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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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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At War with the World

The current crisis over Syria against Turkey on behalf of the Kurds may be a bit distant to most Americans. That, however, does not prevent many of them to view the situation with the utmost intensity and dire warnings, either opposed to the administration or in favor. But it really makes little difference. The “Foreignness”…

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Can America survive its own success?

Success The possibility of being too “successful,” or too “good,” at what you do might just drive yourself out of the market. “Too much of a good thing” is an old phrase, but relevant when/if there comes a time when the enterprise simply goes overboard by its own ambitions. If your team has won 52…

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The Most Important Battle in History

What is the most important battle in history? Many claim that the answer is too complicated, as it “depends” on what one defines as “important” and as “history.” Fair enough. All this, however, only begs the question: what was the most important war in history? A significant battle in an obscure war has to be…

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