SOURCE: The New Republic
Why George Kennan Thought He Failed His Biggest Challenge
by Patrick Iber
After urging the United States to firmly oppose the expansion of Soviet influence as a way of bringing the USSR's internal weaknesses to the forefront, Kennan grew disillusioned at the militarized tack later versions of "containment" took. A new book revisits and challenges canonical studies of the diplomatic thinker.
How Ambassador Joseph Grew Tried to Prevent the Pacific War
by Steve Kemper
Caught between Japanese militarism and the State Department's inflexibility, Joseph C. Grew worked for a decade as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan to try to avert a war he saw looming long before Pearl Harbor.
SOURCE: The Bulwark
Despite US Missteps, Nothing about NATO Since 1991 Justifies Putin's Invasion
by Cathy Young
Attempts to blame Putin's aggression on the post-Cold War growth of NATO have traction on the left and right, but they simplify the history of the Russian federation and ignore the expansionist moves that made Russia's neighbors draw closer to western Europe.
SOURCE: Not Even Past
In Memoriam: Robert Divine, 1929-2021
by H.W. Brands and Mark Atwood Lawrence
Two University of Texas colleagues pay tribute to the scholarly, teaching, and personal contributions of the late Robert Divine to the field of diplimatic history.
Russia vs. Ukraine Redux? Mapping the Way Forward from the Recent Past
by Walter G. Moss
Historical context suggests that Vladimir Putin's intentions toward Ukraine are pragmatic and comprehensible (whether one favors Russian objectives or not); a broader imagination and diplomatic engagement can do more to prevent open war than saber-rattling.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education
The Quintessential Institutionalist
by Donald Alexander Downs
Walter LaFeber's legacy goes beyond scholarship to his work as a champion of academic freedom and open debate, writes his former colleague political theorist Donald Alexander Downs.
On Shedding an Obsolete Past
by Andrew Bacevich
"Sadly, Joe Biden and his associates appear demonstrably incapable of exchanging the history that they know for a history on which our future may well depend. As a result, they will cling to an increasingly irrelevant past."
SOURCE: New York Times
Walter LaFeber, Historian Who Dissected Diplomacy, Dies at 87
Walter LaFeber was an influential scholar of diplomacy whose work balanced analysis of institutions and individual influence, challenged views of American exceptionalism, and even capably wrote about how Michael Jordan explained globalization.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
Joe Biden is Making Clear that Saudi Human Rights Violations Won’t be Ignored
by Nicholas DeAntonis
President Biden's recent affirmation of an American commitment to human rights in discussions with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud fell short of many demands for action against the Saudi regime. But it is a step in reforming a relationship in which human rights have not been an afterthought, but a non-thought.
Peace, Waiting to Be Picked Up: The Secret Diplomacy Failure of 1916 that Changed the World
by Philip Zelikow
In 1916, the major warring powers of Europe secretly pursued an American-brokered, face-saving peace. Confined to the shadows, the negotiations came close, but failed, with grave consequences for the world.
"The Silent Guns of Two Octobers" Reviewing a New History of the Cuban Missile Crisis
by Sheldon M. Stern
Longtime JFK Library historian Sheldon Stern offers a review of a new book on the diplomatic resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
“He Could Get Squishy on Democracy”: Bill Clinton’s Perception of Vladimir Putin According to Recently Public Documents
by Stephan Kieninger
Newly available Clinton Presidential Library files give readers novel insights and fascinating impressions of Putin’s KGB heritage, his manners, his style, his shrewdness and his ways of manipulation.
SOURCE: Tom Dispatch
World War III’s Newest Battlefield
by Michael T. Klare
U.S. Troops Head for the Far North
SOURCE: Washington Post
The United States and Saudi Arabia aren’t allies. They never have been.
by Ellen R. Wald
One of our key ideas about the Middle East is wrong.
SOURCE: Tom Dispatch
The American Chaos Machine: U.S. Foreign Policy Goes Off the Rails
by Danny Sjursen
President Trump’s rash, risky, and repugnant decision to assassinate Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani on the sovereign soil of Iraq was only the latest version of what has proven to be a pervasive state of affairs.
SOURCE: Madman of Chu
Imagining an Iranian Spring
by Andrew Meyer
The recent brush with war between the US and Iran underscores the persistent question of US-Iranian relations: will the two countries ever reach a point of mutual toleration ever again?
Do Morals Matter in Foreign Policy?
by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
Examining 14 presidencies since 1945 shows that a radically skeptical view of morality is bad history. Morals did matter.
SOURCE: Washington Post
War with Iran is not inevitable — but the U.S. must change course
by Kelly J. Shannon
The relationship between the countries, once friends and allies, has soured — because of U.S. aggression.
SOURCE: NY Times
How a Chase Bank Chairman Helped the Deposed Shah of Iran Enter the U.S.
The fateful decision in 1979 to admit Mohammed Reza Pahlavi prompted the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran and helped doom the Carter presidency.
2020 Will Be More Turbulent Than 2019, Unless…
by Alon Ben-Meir
The year 2020 will most likely be as turbulent if not more so than 2019 due mainly to the lack of American leadership and the rush of other powers, especially Russia, China, and to a lesser extent Turkey and Iran, to fill the vacuum the US is leaving behind.
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