History

Soldiers of the German Wehrmacht stand with their hands up

How America Forgot It Needed to Understand The Enemy

Social scientists helped win World War II by judging enemy morale. But in Afghanistan, the U.S. kept getting it wrong.

World War I recruitment poster

When Germany Was China

Attempts to explain Berlin’s militarism tells us something about how analysts approach Beijing.

Tunisian military forces guard the area around the parliament building in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 26.

Keep Tunisia’s Military Out of Politics

President Kais Saied has broken a 65-year taboo.

North Vietnamese Army tanks take over the South Vietnamese presidential palace.

Stop Comparing Afghanistan’s Fall to South Vietnam’s

Americans are still using the lens of a half century-old conflict.

A man walks on a bridge decorated with flags of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Peace on Azerbaijan’s Terms Won’t End the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Baku is attempting to assert sovereignty through force and ethnic cleansing while denying Armenians the right to self-determination.

The Bala Hissar historical compound in Kabul

A Taliban Challenge: To Learn the Lessons of History

What an ancient citadel can teach us about Afghanistan’s past—and its potential future.

British soldiers in tanks pass an Afghan guard post in 1941.

Why We Need to Reckon With Afghanistan’s Colonial Past

From Kabul to Kolkata, South Asian heirs of partition can draw inspiration from their history to chart a sustainable future.

A statue of Mao Zedong

Ideological Competition With China Is Inevitable—Like It or Not

Beijing recognizes promoting human rights and democracy is an ideological challenge. So should Washington.

Schoolchildren and their teacher peer out from under their desks during a Cold War air raid drill

Be Wary of China Threat Inflation

Look at what happened with the Soviet threat in the Cold War.

The MV Ever Given container ship sails in the Suez Canal

How the Red Sea Became a Trap

From piracy to the Ever Given, colonialism left hard scars.

Portrait taken on May 12, 1982 of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

Postmodern America Didn’t Deserve Jimmy Carter

A new biography paints a portrait of a president who made vast progress on policy—and failed at smoke-and-mirrors PR.

Frodo stands before the Cracks of Doom in Sergei Iukhimov’s cover illustration for Volume I of Vlastelin Kolec, Natalya Grigor’eva and Vladimir Grushetskij’s two-volume 1993 translation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Comrades of the Ring

How Soviet artists evaded censors to create their own visions of Tolkien.

People celebrate ahead of the return of a formerly banned anti-government group, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on September 14, 2018.

Ethiopia’s Problems Stem From Internal Colonialism

Robert Kaplan’s selective reading of history bolsters proponents of a centralized state while ignoring the legitimacy of federalists’ demands.

19th-century Chinese rebel Hong Xiuquan and social media influencer Addison Rae.

America’s Collapsing Meritocracy Is a Recipe for Revolt

Chinese history shows what happens when an old system loses its force.

Supporters of assassinated Haitian president protest.

U.S. Intervention in Haiti Would Be a Disaster—Again

The nation’s poverty and chaos has been shaped by Washington for decades.

A young person stands below an Ethiopian national flag during a blood donation rally organized by the city administration of Addis Ababa, in Addis Ababa, on Nov. 12, 2020.

Ethiopia’s Problems Aren’t Postcolonial

The country seems on the verge of falling apart. Here’s why it won’t.

The opening of the Helsinki Summit on July 31, 1975.

It’s Time to Revive the Helsinki Spirit

The 50th anniversary of the landmark Cold War conference is inspiring a renewal for today’s world.

The registration room in hut 6 at Bletchley Park on Oct. 22, 1943. British cryptographers used the intelligence center during World War II to decipher top-secret military communiques between Hitler and his armed forces.

How World War II Code-Breakers Created the Modern Digital World

In “Geniuses at War,” David A. Price convincingly recounts a heroic and tragic tale.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on board an American warship circa 1935.

The Intellectual Foundations of the Biden Revolution

Why is there no Rooseveltian school of foreign policy? American past and future greatness is unthinkable without it.

A portrait of Sun Yat-sen at Tiananmen Square

The Chinese Communist Party Has Followed Sun Yat-sen’s Road Map

The nationalist leader laid out a prescient path—but his hopes of democracy are far off.