“A GREAT deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep,” the novelist Saul Bellow once wrote. We should keep that in mind when we consider the lessons from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — lessons of supreme importance as we plan the military of the future.

Our record of learning from previous experience is poor; one reason is that we apply history simplistically, or ignore it altogether, as a result of wishful thinking that makes the future appear easier and fundamentally different from the past. (more…)

When we set up Think Peace online, we envisioned ourselves as a small independent peace group that would concentrate on its relevant message of the week based on the group’s analysis of international developments and thus did not think that we would get too much attention or have adversaries who would want to hack us.

Along the way, our site was hacked a number of times, by simple hackers – seeking to push various political messages.

However, in 2014 at a time when the site was far less active – as we were concentrating on the same work elsewhere – it was “hacked hugely”.

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Against this reality, all the criticism of President Obama concerning his minimalist approach toward the region seems misplaced… the president’s instincts on the politics of the region are largely correct. When people are engaged in high-stakes struggles over basic questions of identity, citizenship and nationalism, it is up to them and their leaders to discover a formula that will make their societies successful. (more…)