Vladimir Putin in a joint news conference with the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö "This belief in the desire to hold power leads us to theorize about the interdependence between institutions of governance and questions related to political survival, a topic that has received limited attention in the literature on political institutions" - Bruce Bueno de... Continue Reading →
Movie Review: The Siege of Jadotville, Directed by Richie Smyth, 2016 (1h 48m)
Comdt. Pat Quinlan, far left, poses with soldiers of A Company, 35th Infantry Battalion, in Elisabethville, before the siege.4 The siege of Jadotville was an armed conflict that happened in September of 1961 (at the peak of the Cold War), during the Congo Crisis, when the "A" Company, 35th Battalion, of the Irish Army's United... Continue Reading →
Book Review: Blood and Debt; War and the Nation-State in Latin America, by Miguel Angel Centeno, 2002.
The altarpiece of the Independence of Mexico ("El Retablo de la Independencia de México"), is a fresco on a wall by Juan O'Gorman, painted from the year 1960 to 1961. "What has characterized the Latin American state is not its concentration of power, but the very dilution of power." - Miguel Angel Centeno (2002, Loc.... Continue Reading →
Documentary Review: Canada’s Elite Special Forces Mission in Iraq, by Lisa Laflamme, 2017 (21 m)
Whenever the objective has been to disrupt, sabotage, rescue, gather intelligence, combat irregular enemy forces, etc. Special forces have always played a key role throughout the history of warfare. Top of mind commando forces include Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) and, in the United States, the Green Berets, Rangers and Delta Force. In the case... Continue Reading →
Book review: Peace and War: Armed Conflicts and International Order, 1648-1989, by Kalevi J. Holsti, 1992.
The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 15 May 1648 by Gerard ter Borch "The real difficulty is that through history the use of force in statecraft has had different meanings, and if this is so, the sources, causes, or correlates of war in one period cannot be easily transferred to another." - Kalevi J.... Continue Reading →
Book review: Counterinsurgency, by David Kilcullen, 2010.
Coalition partners and security force members aim towards the location of concealed opponents during a drill on navigating difficult terrain during military training in Erbil, Iraq, Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Anthony Zendejas IV) “Insurgents tend to ride and manipulate a social wave of grievances, often legitimate ones, and they... Continue Reading →
Book review: Democracies at War, by Dan Reiter and Allan C. Stam III, 2002.
Is is true that democracies do not come to the rescue of other democracies? Are democracies more likely to win wars? Are democracies better administrators of resources than non-democracies in times of armed conflict? Overall, this D. Reiter & A. Stamm III's book is an "interesting" one. Nevertheless, a couple of affirmations significantly damaged my... Continue Reading →
Book review: The War Puzzle Revisited, by John Vasquez, 2009.
A Syrian forces' artillery observer looks through a scope as smoke plumes rise on the horizon, near the town of Qumhanah in the countryside of the central province of Hama, on April 1, 2017. Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images. Bottom line: this book is interesting. John Vasquez affirms that around 70% of wars happen because of territorial... Continue Reading →
Book review: Win, Lose, or Draw, by Allan C. Stam III, 1999.
This is a well-organized and elegant work, however, It lacks a condensing theory, though. The main argument of this work is that domestic politics are the main elements that predetermine the result of an inter-state armed conflict. This is not a new idea; however, it is a novelty in the sense that it challenges presuppositions of... Continue Reading →
Documentary Review: The German Military – Filling the Ranks, by Udo Bauer, 2017 (12 m)
The German military is looking for new recruits. But, where to find them? How to seduce them? Marketing the army was never so difficult as it is today. Becoming a soldier is not a popular career option at this moment in the most successful country of the European Union... The German government has set up... Continue Reading →