Military History

World War One: What Were They Thinking? Lessons From the Catastrophe

Why did a small number of European statesmen take the world into the seminal catastrophe of the Great War? The German Chancellor Otto Bismarck had warned in 1880 that “some damned foolish thing in the Balkans” might lead to a terrible war. The shots at Sarajevo did just that a hundred years ago. What have we learned?

This event is co-hosted with Thomson Reuters.

Declassified Documents on Korean Armistice Agreement Featured on the Digital Archive

Sixty-one years ago this week, the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, with neither side legitimately able to claim outright victory. When the armistice was signed on 27 July 1953, talks had already dragged on for more than two years. Issues such as the line of demarcation were agreed upon early in the negotiations by military commanders from North Korea and China on one side, and the United States on the other. Yet, for over a year-and-a-half, talks became ensnared on the exchange of prisoners of war.

Gender Mainstreaming in African Armed Forces

Africa Program Director Dr. Monde Muyangwa recently discussed gender mainstreaming in African armed forces at a Regional Gender Mainstreaming Seminar hosted by the Namibian Defense Force and co-sponsored by US Africa Command and US Army Africa in Windhoek, Namibia from 23-27 June, 2014.

PM Begin writes to Margaret Thatcher in 1979, warning of the threat posed by Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin writes to Margaret Thatcher in 1979, warning of the threat posed by Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Saddam Husayn and Islam, 1968–2003: Ba'thi Iraq from Secularism to Faith

Saddam Husayn and Islam, 1968–2003: Baʿthi Iraq from Secularism to Faith offers an intellectual history of the Baʿth Party from the 1940s through 2003. Amatzia Baram focuses on the transition from its early insistence on “unity, freedom, and socialism” to its Islamization by the time it was toppled by US forces in 2003, a change largely impelled by the need to rally Iraqis against Iran during their war of 1980–88. Baram reveals signs that Saddam Husayn himself became some sort of born-again Muslim, though these signs are inconclusive.

Latin American Program in the News: The Pan-American Post News Briefs

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"While the recent institutionalization of "self-defense" militias in the Mexican state of Michoacan has led to comparisons to Colombia's paramilitary groups, there are both strong and weak points in this comparison. A new report out by the Wilson Center's Latin American program, called "One Goal, Two Struggles: Confronting Crime and Violence in Mexico and Colombia," features input from a range of experts around the hemisphere on the security lessons from both countries."

The Two Koreas and the Question of National Reunification, 1953-1960

The 1953 Korean War armistice resulted in an uneasy truce along a demilitarized zone not far from the 38th parallel, the imaginary line that separated the rival Korean states prior to the conflict. While bringing an end to large-scale military operations on the peninsula, both North and South Korean leaders continued to plan for national reunification under their own respective political system.

Great Powers, Small Wars: Asymmetric Conflict since 1945

In a sophisticated combination of quantitative research and two in-depth case studies, Larisa Deriglazova surveys armed conflicts post–World War II in which one power is much stronger than the other. She then focuses on the experiences of British decolonization after World War II and the United States in the 2003 Iraq war. Great Powers, Small Wars employs several large databases to identify basic characteristics and variables of wars between enemies of disproportionate power.

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