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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Franklin D. Roosevelt and Churchill in Casablanca

The Twentieth Century

I frequently ask my history class “what is the most significant enduring fact of the twentieth century”? In explaining, I emphasized “enduring” rather than single event. In most cases, the most significant fact was the beginning of something/someone. For America, it was July 4, 1776, for the airplane, the Kitty Hawk event, for the telephone,…

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What Foreign Policy Shall We Have?

The above question, attributed to Leon Trotsky after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, was an ideological admission that world Communism would soon remove the need for any “bourgeois” remnants of history that might survive Marxism’s final triumph. Assuming the inevitable, “scientific” victory of worldwide Communist-Socialism, the Bolsheviks of that time had complete faith that their…

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Political Hysteria: American as Cherry Pie

While most readers do not recall political history back to “I Like Ike,” I certainly do, and I am, thus, appalled (but not surprised) by the fever-pitch of “hysteria” that has been ongoing for at least three years. Hysteria is defined as “…overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess.” Synonyms are “frenzy, rage, fury, rampage,…

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The Russians Are (Always) Here

Recently, I wrote that evidence demonstrating Russian involvement in the 2016 election was fragmentary, ambiguous, and certainly not “public knowledge.” The testimonies of both Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Attorney General William Barr did little to dispel this conclusion, but Mueller is scheduled to testify to Congress next week. Evidence in the Mueller Report One…

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Remembering Pat Derian, human rights activist

Undoubtedly, few readers will remember this name, yet she was the chief architect of American foreign policy during the Carter Administration, 1977 – 1981. She was neither Secretary of State, nor a member of the National Security Council. Her background was exclusively domestic, as an activist for civil and voting rights for blacks in Mississippi…

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Isolationism: The People’s Choice

George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address set the stage for more than 150 years of “isolationism” for American foreign policies. While the advice was challenged prior to both world wars and brought the U.S. into each, the idea of abstention from external political affairs became a near-sacred political “theology” for most American history. Even after it…

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The Second Civil War

There’s an old political adage, “the job of the opposition is to oppose.” Makes sense, and what would a democracy be without opposition? Kings, dictators, and military officers are not known for their patience with political dissent. But when the job of the opposition is to “remove, replace,” we have an altogether different situation. Us…

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Do Elections Shape Foreign Policies?

Readers may know the immediate answer to this question by thinking about their motivations in the last presidential election. Was foreign policy the determinate factor between Trump, a realtor and media personality, and Hillary Clinton, a former Senator and Secretary of State? The same may be done for other, previous contests since the end of…

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The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming

The classic comedy film (1966), of the same name, depicts the adventures of a Russian crew whose submarine goes aground off a New England beach. While essentially a theatrical farce, the movie tried to bring out some of the absurdities and misunderstandings between the two sides at the height of the Cold War. In a…

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Geopolitics in an Aerospace Age

To simplify, analysis can be either “traditional” or “progressive.” The first views the past to reach the future, the second views the past as an impediment for the future. Alone, both are hazardous for serious analysis. Together, they both are needed for the same. There is an old expression, “Keep your eyes on the horizon,…

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