Topic for 2 October: What were US political and economic expectations at the end of the cold war? Have those expectations been met?

Many politicians, and some economists and historians, claimed that the US had “won” the cold war when the Soviet Union collapsed at the end of 1991, and that the result would be “end of history” (i.e., world-wide adoption of US-style democracy and capitalism) and a “peace dividend” resulting from the anticipated fall in US defense spending. Were there other US expectations at that time as the result of the end of the cold war? What were they?

Have those US expectations been met? If not, how has reality differed from those expectations, and why?

One aspect of reality vs. post-cold war expectations is described in an article in the Business Section of The New York Times for Sunday, 24 September (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/business/economy/military-industrial-complex.html).

Notes: 25 September 2017

Review of HR McMaster’s book “Dereliction of Duty

WP article on lessons (possibly learned) by McMaster.

What does Kim Jung Un want. (Tufts) (Foreign Policy) (BBC)

(Source) (American war library)

PBS battlefield vietnam timeline

National archives: casualties

Two buildings => two countries. Muslim intellectuals reconsider Jihadism after the response to 911. (Article in New Yorker)

“We are prohibited from committing aggression, even if the enemies of Islam do that,” Fadl wrote in his fax, which was sent from Tora Prison, in Egypt.

Fadl’s fax confirmed rumors that imprisoned leaders of Al Jihad were part of a trend in which former terrorists renounced violence.

Percentage of military recruits, by state.

44% of recruits come from the Old South.

 

Smoking rates in the US Military (Wikipedia) In 2005, the smoking rate of military personnel was found to be 32.2%, compared to the civilian rate of 21%

Smoking rate among civilians.

ISIS using drones. 

Other drone examples.

ISIS dropping bombs on tanks from drones.

Iraqui invasion of Kuwait   (US “gives a green light“)

Project Eagle The American Christians of N Korea

Robert S. Kim contributes to a fuller understanding of Asia in World War II by revealing the role of American Christian missionary families in the development of the Korean independence movement and the creation of Project Eagle, the forgotten alliance between that movement and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), called Project Eagle. (Connects to family of our own Bob Sargent)

 

 

 

Topic for 25 September: Vietnam

The war in Vietnam has had a profound impact on the United States both internally and around the world.  It was costly, long and ended in a humiliating defeat.  What went wrong?  And what are the lessons for the future?

As for reading, there are so many views and so much literature on the war in Vietnam that it’s not easy to find a good summary article.  But the documentary currently running on PBS by Ken Burns is a good memory-jogger, especially since most of us lived through this period in US history and doubtless many have read such books as Fire In The Lake, Bright Shining Lie, or Robert McNamara’s In Retrospect or H.R. McMaster’s Dereliction of Duty.

But the documentary currently running on PBS by Ken Burns is a good memory-jogger, especially since most of us lived through this period in US history and doubtless many have read such books as Fire In The Lake, Bright Shining Lie, or Robert McNamara’s In Retrospect or H.R. McMaster’s Dereliction of Duty.

Suggested by Dick M.

If you’ve missed any of the episodes on PBS, you can stream the broadcast versions for free, at least for a while. They released five the first week, and I think all ten episodes are available now.

This alternate site has versions in several languages, including  Spanish subtitles, Vietnamese subtitles, and a language called “explicit language.” I tried googling to find out what “explicit language” was but I could not discover what the f*** kind of language it is. Perhaps one of you knows.

I tried googling to find out what “explicit language” was but I could not discover what the f*** kind of language it is. Perhaps one of you knows.

 

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Skip to toolbar