An exclusive monthly online feature written by Patrick J. Garrity, a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute and a regular contributor to the Claremont Review of Books.
A Difficult Dawn: A review of An Army at Dawn: The War In North Africa, 1942-1943.
Of Wildcats and Whales: A review of The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944.
A Tough Third Act: A review of The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945.
War Liberals: Why does the American intellectual elite typically oppose the use of American military power? Perhaps they are wiser than the common folk-or perhaps they just don't trust the common folk to rule themselves.
China and Strategic Paradox: Perhaps the Chinese are wiser (and stronger) than the barbarians and thus destined to rule the world. Edward Luttwak forcefully invokes the paradoxical laws of strategy to dispute both parts of China's claims to power-although he doesn't seem to be able to convince himself that all is well.
Classics Review:Imperial Diplomacy: William Langer's classic diplomatic history of European imperial rivalries at the turn of the 20th century-especially in China and East Asia-reminds us of the complexity and contingency of international relations.
The Falklands Factor: The Last Lioness? Historians debate which events and decisions turned the tide of the Cold War. Margaret Thatcher had a surprise nominee.
The Sage of Singapore: When Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew talks about China and the United States, people listen. But be sure to listen carefully.
Classics Review: Nazi Bureaucrats: Regimes and constitutions come and go, but foreign policy remains the same. The late Paul Seabury examined this assertion by a Germany diplomat in his 1954 contemporary classic, The Wilhelmstrasse: A Study of German Diplomats under the Nazi Regime.
Engineers of Victory: Victory in war may require Masters and Commanders, and G.I. Joes, but having a few Wheezers and Dodgers doesn't hurt, according to Yale University's Paul Kennedy.
Uncle Sam's Web-Feet: "Damn the Torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" Who uttered these famous words? Hint: Civil War historian James McPherson knows.
Classics Review: The Building of a Navy: The rest of the story: what happened to the U.S. Navy after it damned the torpedoes? Navy Secretary Benjamin F. Tracy's 1889 Report, an American strategic classic, set it on a radically new course.
Iron Curtain: Rust or Rupture?: Did the Iron Curtain rust away or was it shattered? Did the solvent-or hammer-come from inside or outside? Anne Applebaum addresses these questions in her important new work, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956.
Classics Review: America and the Revolutions of 1848: A century before Soviet troops occupied Eastern Europe in the course of World War II, Russian troops entered many of the same areas to aid Austrian forces in suppressing independence movements stirred by the Revolutions of 1848. A U.S. diplomat in Vienna, William H. Stiles, provided this classic first-hand assessment of events behind what Americans regarded as the 19th-century Iron Curtain.
Supreme Command: Tom Ricks's new book, The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today, argues that the U.S. Army has been far too slow to relieve underperforming commanders and that this has had a deleterious effect on civil-military relations as well as on America's ability to win its wars. This leads us to reconsider one of the most important recent texts on those topics, Eliot Cohen's Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime.
Classics Review: The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant: Who's buried in Grant's tomb? This is not a trick question. Who wrote Grant's Memoirs? Neither is this. The ordinary man from Galena, Illinois, turned out to be not only a great soldier, but a great writer.
Alternative Worlds: "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future."The U.S. National Intelligence Council takes a crack at the very difficult; is it being prescient or merely channeling the conventional wisdom?
A New Look at the New Look: Was Dwight Eisenhower a sophisticated student of Clausewitz, a closet peacenik, or a confused old man?
Addendum to Eisenhower and the New Look: Churchill's Address onthe "Sturdy Child of Terror": In his last major speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill outlined his parenting manual for peace and security in the thermonuclear age.
Seward's Folly or Farsightedness?: William H. Seward spent his career in pursuit of the perfect geography for a more perfect Union. Was there wisdom in his geopolitical expansionism?
Classics Review: William Gilpin's ‘Heartland' Thesis: Explorer, Army officer, land speculator and Governor, William Gilpin is often called America's first geopolitician. He envisioned a North American Empire at the heart of a global economy, linked together by a Cosmopolitan Railway.
The Founding and the Law of Nations: The American people, according to the Declaration of Independence, claimed to be exercising their right "to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them." That claim was just as important as the argument that followed as to certain self-evident truths.
The Prolific John Keegan: Are we all Clausewitzians now? Sir John Keegan was not, and in challenging various comfortable ideas about politics and war, he made us better intellectual soldiers.
Classics Review: Grading Madison's Examination: Secretary of State James Madison's massive indictment against predatory British maritime practices made America's case for a properly liberal law of nations. How does it stand in the court of history?
The Iron Revolutionary: "If there is to be revolution, we would rather make it, than suffer it." Thus Otto von Bismarck of Prussia. But what sort of revolutionary, exactly, was the Iron Chancellor?
Eisenhower the Political General: According to the standard model of civil-military relations in the United States, politicians set goals, soldiers fight wars. The real world is not so neat, as the career of Dwight Eisenhower demonstrated.
Rise and Fall of Venice: The rise and fall of great powers is hardy topic for debate. Medieval Venice, one of the unlikeliest of great powers, has much to teach on both sides of the fence.
Classics Review: Churchill on Afghanistan: The United States seems uncertain as to the stakes in Afghanistan. A young Winston Churchill had no doubts on this score, and was determined to play his role—and to record it for posterity.
The Tribe of the Eagle: Veni, vidi, vici—Historian Barry Strauss proposes a slightly more elaborate formula for how the Great Captains of ancient history tried to rule their worlds.
First in War, First in Peace: "First in war, first in peace, and now first in the National League—our appreciation of George Washington's strategic acumen grows with time."
The Great Warpath: Eliot Cohen on the Great Warpath: lessons from battle with our neighbor to the north.
Debating the Monroe Doctrine: Must foreign policy doctrines be doctrinaire? The history of the Monroe Doctrine demonstrates that there is often more, and less, than meets the eye
Strategic Pivots and Priorities: The Obama administration thinks that it may move the world with the use of a pivot. However simple the machine, reality tends to be rather complex.
Is Geography Destiny?: Is geography destiny? Pretty much so, Robert Kaplan contends.
The Parameters of Victory: In war, knowing when to stop is easier said than done.
Classics of the Crimean War: The Crimean War was full of blunders, but it was also the shape of the future.
Iron Fist, Velvet Glove: Is there an American Grand Strategy?
Russian War Guilt: What caused World War I?
Balancing Act: Edward Mead Earle and Nicholas Spykman