by | Dec 18, 2019

When the British diplomat Robert Ker Porter arrived in the Persian city of Ispahan, having ventured there from St. Petersburg in 1817 to explore the vestiges of ancient Babylonia, and then to follow the route of Xenophon’s Katabasis, he could…

by | Dec 10, 2019

The Little Cold War between the United States and Iran rages on. Iran’s theocratic leaders have declared their intentions to surge forward with the production of their nuclear weapons program; U.S. forces captured a cargo transport containing missile components that…

by | Nov 27, 2019

Nervous self-congratulation will be the order of the day next week in London as representatives of the 29 member nations convene to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. There will be much relief expressed that President…

by | Nov 26, 2019

In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians held a three-day harvest feast at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts. This is usually called the first American Thanksgiving, and it sounds delicious. Here is what they feasted on, according to…

by | Oct 28, 2019

Say what you want about nation-building; its results pale next to the can-do of American fighting men. In a lightning raid preceded by aerial bombardments themselves preceded by months of intelligence gathering and surveillance, American soldiers located a leading Arab…

by | Oct 23, 2019

“Trump has betrayed the Syrian Kurds” — so goes a popular refrain regarding the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the areas of northeast Syria held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The events that have followed — namely, a…

by | Oct 22, 2019

Congress wouldn’t declare war or even approve presidential troop deployments in Syria. But sanctimonious legislators now are preening for the cameras, demanding that U.S. military force remain entangled in that tragic nation, seemingly forever. They show greater concern for foreign…

by | Oct 16, 2019

Since the start of the Bush administration’s War on Terror, much has rightly been made of the need to defeat the jihadist ideology behind terror attacks using more than simply guns and bombs. But terrorism is only one battleground of…

by | Oct 15, 2019

As reports come in on the Turkish attack on Kurdish positions in northern Syria, the armchair debate in Washington — mind, not the country, be grateful for that — proceeds apace: our war or not our war? Or even if…

by | Oct 14, 2019

All of Washington has been atwitter with the president’s recent decision to draw down American forces from their ongoing mission in Syria. The reason is the purported American abandonment — betrayal, in the eyes of many — of the Syrian…

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