President Obama has now lost his third Secretary of Defense in a six-year period, the latest in a series of unusually short-tenured leaders at the Pentagon. There are widespread reports that Chuck Hagel was frustrated by interference and micromanagement from the White House – a pathology of the Obama administration that was described in detail… More Another one bites the dust
Following Russia’s overt intervention in eastern Ukraine late last month the rhetoric from Kiev has dramatically shifted in favor of peace, with President Petro Poroshenko himself pushing legislation to grant the rebellious areas a high degree of autonomy. Vladimir Putin has been largely victorious, for he has accomplished his objective of weakening Ukraine, stalling its integration… More A Language Putin Understands
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters along with Iraqi special forces have retaken the Mosul dam from ISIS, who captured it earlier in the month. However, reports filed by journalists who visited the aftermath of the battle suggest that the Kurds and Iraqis were not alone: Several compounds bore the marks of airstrikes, their walls collapsed and blackened. A… More US special operations directing airstrikes against ISIS
Patrick O’Sullivan and Jesse Miller conclude a now-dated regional analysis of the Middle East with comments that still ring prescient: Mackinder’s pivot was the region which the horsemen of the steppes swept out of under pressure of limited resources and internecine competition. The prize they most keenly sought lay in the region we have just… More More from O’Sullivan and Miller
On Monday, the United States formally accused Russia of violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans ground-launched missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. Originally signed during the waning days of the Cold War, the treaty placated both the Soviet Union, which was eager to restore tactical nuclear superiority on the Eurasian… More Arms Control at its Worst
The Geography of Warfare, published in 1983, is a collection of strategic and political musings by Patrick O’Sullivan (Professor of Geography at Florida State University) and Jesse W. Miller (Professor of Accounting at State University of New York). Like many other similarly themed books published around the same time, the book is a wide-ranging, searching… More Of Dominoes and Quantums
In 55 BC, after several jolly years of massacring various Gallic and Germanic tribes, Julius Caesar found himself along Gaul’s Channel coast and within range of a tempting and lucrative target: Britain. The conquest of such a distant and reputedly wealthy island would bring great glory to Caesar, and thus he prepared a small amphibious… More The first amphibious assault in history?