Failing to Endorse

It is hardly reason for despair that the Camp David "summit" called mainly so Boy Clinton could burnish his legacy seems to have ended in ostensible failure. It is doubtful that the failure will erase the modern superstition that wise and enlightened diplomacy and sustained negotiations can solve any problem in the world. But if … Continue reading “Failing to Endorse”

Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense

Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) was born in Belgium but spent much of his life in France as a member of the French laissez faire liberal school of economists. This school, which dominated economics in France during the 19th century, built upon the work of Jean-Baptiste Say, a far better economist than Adam Smith and a … Continue reading “Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense”

The Future of States and Wars: On State-Strengthening Wars, Part III

I conclude here my look at Martin Van Creveld’s analysis of the relationships between states and war in The Rise and Decline of the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). ENTER THE AMERICANS Van Creveld’s views on the rise of the American (federal) state are quite interesting. The American Revolution saw the rise of "a … Continue reading “The Future of States and Wars: On State-Strengthening Wars, Part III”

The Twilight of Sovereignty in Azerbaijan

It’s January 2001, and George "Dubya" Bush has just been sworn in as president. The neocons are in charge of foreign policy, and one of the top items on their agenda is in the war-torn, ex-Soviet region of the Caucasus, where the Russians are resurgent. The situation in the Republic of Azerbaijan creates the most … Continue reading “The Twilight of Sovereignty in Azerbaijan”

Debunking the Greatest Generation

What got me started was a book review in the conservative magazine National Review of yet another of those books by sons of World War II-era fathers glorifying their participation in the "good war." This one was by the son of one of those who raised the American flag at Iwo Jima. As the reviewer, … Continue reading “Debunking the Greatest Generation”

An Insider’s View of the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague

There follows extracts from a conversation with someone who has recently observed the Hague Tribunal at close quarters. The person’s name and the proceedings observed have not been revealed. As the following article makes clear, no one who has had any dealings with the tribunal can feel entirely sure that its tentacles will not wrap … Continue reading “An Insider’s View of the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague”

New World Order: The Bosnian Model

Congress flirted earlier this year with taking a more assertive role in determining U.S. policy in Kosovo and the other countries in the Balkans, but ultimately chose to stick with the pattern that has characterized most of the last several decades: Congress grumps and grouses from time to time but essentially leaves foreign policy to … Continue reading “New World Order: The Bosnian Model”

On State-Strengthening Wars: Part II

GETTING BACK TO THE SUBJECT… To recur, in a concrete way, to the relationship between war and heightened statism, let us now look at things from the standpoint of Martin Van Creveld’s The Rise and Decline of the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Van Creveld, a military historian who teaches at the Hebrew University … Continue reading “On State-Strengthening Wars: Part II”

Into a New Quagmire

The worst news of the week from a substantive perspective was the U.S. Senate’s approval of the vast bulk of the Clinton administration’s request for more money to conduct the misbegotten and unwinnable "drug war" in Colombia. The worst news from the perspective of what it says about our political culture and its watchfulness over … Continue reading “Into a New Quagmire”