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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The Biden administration is making a welcome change in foreign policy

Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, U.S. foreign policy has been overtaken by a series of domestic priorities wherein national security interests have been buried under slogans. The “endless wars” in the Middle East have tested the patience of the electorate, while public “red-blue” division reminds one of the “blue-gray” divide that…

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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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To Lose a Country

The title is taken from the third volume of Alistair Horne’s trilogy on French-German relations (wars) between 1870 and 1940. France lost two and won the middle (1918), but, in the last (1940), France, in effect, lost itself, i.e. its “country.” What does the loss of “country” imply and does it occur every time a…

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Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address

The Top Ten Inaugurals

Above: Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address Inaugurations Probably the most important speech ever given by any President of the United States was his first official one. While all the subsequent addresses, some in the thousands, related to situations, circumstances, and events, the Inaugural Address has an importance that is all its own. Not only does…

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Guilty As Charged

Guilt The quality of being “guilty” is a pervasive accusation, whether true or not, that can have a powerful effect on the behavior of anything so charged, be it individuals or nations. The precise definition of the term is “feelings of deserving blame for imagined offensives or from a sense of inadequacy.” Synonyms are “contrition,…

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The Boston Police Strike, A Harbinger for Today?

Boston On September 9, 1919, the Boston police force went on strike against what the police union called poor labor and wage conditions. The strike lasted five days and to this day represents the first and only organized police strike in American history. But considering the conditions in cities today, with calls for defunding and…

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