Military History

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.

Latin American Program in the News: Election strengthens Honduran military's hand

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Conservative candidate Juan Hernandez's victory this week in Honduras presidential election poses a potentially dangerous role for the military in the crime-riddled Central American nation, regional analysts say.

Honduras has struggled to restore democracy since the 2009 military coup that ousted left-leaning President Manuel Zelaya. But the military emerged from the shadows to openly support Mr. Hernandez over his main challenger — Xiomara Castro, Mr. Zelaya's wife — in Sunday’s election.

Latin American Program in the News: In Honduras vote, new lesson in how the drug war steers politics

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Hernandez campaigned on a law-and-order platform, vowing to double down on the recent deployment of military policy into the most crime-ridden areas.

Castro promoted a different kind of community-based police force as well as greater social spending, jobs programs and other measures she said would prevent crime.

The Future of American Warfare: The Rise of Special Ops

Admiral William H. McRaven said that, “Folks within the Special Operations community listen to Linda Robinson, and when they listen to her I listen to them…” Robinson visited the Wilson Center for a discussion of her book, One Hundred Victories: Special Ops and the Future of American Warfare. She spent much of the last two years in Afghanistan studying the evolution of special ops in their largest and longest deployment since Vietnam. In this interview, Robinson provides insight and context on this evolution of U.S. military strategy. 

HAPP Digital Archive Wins the 2013 Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History

A project of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program, “Digital Archive: International History Declassified,” has been selected as the winner of the 2013 Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History. The Rosenzweig Prize is awarded annually in honor and support of work on an innovative and freely available new media project that reflects thoughtful, critical, and rigorous engagement with technology and the practice of history.

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