Michael H. Hunt: The American Project in the Middle East: The End Is Nigh!

If you think the past week or so has not gone well for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, then what to say about the U.S. position in the Middle East? Washington’s attempt to remake or at least manage the region has suffered a string of blows that suggests the end is nigh. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: The American Project in the Middle East: The End Is Nigh!

Steven I. Levine & Michael H. Hunt: Civilian Casualties: Tactical Regrets and Strategic Hypocrisy

The reality is that the large-scale targeted killing of civilians has been an integral part of America’s military strategy for well over a century. Continue Reading Steven I. Levine & Michael H. Hunt: Civilian Casualties: Tactical Regrets and Strategic Hypocrisy

Michael H. Hunt: Afghanistan and an unkind God

Turning our backs on the grim prospects for Afghanistan is part of a long tradition. We drew a veil over the struggle against insurgents in the Philippines. A combination of amnesia and speculative might-have-beens disposed of the Korean stalemate and the Vietnam defeat, and it seems likely the Iraq invasion and occupation will suffer the same fate. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Afghanistan and an unkind God

Meredith Lair: What Was in the Other Three Bags?

The fourth bag, the one for which O’Hair had to pay, contained weapons, essential implements of warfare that speak to the harsh conditions one would expect to find in a war zone. Yet no one has ever asked what is, in my opinion, the most important question: What was in the other three bags? Continue Reading Meredith Lair: What Was in the Other Three Bags?

Michael H. Hunt: Republicans on foreign policy: Regional powers and regional problems

Regional issues continue to tie politicians in knots. Michael Hunt responds to the GOP debate on foreign policy, as both an historian and as a citizen. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Republicans on foreign policy: Regional powers and regional problems

Michael H. Hunt: Out of Afghanistan: Tragedy or Farce?

Michael Hunt on how the United States’ exit from Afghanistan might seem similar to some past tricky military retreats. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Out of Afghanistan: Tragedy or Farce?

Michael Hunt: Restrepo: An Oscar for Afghanistan?

Update 4/21/2011:The lamentable news of Tim Hetherington’s death covering the civil conflict in Libya reached us yesterday (20 April 2011). Restrepo is one of this fine and courageous documentarian’s major achievements. His record of what it meant for U.S. soldiers to fight in the Afghan War will stand the test of time.—MHH Ignore all the… Continue Reading Michael Hunt: Restrepo: An Oscar for Afghanistan?

Election 2010: Making the Wars Go Away

Proponents of military force learned from Vietnam that their freedom of action depended on insulating the public from the effects of war. Contractors were an ingenuous solution to the problem of a public squeamish about fighting and killing. Continue Reading Election 2010: Making the Wars Go Away

A Middle East Policy in Deep Denial

Denial is a well known defense mechanism that keeps unpleasant realities at bay. U.S. policymakers seem well practiced in this common coping device. Heaven knows they have good reason, no matter which direction of the Middle East they turn. Afghanistan seems right now to occasion the deepest denials because the realities are the grimmest. Two… Continue Reading A Middle East Policy in Deep Denial

General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion

Barack Obama’s Afghanistan commanders are something else. First, they promoted a highly debatable counter-insurgency strategy. Then, despite the numerous and cogent contemporary critiques, they got the president to buy into their particular brand of wishful thinking, and they got from him the additional troops supposedly needed for success. They have since failed to deliver. There… Continue Reading General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion

Vietnam War Lessons: Never Too Late to Learn

Developments over the last month or so have put the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan under a dark cloud. The McChrystal affair and the WikiLeaks revelations are symptomatic of deeper troubles: the rapid bankruptcy of counterinsurgency, a surge in U.S. casualties, the persistently problematic role of Pakistan, the continued immobility of the Karzai regime, the sluggish… Continue Reading Vietnam War Lessons: Never Too Late to Learn

The McChrystal Affair: Pity the Poor Historian

There is good reason to pity the poor historian, who has been tested especially severely during the recent McChrystal-Obama imbroglio as the eruption of historical parallels and lessons have ranged from the wrong-headed to the off-kilter. Continue Reading The McChrystal Affair: Pity the Poor Historian

When Janey Comes Marching Home – Photo exhibit now in Arlington, Va.

When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans is more than a book we’ve just published — it’s a multimedia project based on interviews with dozens of female military veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The book juxtaposes 48 photographs by Sascha Pflaeging with oral histories collected by Laura Browder to… Continue Reading When Janey Comes Marching Home – Photo exhibit now in Arlington, Va.

National Women’s History Month: Women at War

If you are familiar with the UNC Press Blog, you probably know that we know a thing or two about celebrating. If it has a national celebration day, week, or month, we probably have it marked on our calendars well in advance. Why else would we have a 1000-word post on the merits of National… Continue Reading National Women’s History Month: Women at War

The Delicate Art of Nuclear Jujutsu

In this first post of the new year, new decade, as concerns over the nuclear programs of countries such as Iran and North Korea continue to make headlines, we welcome the following commentary from Shane J. Maddock, author of Nuclear Apartheid: The Quest for American Atomic Supremacy from World War II to the Present (forthcoming… Continue Reading The Delicate Art of Nuclear Jujutsu

Obama Pronounces on Afghanistan: Deja Vu All Over Again!

In a follow-up to his article on Obama and Afghanistan, Michael Hunt responds to President Obama’s speech at West Point last night, in which the President laid out his plan for additional troops and a timeline for withdrawal.–ellen  [author photo by Dan Sears] Barack Obama has an impressive intellect, and he has given the decision… Continue Reading Obama Pronounces on Afghanistan: Deja Vu All Over Again!

Obama and Afghanistan

Before we close up shop for the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to highlight some excellent commentary on President Obama’s impending decision about how to proceed with the war in Afghanistan. The President is scheduled to make an announcement next Tuesday, December 1, about his intentions for America’s next steps. Between now and then, we would… Continue Reading Obama and Afghanistan