George Friedman, the founder of Geopolitical Futures, has a vast knowledge of history, and I always find his essays thought provoking.  I recommend a gift subscription to Geopolitical Futures for your recent high school or college graduate.  Here is the link to his recent essay “The World that World War II Built”.  From the linked essay:

On June 4-7, it will be 75 years since the Battle of Midway, the battle in which the United State won the war in the Pacific and prevented the defeat of Britain and Russia. Guadalcanal, El Alamein and Stalingrad followed, all mostly fought in the second half of 1942. Over two years of horror would remain – neither Japan nor Germany was prepared to concede the point – but the war was won by the beginning of 1943.

These were extraordinary battles in an extraordinary war. I want to devote some time this year to considering the battles on their anniversaries and, I want to try to explain how these battles were an interlocking whole – really a single, rolling, global battle that collectively decided the war. By the end of the year, my goal is to show that a single global battle, beginning at Midway and ending at Stalingrad, defined the fate of humanity.

Systemic Wars

This is not simply antiquarian interest, although surely June 1942 to February 1943 must rank with Salamis, where the Greeks stopped the Persian surge into Europe; Teutoburg, where the Germans halted the Roman advance; or Lepanto, where Christian Europe halted Muslim Ottoman expansion. These battles defined the future of a civilization; June 1942 to February 1943 defined the future of the entire world.

World War II defined the global civilization in which we now live. It ended Europe’s imperial project, opened the door to American global power, created what was called the Third World and set the stage for the emergence of the Asian mainland as a significant global player. The war also bred a distrust of nationalism, gave rise to multinational institutions and turned an interest in technology into an obsession with its redemptive powers. We live in the shadow of World War II and are now in a global revolt against the world it created.

All of this must be discussed, but to understand a war, we must understand it on its own terms, its own grammar. Many talk of wars without wanting to understand their logic, from the details of an artillery barrage to the tonnage of supplies that must flow to the battlefield. War, as all things, is a matter of detail, and the detail must be framed by both the logic of a war and its purpose. World War II had a unique logic. Many Americans long for the days when Americans were united in war. They mistake World War II as the way in which Americans once fought wars, with shared values. That was never the case. The American Revolution, the Mexican-American War, of course the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War were all fought with a vocal and angry faction opposing the war while it was underway. The dissent of Vietnam or Iraq was the norm of American warfighting, and World War II (and to a lesser extent World War I) was unique in its unity. That’s because it was a unique war.



How North Korea Views the Situation on the Peninsula

by Marilou Long on May 1, 2017 in Geopolitical

Given the administration’s focus on North Korea, I thought that this article by George Freidman, the founder of Geopolitical Futures, was very interesting.  From the linked article: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was founded as a communist state and a client of the Soviet Union. The Soviets encouraged North Korea to invade South Korea to […]

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The Rise in Populism in Mexico

by Marilou Long on April 12, 2017 in Foreign Markets

Stratfor has an interesting article today on the rise of populism in Mexico.  From the linked article: Mexico’s 2018 presidential election is already stoking concern north of the border. For months, populist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has led the polls for what promises to be a close presidential race. As a result, public and […]

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George Friedman on Warsaw and Budapest

by Marilou Long on April 5, 2017 in Foreign Markets

George Friedman, the founder of Geopolitical Futures, had an interesting piece today on the dynamics between Eastern Europe and Russia.  From the linked article: As I have mentioned previously, I spent the past couple of weeks in Europe. I completed my trip last week with a visit to Warsaw and Budapest. Both places are concerned […]

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Ed Yardeni on the Failure of Repeal and Replace

by Marilou Long on March 28, 2017 in Economic Indicators

From today’s Morning Briefing: This week may be dominated by the fallout from the failure of the Republicans to repeal and replace (R&R) Obamacare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) at the end of last week. The good news is that it didn’t take very long to cripple this flawed legislative initiative, which means […]

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A Brief Summary of what the AHCA might or might not have accomplished

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 27, 2017 in Healthcare

I have been struggling with understanding what the failed health care bill did,and did not include. I found this very brief summary from Jim Geraghty at “The National Review” very useful: “Like most of my colleagues, I found AHCA pretty “meh” at best. (With all the bashing going on right now, it’s worth remembering that […]

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Paul Ryan and the new Health Care Bill

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 23, 2017 in Healthcare

An interesting excerpt from Paul Ryan’s Opinion piece in today’s “WSJ”: “Right now, the tax code discriminates against people who don’t get health care from their jobs. It makes no sense that those who have insurance through work see a tax benefit, while those who don’t, get nothing. Our bill would level the playing field […]

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Repeal and Replace

by Marilou Long on March 15, 2017 in Healthcare

With the media focused on yesterday’s CBO release of the scoring on the proposed Republican health care plan, I found this analysis from today’s Yardeni Research Morning Briefing interesting: The bull obviously got recharged by the animal spirits unleashed following Election Day. Undoubtedly, investors got into the spirit as well on expectations that Trump’s Electoral […]

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Entrepreneurial Capitalism vs Crony Capitalism

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 9, 2017 in capitalism

From our favorite economist Ed Yardeni: “My experience as the owner of a small business is that entrepreneurs are actually driven by insecurity, not selfishness. Our number one worry is that we won’t satisfy our customers so they will go elsewhere, putting us out of business. That’s why we strive so hard to grow our […]

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How knowledge of U.S. history can help Preserve our Republic

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on March 2, 2017 in politics

From “The National Review”: “Regardless of whether a proper understanding of history and government is essential to one’s vocation, it is absolutely essential to the future of our republic. A citizenry that fails to learn about or appreciate its cultural and political inheritance is far more likely to squander that inheritance. The American Founders drew […]

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