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History

United Nations troops fight in the streets of Seoul, South Korea, on Sept. 20, 1950.
United Nations troops fight in the streets of Seoul, South Korea, on Sept. 20, 1950.

Ukraine Is the Korean War Redux

Russia’s invasion heralds the transition to a new global order—but it will be less stable than the Cold War.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he speaks during a press conference ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 27.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he speaks during a press conference ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 27.

We Are Now in a Global Cold War

With NATO expanding its focus to China, new battle lines are being drawn.

The United Nations Security Council gathers.
The United Nations Security Council gathers.

Take Realist Arguments Over Russia in Good Faith

As Thucydides’s history shows, wielding power needs open debate.

The Grohnde nuclear power plant
The Grohnde nuclear power plant

Germany Confronts Its Nuclear Demons

Opposition to all things nuclear was the bedrock of the modern German political psyche. Then came Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Georgian soldiers
Georgian soldiers

What the Fall of Empires Tells Us About the Ukraine War

Russia’s war can only be understood as a bloody post-imperial conflict.

Mobile artillery moves through Red Square
Mobile artillery moves through Red Square

Why Russia Keeps Turning to Mass Firepower

Russian artillery is an old tradition with brutal uses.

An engraving depicts King Alfred the Great of England dividing his kingdom into counties and instituting tithes as a form of taxation.
An engraving depicts King Alfred the Great of England dividing his kingdom into counties and instituting tithes as a form of taxation.

Is Brexit a Swamp Creature From 10,000 Years Ago?

Ian Morris’s latest pop history looks for the roots of British particularism.

Belgium’s King Philippe shakes hands with Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi as he hands over a ceremonial mask during a ceremony at the National Museum of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Kinshasa on June 8.
Belgium’s King Philippe shakes hands with Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi as he hands over a ceremonial mask during a ceremony at the National Museum of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Kinshasa on June 8.

Belgium Offers Regret—but No Reparations—to Congo

King Philippe stopped short of apologizing for colonial-era atrocities, angering the Congolese opposition and diaspora.

Electricity workers in a boat check solar panels at a photovoltaic power station built in a fishpond in Haian, China, on July 19, 2021.
Electricity workers in a boat check solar panels at a photovoltaic power station built in a fishpond in Haian, China, on July 19, 2021.

Russia’s War Is the End of Climate Policy as We Know It

Ironically, geopolitical strife and energy scarcity will do more for the climate than decades of ardent policies.

An outdoor screen shows a virtual meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Beijing on December 15, 2021.
An outdoor screen shows a virtual meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Beijing on December 15, 2021.

Why China Threads the Needle on Ukraine

Beijing is confident in the United States’ decline and unwilling to rock the boat.

Iranian, Russian, and Chinese warships practice a joint military drill in the Indian Ocean.
Iranian, Russian, and Chinese warships practice a joint military drill in the Indian Ocean.
An aerial view of firebombed Tokyo in 1945.
An aerial view of firebombed Tokyo in 1945.

When Tokyo Burned

“Paper City” explores the forgotten firebombing of Japan’s capital.

Supporters of interim Malian President Assimi Goïta wave Russian flags during a pro-junta and pro-Russia rally in Bamako, Mali, on May 13.
Supporters of interim Malian President Assimi Goïta wave Russian flags during a pro-junta and pro-Russia rally in Bamako, Mali, on May 13.

How the West Lost Africa

Scolding and paternalism are not winning over African leaders when it comes to ties with Russia.

Visitors view the Benin Bronzes exhibit at the British Museum.
Visitors view the Benin Bronzes exhibit at the British Museum.

Africa’s Stolen Art Debate Is Frozen in Time

Europe’s arguments against restitution have ignored the legitimate claims of African scholars and governments for 50 years.

Demonstrators hold placards during a rally in support of Ukraine in Almaty, Kazakhstan on March 6.
Demonstrators hold placards during a rally in support of Ukraine in Almaty, Kazakhstan on March 6.

Former Soviet States Are Distancing Themselves From Their Old Imperial Master

The war in Ukraine is prompting countries from Kazakhstan to Moldova to reexamine their colonial past and seek diplomatic allies beyond the Kremlin.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is received by his Kenyan counterpart, Raychelle Omamo, in Mombasa, Kenya.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is received by his Kenyan counterpart, Raychelle Omamo, in Mombasa, Kenya.

While America Slept, China Became Indispensable

Washington has long ignored much of the world. Beijing hasn’t.

A tunnel under London is built to accommodate those sheltering from air raids.
A tunnel under London is built to accommodate those sheltering from air raids.

What Happened to Europe’s Public Bunkers?

As bombs fall on Ukraine, many European governments are waking up to the sorry state of their own civil defenses.

The sun sets behind London.
The sun sets behind London.

How to Get Recent History All Wrong 

A new book identifies—and misunderstands—the structural forces behind today’s geopolitical chaos.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (L) and General Mark Milley (R), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee April 7 in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (L) and General Mark Milley (R), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee April 7 in Washington.

Yes, the United States Should Weaken Russia

The old approach of outreach and inclusion has failed. In the wake of Russia’s latest invasion, Washington must seek to erode Moscow’s power.

Chinese President Xi Jinping takes his tea cup during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People on March 11, in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping takes his tea cup during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People on March 11, in Beijing, China.

Xi Jinping Is Fighting a War for China’s History

Fear of “historical nihilism” has haunted China’s leadership for years.

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