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Stratblog: When Isms Go To War

Those following the Stratblog posts know that we’ve been looking at sixteenth century grand strategy for a few weeks this spring.  Garrett Mattingly’s The Armada and Machiavelli’s The Prince both address the politics of that eventful period, but the worlds the two books describe can seem radically different.  Understanding the underlying similarities between Machiavelli’s apparent […]

Libya and Syria

Tuesday’s newspapers made for some interesting reading on the subject of the Middle East. First, I take note of a New York Times op-ed called “Finish the Job” by James M. Dubik, who is described as a retired Army Lieut. Gen. who oversaw the training of Iraqi troops from the 2007 to 2008. General Dubik […]

Falling Between Two Stools

President Obama is now passing through what one must hope for both his sake and ours are the worst moments of a presidency no longer young. Abroad, the intervention in Libya has not had the quick and clear results he had hoped.  While things may still go well, and one devoutly hopes that they do, […]

A Bar Called Church

When I first moved to Boston some thirty years ago, The Boston Globe prided itself on being the most liberal newspaper in the country. A joke I heard about then: What will be the very last headline of the Globe? – “World ends tomorrow—women and minorities hit hardest.” Since then the newspaper has been taken […]

Stratblog: Elizabeth, The Armada and the Strategy of Yin

I had to fly over to London last week for a meeting and to see some old friends; I lucked into one of those rare spring days when the English weather was perfect.  The sky was blue, the sun was warm, and the flowers and fountains in St. James Park were at their absolute best.  […]

War In Syria Next?

The long-brewing crisis in Syria has entered a critical phase and it is changing the rules of the Middle East.  If the people keep marching and the regime keeps shooting, the Obama administration could face its toughest Middle East choices yet.  Will Samantha Power bomb yet another country in the region, or will she try […]

Brazil: What Could Go Wrong?

I’ve been blogging enthusiastically about Brazil and the potential for a new kind of relationship between the two most populous and dynamic republics in the western hemisphere.  And I’d add a little more: for young Americans wondering what country and language they can study that will give them an edge in life, let me suggest […]

What is the West? And Where Is It?

For some decades now there has been a debate over the alleged Western bias of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the multitude of activities that have emanated from it. The debate has typically focused on the priority of individual rights over collective or communal rights. The former are supposed to be characteristic of […]

Libya and Iraq, Rebels and Kurds

Making connections between the current engagement in Libya and our ongoing project in Iraq is not usually well received. To be fair, there are perhaps more differences than similarities. The European Union’s plans to ask, at last, for UN permission to send ground troops into Libya is nothing if not agonizingly slow in coming to […]

He Plants His Footsteps On The Sea: Faith Matters

Last year I posted a series on the top ten trends that would shape the new decade and introduced it with a piece on the core reality driving events in our time: the accelerating pace of change.  Driven by forces hardwired into science and capitalism, history is speeding up, societies around the world are being […]

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Asia's Game of Thrones

China’s suspension of coal imports from North Korea serves as both a warning to Pyongyang and a signal to Washington.

Transit's Future

Ridership is down, and there are reasons to believe it may never recover.

blue boondoggle

California’s utopian high-speed rail project just got another wrench thrown in its gears—this time by the Trump administration.

Fracking Futures

…And it wasn’t long ago that the U.S. was worried about LNG imports.

France 2017

The unpredictable French presidential election has taken a new turn in favor of independent candidate Emmanuel Macron.

Asia's Game of Thrones

China has almost finished building structures intended to host surface-to-air missiles on its artificial islands in the South China Sea.

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