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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Lee Park, Charlottesville, VA

“Dancin’ in the Dark”

There are times when I wonder if I may have missed something, amidst the vitriol engaged between and among today’s “populations.” Or, to the contrary, am I all right while they keep talking “past one another” toward destinations unknown? I finally take refuge in age: I’m simply too old to understand current interests (now that…

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A Foreign Policy Without A Mission: “Stayin’ Alive”

Leaders who fail in their global missions are normally dismissed by history. What do we remember about Napoleon? Waterloo. Wilsonianism Woodrow Wilson, another case in point, is not remembered for his efforts to re-make the world but by his failure to do so. The League of Nations and Wilson’s crusade to “make the world safe…

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Unity in America

On our first day of practice, the football coach uttered these memorable words to his new team: “Remember men, there’s no ‘I’ in team.” Such an admonition has remained a mainstay of human activity, sports included, since the dawn of time. The realization that human progress depends upon “teamwork” instead of “the individual” has descended…

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Half-People: Different ancestries and identities in America

The United States may be the only country on earth where most of its citizens represent themselves by halves. Hyphenated Americans appear to be the whole, with almost all of them identified first by their ancestry, and second by their citizenship. Not only does this mock the term “united,” but it serves also to question…

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What Difference Does it Make?

The key assumption behind this most-asked question states that any final solution is irrelevant and that any one of a series of solutions will suffice. In other words, the issue/problem is either too difficult to solve and would make little difference in any case. So, why bother? Better to leave it alone and let “nature…

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A Collection of Sociologies

The “nation-state” system is widely believed to have begun in 1648, after the Thirty Years War ended the Holy Roman Empire and created mankind’s belief in the centrality of being part of something, “nation” (Peace of Westphalia). Henceforth, the division of the world’s political existence has derived from two separate but equal conceptual designs. The…

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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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