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March 5, 2015

United States
The Twenty Best Vietnam Protest Songs

Sunday marks fifty years since the first U.S. combat troops arrived in South Vietnam. To mark the anniversary of the war that changed America, I am doing a series of posts on the best histories, memo…


September 8, 2014

Three Things for Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe to Read

With the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in early November approaching rapidly, hopes are high for a meeting between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. The …

Demonstrators chant slogans and carry a Chinese national flag as they march past riot police outside the main entrance to the Japanese embassy in Beijing September 17, 2012. Chinese police used pepper spray, tear gas and water cannon to break up an anti-Japan protest in southern China on Sunday as demonstrators took to the streets in scores of cities across the country in a long-running row with Japan over a group of disputed islands. REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS)

August 4, 2014

Defense and Security
TWE Remembers: The Gulf of Tonkin Incident

The USS Maddox was on alert on the evening of August 4, 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin. Two nights earlier North Vietnamese patrol boats had attacked it without warning. The Maddox had driven them off wi…


July 30, 2014

TWE Remembers: World War I Novels

Yesterday, I recommended several great books on the origins of World War I. I’m a history buff, so books about what world leaders said and did are my thing. But friends who prefer novels to histories…


July 23, 2012

United States
National Security Leaks and Iranian Revenge

On June 1, 2012, the New York Times featured a remarkable work of journalism by David Sanger that opened with the following revelation: “From his first months in office, President Obama ordered incr…

John McCain

May 9, 2012

United States
A Primer on Military Force

As I’ve written previously, policymakers and pundits have some pretty silly proposals for the use of military force. Whether it’s President Clinton,“[It would] scare the shit out of al Qaeda if sudde…

Army tanks

January 13, 2012

United States
You Might Have Missed: Nuclear Materials, Economic Sanctions, and Afghanistan

- Nuclear Materials Security Index (PDF), Nuclear Threat Intiative, January 2012. The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) Nuclear Materials Security Index includes findings for each of 176 countries, in…

Afghanistan soldier

July 1, 2011

Fossil Fuels
Weekly(ish) Reading

Following my friend and colleague Shannon O’Neil’s lead, I’m going to start posting a quasi-weekly collection of links to interesting things that I’ve been reading. I encourage readers to add their o…

September 16, 2011

Diplomacy and International Institutions
Friday File: The Palestinian UN Statehood Gambit

Palestinians take part in a candle light rally to show support for the Palestinian bid for full United Nations membership on September 15, 2011. (Ammar Awad/courtesy Reuters) Above the Fold. The Pal…

Palestinians take part in a candle light rally to show support for the Palestinian bid for full United Nations membership this month, outside the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, September 15, 2011. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

August 12, 2011

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
Friday File: The GOP Debate Meets Budget Math

Winthrop, Iowa. (Jessica Rinaldi/courtesy Reuters) Above the Fold. Foreign policy took a back seat to Obama bashing and internal GOP sniping in last night’s Republican presidential debate. Rick Sant…

A farm in the town of Winthrop, Iowa. (Jessica Rinaldi/courtesy Reuters)