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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Battle of Waterloo, 1815, by William Sadler

Why Is There War?

This question addresses the most tragic and recurring human event throughout history and, to this day, defies an answer. At bottom, the recurrence of war is nearly an illogical and irrational behavior. Consider a fictitious occasion where boys 16 and older are dressed in uniforms and sent to a neighboring village to kill other boys…

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Peace Needs Policies, Not Wishes

In my many terms as a member of the U.S. delegation at the 40-nation Conference on Disarmament (CD), held annually in Geneva, we grew accustomed to a favorite accusation on the failure to achieve a lasting peace. If a resolution failed to achieve a majority, the sponsors would invariably decry the incapacity of “some member-states”…

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One World?

The election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the recent election of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of Great Britain has emphasized a fact which many have thought was either outdated or irrelevant in an age of mass communication and “globalization.” The resurgence of nationalism that has been promoted by Trump’s “MAGA” campaign and by…

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Trump Needs a Doctrine

Few presidents, if any, have been so vilified in the mass media and by the political opposition as Donald Trump. To be sure, much of this is self-inflicted, what with his incessant “tweets,” poor language, rude behavior, “business”-type personality and overall demeanor. While this may seem to some as superficial and personalist, to his opponents,…

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Can the U.S. Get Back a Foreign Policy?

The first response will probably be “what do you mean, we already have one”? Fine, what is it? Name it. What is “Foreign Policy”? In describing U.S. foreign policy, what verbal description would you use? Is it “aggressive”? Not really, Hitler showed how that works. Is it defensive? Against what/whom? Well, perhaps the tariff walls…

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Boris and Donald: Blondes Have More Fun

The recent electoral victory of Boris Johnson in Britain ensures that, with some certainty, both countries will be led by men who share more in common than a similar and unique investment in political democracy (“never Trumpers” notwithstanding). Not only do they share some common personality traits, plus similar impulses toward nationalistic isolation but, more…

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A Tale of Two Countries: American History 101, 102

If one wonders why there is so much division today, one need look no further than the two most popular textbooks in American history to discover why. The first, Thomas A. Bailey’s The American Pageant, 1956, interprets the country along traditional lines that emphasized a fairly benign approach to the “grand experiment.” The second, Howard…

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Why Commemorate Pearl Harbor?

Nearly eighty years ago, the United States suffered one of the most disastrous moments in its history when Japan decimated the naval and air fleet sitting in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As President Roosevelt told it to Congress the next day, the attack by hundreds of carrier-based planes was “a day which will live in infamy”…

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History: The “Dead” Science Comes Alive

Americans are supposed to be “ahistorical” by nature, meaning that the subject has not preoccupied them as opposed to the more dynamic topics that fit in better with the momentum and optimism of the so-called American “dream.” Henry Ford, one of the architects of this dream, once called history “bunk,” as it had little to…

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How New Will the Better World Be?

In 1943, historian Carl Becker ended his long and distinguished career at Cornell with a little book with this title. Becker’s purpose was to dispel any post-war sentiment that the end of Hitler and Tojo would magically bring forth a new “world order” resplendent with peace, prosperity, and “justice for all.” The high hopes at…

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