Nordenfelt submarine of the Ottoman empire, probably Abdül Hamid (Nordenfelt II), c. 1886.

The Great Arms Bazaar of the Nineteenth Century

In the late nineteenth century, fed by the disintegration of the Ottoman empire, the European arms race created a global military surplus.
British nationals onboard an RAF aircraft heading to Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus on April 26, 2023 in Khartoum, Sudan

In Sudan’s Civil Conflict, the Arab Cold War Widens

Sudan's decades-long civil war has finally come "home" to Khartoum.
Crowds in Algiers celebrating their country's Independence Day in the city centre

The Algerian War: Cause Célèbre of Anticolonialism

On July 5, 1962, Algeria declared its independence after 132 years of French occupation. The transition was chaotic and violent, but inspired revolutionaries worldwide.
News reporters mingle with members of the International Brigade, amongst them is Ernest Hemingway (with mustache and glasses), during the Spanish Civil War, c. 1937.

The International Brigades

Foreigners fighting for Ukraine may call to mind the International Brigades that fought in defense of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War.
Women digging near damaged train tracks during the Battle of Stalingrad, USSR, during World War II.

Counting War’s Civilian Dead

Despite claims of precision strikes and the proliferation of smart bombs, the number of civilians killed in war appears staggeringly high.
A mother arrives with her children in Poland from war-torn Ukraine.

Mothers and War

Seeing images of mothers in wartime Ukraine sent editor Morgan Godvin down a research rabbit hole.
A British soldier training in 1941

The Bayonet: What’s the Point?

According to one scholar, the military sees training in this obsolete weapon as helpful on the modern battlefield.
U.S.S. Pueblo, 1968

Can Thucydides Teach Us Why We Go to War?

A contemporary scholar uses the ancient Greek historian to explain the 1968 Pueblo Crisis in North Korea.
Harry Truman circa 1935

How Harry Truman Rose to Fame Curbing War Profiteers

Right when the U.S. needed supplies for World War II, military contractors started overcharging. An obscure senator from Missouri challenged them.
President Barack Obama speaks as former President Bill Clinton (L) and former President George W. Bush (R) listen in the Rose Garden of the White House January 16, 2010. President Obama and the former Presidents Bush and Clinton spoke about the efforts to coordinate American Charitable aid to the earthquake victims in Haiti.

Bipartisan Forever Wars

A critical analysis of both political parties is necessary to understand how the US has created its informal empire—and to envision a different future.