Robert Strange McNamara was a seminal and highly controversial figure of the 1960’s who managed the unusual feat of being wrong on both sides of the Vietnam War issue. Aside from Vietnam, admittedly a very large event to set aside, McNamara had a transformative impact on the Pentagon as Secretary of Defense for both good and ill. SWJ has an uber-round up on McNamara’s death and legacy.
Adam has a sharp analysis of social media tech and their uses or abuses during recent political upheavals, that goes against conventional wisdom. Take a look!
Outside the Beltway (Dave Schuler)- Is the World Smiling Back?
Dave gets to the heart of the problem that bedevils what passes for foreign policy analysis by most Americans – an egocentric belief that the US is the prime mover in the world and all other states simply react to what have done, are doing, will or will not do. That isn’t the case. As Dave illustrates with Russia, most states with any appreciable leverage and resources pursue their own interests – generally with greater focus and consistency than the United States can muster.
Scientific American – Are certain genders or body types better at the art of persuasion?
Bruce’s posts range from the seriously analytical to the bitingly polemical to those that are amusing, so I thought I would give you a couple of examples for the newer readers yet unfamiliar with Mr. Kesler ( who is not actually a lesbian BTW).
This one is a must read in a car crash sense. Professor Roberts is deeply invested in the steeply uphill – and most likely ideologically motivated- project of rehabilitating the historical reputation of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin through an examination of Stalin as the warlord of the 20th century ( an intriguing perspective, and overdue). I have yet to read his book, Stalin’s Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 , but from the buzz and this interview I’d say it’s a fascinating mix of getting some angles insightfully correct while being horrifyingly and disengenuously wrong on the bigger picture.
Progressive Historians (AndrewMc ) – What The Fourth of July Means
A. is right. I fear what might happen if the Constitution were put up for a vote today. In toto it might pass muster with approval in the low 50 % zone. If we went article by article, amendment by amendment, for voter approval, most of it would be voted down by large majorities of shortsighted partisans and ignorant, drive-by voters. I suspect that even the almost sacred 1st amendment, the touchstone of American liberty, might be a close call.
Foreign Policy – The Death of Macho
Twitteramigo Reihan Salam is wrong by about – I will wager – 180 degrees. Results of trends here in the medium term are likely counterintuitive and potentially nasty, if the trends are accurate.