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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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Vince Lombardi (left) and Packers quarterback Bart Starr pose together holding a football.

The Only Game in Town

When asked about “winning,” legendary football coach Vince Lombardi replied, “it’s not just the most important question, it’s the only one.” Winning If asked about American foreign policy today, what would be a comparable answer? What is “winning” to America in the world? Undoubtedly, the answers would be as different and as contentious as the…

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Diverse hands holding each other

Division, Diversity, Unity

The first two words overlap and have a common understanding in the colloquial sense. But in the American popular culture there is a distinction, whereas division implies separation (“portion,” “piece,” “unit”) diversity implies variety within a whole (“assortment,” “heterogeneity”). By any definition, however, both words are the exact opposite of “unity,” best defined by its…

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Battle of Ascalon engraving

Crusader State

Policy Periods: Isolationism and Internationalism In his classic 1997 study on American foreign policies, Walter McDougall (University of Pennsylvania) divides the subject into old and new “testaments,” between the time when the country was young and weak and since it became a global power (Promised Land, Crusader State). Both time periods were derived from the…

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За единую Россію


Crane Brinton’s views on revolution In his classic study, Anatomy of Revolution (1938), Harvard Professor Crane Brinton compared the four great political revolutions (English, American, French, Russian) to a “fever” that contained several stages, eventually ending in a new and invigorated society but still based upon  cultures inherited from the past. That is to say,…

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Declaration of Independence 1819, by John Trumbull

Born Again

To be “Born Again,” in Christian theology, means to be “renewed” in belief, i.e. to gain a newer and more committed faith in the meaning of Christianity. In Biblical terms, it expresses a rebirth “in spirit and water” to Christ and the path to Heaven. Born Again, thus, is a spiritual renewal and certainly not…

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Conceived in Liberty

Conceived in Liberty

In 2016, my book Conceived in Liberty was published (Transaction). The title was deliberately chosen to emphasize the two terms, “conceived” and “liberty,” being careful not to extrapolate more from the title than was intended. This was not a “historical” study to determine whether or not Americans, from the start to 2016, lived up to…

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London Blitz

Remembering The Blitz

As the world goes through another of history’s life-and-death struggles, it may be at least comfortable to acknowledge that today’s crisis is neither new nor unsolvable. History has recorded the nature of most past events when it seemed that life itself was on the line. It may have seemed so, but, looking back, it never…

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The National Interest

Of all competing concepts in the political vocabulary, the term “national interest” remains both the most vital and simultaneously the most elusive. Barring outright treason, there can be no honest citizen in any sovereign nation that will deliberately advocate violation of a country’s national interest. Interests Then the fun begins. Being vital is not enough.…

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Land and Oceans


For most of history, geography represented an inescapable, deterministic phenomenon that controlled how, when, and where nations and peoples lived out their short lives. Where you lived, the climate, access to outside, barriers from outside, etc. were factors that pre-technology could not overcome. If you were born in a closet, you lived in the dark.…

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Honore Daumier, L’Equilibre Europea, (1866)

The Balance of Power

In the realm of World Politics, the term “Balance of Power” is the governing concept that controls the entire field, but it is rarely even mentioned in any popular media. The explanation, so far as can be seen, is that public opinion is so consumed with personality, domestic politics, self-indulgence, good or bad behaviors, and…

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