EXCERPT

The cover of C.S. Forester's "The General." (William Collins)

Max Hastings on C.S. Forester’s classic tale of World War I, ‘The General’

C.S. Forester recognized that his fumbling half-hero was as much a tragic figure as the men whom he led, often to their deaths.

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The Secret History of Diplomats and Invisible Weapons

The alleged use of a “sound weapon” against U.S. Embassy officials in Cuba harks back to a Cold War medical mystery.

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What the West Got Wrong in Syria

As President Bashar al-Assad tightens his grip over the country, it's time for those who tried to topple him to take stock of where they went wrong.

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Book excerpt: From the veterans memoirs of ‘Swift Boats at War in Vietnam’

By the time I got to Cat Lo in mid-1970 the Navy was turning over all the American Swift Boats to the Vietnamese.

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The Graveyard of Empires and Big Data

The Pentagon's secret plan to crowdsource intelligence from Afghan civilians turned out to be brilliant — too brilliant.

Indian women wait in a queue for their turn to vote at a polling station in the Naini area on the outskirts of Allahabad during the fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections on February 23, 2017.
Uttar Pradesh is home to over 200 million people -- more than the entire population of Brazil -- and polls in the battleground state are a bellwether of national politics. / AFP / SANJAY KANOJIA        (Photo credit should read SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP/Getty Images)

‘If Money is Not Distributed, You Are Finished’

In India's contentious politics, it's impossible to avoid the smell of cash.

TO GO WITH AFP STORY "China-politics-rights-Tiananmen" by Robert Saiget(FILES) This file photo taken on June 2, 1989 shows hundreds of thousands of Chinese gathering around a 10-metre replica of the Statue of Liberty (C), called the Goddess of Democracy, in Tiananmen Square demanding democracy despite martial law in Beijing.  Families of those killed in the crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests on June 2, 2010 demanded China end its silence and open a dialogue on the bloodshed. In an annual open letter, 128 members of the Tiananmen Mothers castigated the Communist Party government for ignoring its calls for openness on the crackdown that occurred June 3-4, 1989 and vowed never to give up their fight.  (Photo by CATHERINE HENRIETTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Could Mikhail Gorbachev Have Saved the Soviet Union?

The Soviet leader is remembered as the man who killed a superpower. But Gorbachev’s gambit on reforms could have worked -- if only he wasn't betrayed by the Communist Party.

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Book excerpt: Saddam Hussein said that the Iranians lied to him about everything

Saddam saw himself as the guardian of the Arabs against the Persian menace.

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The Russian Reset That Never Was

How palace intrigues in the Kremlin, the death of Qaddafi, and war in Ukraine ushered in a new era of mistrust between Russia and the United States under Obama.

387856 01: This File Photo Dated April 22, 1986 Shows An Aerial View From Over Arlington, Va Of The Pentagon, Headquarters Of The Us Department Of Defense. The 29-Acre Building Was Dedicated On January 15, 1943, Nearly 16 Months To The Day After The Groundbreaking.  (Photo By USAf/Getty Images)

How the Pentagon Became Walmart

Our armed services have become the one-stop shop for America’s policymakers. But asking warriors to do everything poses great dangers for our country — and the military.

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The Unlikely Origins of Russia’s Manifest Destiny

How an obscure academic and a marginalized philosopher captured the minds of the Kremlin and helped forge the new Russian nationalism.

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Why Jihadists Fight

Tunisia is supposed to be the success story of the Arab Spring — so why are so many of its young men flocking to the Islamic State?

Worker prepares the collaborative dual-arm robot YuMi at the Swiss automation group ABB booth at the Hannover Messe industrial trade fair in Hanover, central Germany on April 13, 2015. India is the partner country of this year's trade fair running until April 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ        (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The Brainbelt Awakening

It’s time to stop championing the "lonely heroes" of innovation like Apple, Google, and Amazon and rally around the ingenuity of the world’s waning industrial communities.

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The Antonescu Paradox

Hitler’s Romanian ally led an utterly barbaric regime — that while often protecting Jews inside Romania’s borders, murdered them indiscriminately just outside those borders.

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover