John J. Tierney Jr. is a Professor Emeritus at IWP and Former Special Assistant and Foreign Affairs Officer for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
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A dilemma of our time: Fear sells

Rarely does one read a column that summarizes most political circumstances, good or evil, as succinctly and as helpful as David Von Drehle’s Oct. 6 op-ed “Fear sells. It’s our job not to give in to it.” Read more at The Washington Post

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Angelo Codevilla speaking in Prof. Ken deGraffenreid's intelligence course in August 1994

Angelo Codevilla, RIP

Above: Angelo Codevilla speaking in Prof. Ken deGraffenreid’s intelligence course at IWP in August 1994.  My initial contact with Angelo goes back nearly half a century when we both worked Capitol Hill as “conservative” staff on National Security issues, me in the House he in the Senate. In 1975, we shared a memorable year together…

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National Purpose, “Going, Going, Gone”

When I ask friends whether the country is “going or gone” they usually look at me quizzically and ask “what do you mean”? Admittedly, the question is both pessimistic and unnatural, as it presupposes that the USA is, indeed, on a trajectory and that this trajectory is headed, at best, nowhere, and at worse, to…

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Afghanistan in Perspective

Today, August 16, 2021, will probably not go down in history as did Pearl Harbor, declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a “day that will live in infamy.” That particular day, December 7, 1941, has, in fact, stood the test of time. But today’s day, in 2021, is being declared as much by a…

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American Flag

Divisions within America

Why do they hate this country? Of all the countries in the history of the world one might think that the United States of America would be the most loved, respected, and even exalted compared to all others. This is not just a sentimental and biased reflection from an American national but can be amply…

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Remembering the Kellogg-Briand Pact

Readers will be forgiven if they have no idea about the subject of this essay. Yet, at one point in time, the “Pact” was signed by 62 countries of the world and most people, especially in the U.S. and France, believed that it would lead to an eventual “peace on earth” based on political liberty.…

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Piri reis world map

Building the Atlantic World

Beginnings In 1963, a group of scholars at the University of Pennsylvania’s Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) wrote a book with the same title as this essay (Robert Strausz-Hupe et al ) that argued for a greater common political relationship that would unite the sovereign nations of the “Atlantic World.” Just fourteen years after NATO…

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Political situation after the Congress of Vienna in June 1815.

Can the Congress of Vienna be Restored?

Above: The political situation after the Congress of Vienna in June 1815. Preventing War If the main purpose of international organizations is to prevent war, the only one worth examining is the historic congress held in Vienna, Austria, 1814-1815. The others – League of Nations, United Nations – are worth examining only if one wants…

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“It’s the Education, Stupid”

In 1992, after nearly a century of winning world wars and forging world orders, America finally gave up. In winning the presidency that year, the Governor of Arkansas campaigned on the slogan “It’s the economy, stupid.” With this motto on almost every poster and campaign circular, Bill Clinton rode to power against the grain of…

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Vietnam War protestors

One Hundred Years Apart: Overstretch in World Politics, 1839-1939

Overstretch The word “overstretch” first came to prominence in 1987 when Professor Paul Kennedy (Yale) defined it as the cause of great power decline in his book, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. The theme was applied later by Professor Walter McDougall (Pennsylvania) in The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy (2016). It is no coincidence…

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