow-Vorbeck—the only undefeated German commmander in the field during World War I and the last to surrender his arms."
EXAMPLE OF SUCCESS IN U.S. FOREIGN POLICY ACE VENTURA
PAUL RAHE: REALISM IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS, SPARTA
CONSCIENCE & TEMPORAL AUTHORITY
POSITIVE LAW vs. CONSCIENCE