Summary: Here's a powerful poem by Rudyard Kipling. It's about Britain, but also about us. The past provides a mirror in which we can see ourselves, valuable given the clouded vision that afflicts us. These notes from the past can help us get a grip on ourselves, and perhaps retake the reins of America. "Recessional" … Continue reading Advice from Kipling & Orwell about America’s empire. Let’s listen.
Summary: In his third post about the real revolution in military affairs, the evolution of western armies into pussycats, Martin van Creveld looks for explanations in the cycles of history. Pussycats III, or the Rise and Fall of Empires By Martin van Creveld From his website, 8 October 2014 Posted with his generous permission … Continue reading Martin van Creveld: Do the cycles of history turn our armies into pussycats?
Summary: After 2 failed invasions and occupations, as we gear up to repeat the same tactics in another round of interventions, it's time for our hawks to excite us with stories about our mad unprofitable Empire (unprofitable to us). Today we have a review of the oddly named America in Retreat: The New Isolationism & … Continue reading Is America in Retreat before a more threatening world?
Summary: As our mad, expensive but profitless empire weighs us down, we can learn from the policies of the greatest western empire since Rome. One of its leaders explains the key aspects of their grand strategy. From a speech by Lord Palmerston, one of Britain's great Foreign Ministers (and Prime Minister), on 1 March 1848: … Continue reading Advice from one of the British Empire’s greatest Foreign Ministers
Summary: A guest post by Bernard Finel provides a deeper explanation for our love of foreign wars, wars often with only tenuous connections to our national interest. This piece from David Axe at Wired (Why the U.S. Should Send Troops (and Spooks) to the Congo) has gotten a bit of attention: Problem is, Congo can’t … Continue reading Ultimately Primacy Is Its Own Justification (Imperial rule #12)