Moving Beyond the Cold War

The Cold War ended twenty years ago, but it remains the preeminent focus of historians of U.S. foreign relations. The disappearance of the Soviet Union also prompted few changes in U.S. national security policy. One could chalk up both phenomena to inertia. Once a field begins to focus heavily on a period or question, subsequent […]

Liberating the Civil War from American Exceptionalism

In respect to the international dimensions and ramifications of the Civil War, the subject needs to be liberated from the intellectual strait-jacket of American exceptionalism. Instead, it needs to be recognized that this conflict was one of the numerous wars of independence, secession, and national unification which took place from the 1840s to the 1870s. […]

Diplomats Among Warriors

In Afghanistan at the moment (February 2010), U.S. Marines, allied troops, and Afghan government soldiers are embarked on an offensive at a town called Marja in Helmand province. American commander-in-chief General Stanley A. McChrystal here makes the first expression of the strategy that underlies the appeal for reinforcements that led to the Obama administration “surge” […]