“The Shah Always Falls”

A soldier-historian looks at how the world has changed in the past decade and finds that America is both hostage to history and likely to be saved by it

Military historians sometimes write biographies of people they call military intellectuals. Such people are interesting because they can have a vast effect on history, and also because they combine in one career two modes of life normally considered incompatible, the life of thought and the life of action. Read more »

Who We Fight

A year after the September attacks, it has become clear that ours is a very old enemy.

“His temperament lacked joy and good will toward men . . . and his soul gorged on two dishes, his ego and his god. Egotism and religion formed the content and the contours of his life, and he felt no sympathy with other human beings, since his eyes looked only upward, never down. His faith was gruesome and dark, for his god was a terrifying being, and the only lesson he drew from religion was fear. His respect for his god was all the deeper and more profound since he lacked respect for every other creature.

 
 
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The New Warfare And Old Truths

How our technologies are still our allies

In the early 1880s, a Maine-born inventor named Hiram Maxim, who had tried and failed to become a leading figure in the young electrical industry, met a fellow American in Vienna who told him, “Hang your chemistry and electricity! If you want to make a pile of money, invent something that will enable these Europeans to cut each other’s throats with greater facility.” Maxim took the man’s advice. He invented the first truly automatic machine gun.Read more »