The fantastic new German cinematic version of Erich Maria Remarque’s seminal war novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, makes a telling, universal point about war itself right off the bat: how a conflict plays out is almost never as you imagine it to be. The young German boys are regaled about the effortless victories … Continue reading As winter sets in, both Russia and Ukraine still think they can win this war
The pioneering 20th-century Kenyan aviator Beryl Markham put it well in explaining the intellectual usefulness of maps: “A map says to you, ‘Read me carefully, follow me closely, doubt me not … I am the earth in the palm of your hand’.” And for all the fog obscuring the outcome of the 2022 US midterm … Continue reading The midterm map says America will turn right
A famously frustrated Bill Clinton once explained the paradox of American politics like this: While the American people emotionally liked the Democratic Party — loving its nurturing focus on taking social care of the country — it still tended to vote for a colder, more distant, law-giving Republican Party. The Democrats were the “Mommy Party” … Continue reading Rishi Sunak and the revenge of the grown-ups
These days, Europe is seen as the weak link in the developed economic world. The European stock market is underperforming its US rival, down 22 percent year-to-date. Even risky emerging markets are doing better. Likewise, Europe’s surging inflation rates, in countries like Germany and Spain (not to mention what the UK is going through), are … Continue reading Sanctions on Russia are on a collision course with Europe’s green ambitions
Putin’s rattling of nuclear weapons, the danger they pose worldwide – and the role of the Nobel Peace Prize
As Max Hastings’ hugely enjoyable most recent book, Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 makes abundantly clear, during the Cold War millions of people went to bed terrified of a nuclear conflict breaking out. However, since the implosion of the Soviet Union, the world has increasingly perceived the threat of nuclear war as highly unlikely. … Continue reading Putin’s rattling of nuclear weapons, the danger they pose worldwide – and the role of the Nobel Peace Prize
I have found through my constant exposure to them through the years that the EU’s intellectual cheerleaders among geopolitical analysts — funded as they so often are by the very institution they are supposed to be impartially analyzing — are as numerous as they are clueless. At my political risk firm, the joke goes that … Continue reading The EU, not Meloni, is the threat to democracy
In my experience, the widely quoted adage about America’s capital — “You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog” — makes a fair point; imagine a city populated entirely by high school student council presidents. Nevertheless, in my glory days in D.C. I managed to buck the odds and acquire a number of great … Continue reading US Republicans challenge the foreign policy ‘blob’
The Ukraine war reaches its Gettysburg moment. Will we see a draft that could end Putin, or the disintegration of western unity?
The early 1900s baseball star (and sometime philosopher, they often go together) ‘Wee’ Willie Keeler put it perfectly – that the key to the sport is to ‘hit ‘em where they ain’t.’ The same simple, effective philosophy, to an even larger extent, explains Ukraine’s dramatic strategic offensive of last week to the northeast of the … Continue reading The Ukraine war reaches its Gettysburg moment. Will we see a draft that could end Putin, or the disintegration of western unity?
You always knew you had reached an intellectual dead end when foreign policy grandees sat around a table and recommended sanctions as an all-purpose answer to any problem. While such an initiative almost never practically worked in terms of changing the policy of the offending country, it made political sense in a Washington sort of … Continue reading A global food crisis could spell a bigger catastrophe than Vladimir Putin’s war
The presence of al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, under the protection of the Taliban in a luxury villa in Kabul raises important questions about who is actually running the country and what this means for U.S. and allied interests. When U.S. forces killed al-Zawahiri on July 31, he was not just visiting Afghanistan’s capital city. He and … Continue reading A terror network’s struggle for influence in Afghanistan
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