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WAR IN THE MODERN WORLD

Welcome to the website!

Most of the papers here are from my studies at King's College London in an online "programme" for mid-career British Army officers called War in the Modern World. About half were indeed British Army, including a captain who deployed to Afghanistan midway through the four years. (Alas, upon his return he dropped out of the course, left the army, and began to study law instead.) The rest of us were from other militaries or civilian life, from a Danish pilot to an assistant to the prime minister of Singapore. I learned a great deal, and this website is to share it more broadly.

From the blog:

Feb. 24: A debacle in the making

Will the US abandon Ukraine?

Joe Biden's flight from Afghanistan was an embarrassment as bad as Saigon in 1975, and he keeps ditheringin his support for the embattled Ukrainians. (They've needed our F-16s for two years now, and will get the first one in June -- from Denmark!) But it's Republicans in the House of Representatives who're setting us up for another national humiliation. The Wall Street Journal publishes an essay every Saturday on the question of the week, and today it's the war correspondent Yaroslav Trofimov asking "Will the US abandon Ukraine?" It's painful reading. My first vote was for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, and I've mostly voted the party line in the years since. If I couldn't support a nominee -- Nixon, Goldwater, Trump -- I'd vote for a third-party candidate along with the Republicans running for Congress. But the eight Republican nay-sayers in the House of Representatives are making a Democrat out of me. If we can't support a brave country against a revanchist dictatorship, what is the United States good for?

Feb. 22: Be a traitor to Russia for just $51!

sent to Putin's
GulagThis handsome woman was born in Russia. She trained as a ballerina, studied at the University of Maryland, became a US citizen, and in recent years worked for a spa in Beverly Hills. Her name is Ksenia Khavana. Two years ago, when Vladimir Putin decided to gobble up his western neighbor, Ksenia donated $51 to Razom, an American charity dedicated to "a secure, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine" that I too have supported. Indeed, this morning I let Razom roll my PayPal card for $51 in Ksenia's honor, because she unwisely returned to Russia to visit her grandmother and other relatives. Putin's secret police arrested her for treason, as proved by her $51 donation. You can't do much about that, nor can you free Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich or former US Marine Paul Whelan, likewise trapped in Putin's Gulag. But you can donate $51 to Razom today. Please do it! Thank you. -- Dan Ford

Feb. 17: Alexei Navalny, 1976-2024 - Shed a tear for Alexei Navalny, who died in Putin's Gulag yesterday. Perhaps not literally murdered, but done to death nevertheless by the Russian dictator after years of Navalny's unfathomable bravery.

Feb. 16: Perhaps we could put Egypt in charge of our southern border? - Egyptian authorities, fearful that an Israeli military push further into southern Gaza will set off a flood of refugees, are building an 8-square-mile walled enclosure in the Sinai Desert near the border.

Feb. 10: A hunger strike isn't much fun, after all - Some Brown University students went on hunger strike last week to protest the ill treatment of Palestinians and Hamas terrorists (impossible to separate the two) in the Gaza Strip. Yesterday they gave up. Their week-long fast compares rather pathetically with the sixty-six days Bobby Sands lasted in 1981, let alone the seventy-four days Terrence McSwiney managed in 1920. The Students for Justice in Palestine should have acquainted themselves with the Irish Republican Army: a hunger strike is a farce unless you're actually willing to die. Plus you get hungry!

Feb. 2: The Black Sea is becoming a Ukrainian lake

sinking a Russian warship

This spooky photo, released by the Ukrainian military, shows the Russian guided-missile frigate Ivanovets under attack by "drones," though I confess I can't see more than one possible drone. See the story on the Kyiv Independent -- one of the first things I read every morning. Ivanovets is the third Russian warship sunk or disabled since the all-out war began two years ago this month.

I am proud to say that in December I bought a drone for Ukraine -- not through Razom, I hasten to add, but the Ukrainian Freedom Fund in San Francisco. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

The essays (in more or less chronological order)

Other good stuff to read

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Looking Back From Ninety

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