The lessons of World War I are many and varied for those who study warfare. To name a few: Economic interconnectedness does not avert armed conflict; democratic states are capable of making durable and costly commitments to both war effort and alliances; the decisiveness of battlefield outcome is a central determinant of the sustainability of peace settlements; technological innovation can radically alter the offense-defense balance in military operations; and “laws of war” can be developed that create enduring norms limiting classes of weaponry.
Latest in World War I
Today is the centennial Armistice Day, remembered as the day the Great War ended. In a military sense it did, but as a matter of U.S. domestic law, it dragged on for three more years.
History can be a good friend of confirmation bias. We often look to the past for lessons that support beliefs that we already have instead of the ones best supported by a deep analysis of the evidence.
A retrospective review essay on Jean Renoir's classic film, La Grande Illusion (1937).
A little more than 99 years ago, and several months after the United States declared its entry into the Great War against the Central Powers of Europe, Charles Evans Hughes declared in a widely publicized speech that “the [constitutional] power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully.” In a new draft article
A review of Michael S. Neiberg's The Path to War: How the First World War Changed America (Oxford University Press 2016).
Americans (myself included) have tended not to be attentive to the Great War. Our attention is focused instead on World War II, and we think of the Great War as "World War I" - and regard the "First" merely as wind-up to the "Second." It took me a long time to understand intellectually that the 20th century (and the 21st as well, to judge by current events in the Middle East) takes place in the shadow of the towering mountain range of the First World War. In historical terms, the First World War stands above even the Second in its influence upon the world.