Why Bully Peaceful Sweden? Because Some People Just Can’t Help Themselves

In the the past few years, the Russians have really gone out of their way to be uber-dicks to the Swedes.  From invading the country's air space to sending what remains of the Swedish navy on the hunt for the Red October to finally simulating a nuclear attack on the entire country, Russia has been … Continue reading Why Bully Peaceful Sweden? Because Some People Just Can’t Help Themselves

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Turkey, Neo-Ottomans, and The Cycle of History (Or: When Picking Starting Territories for Empires, Anatolia Ain’t Half Bad)

Much of the world's attention has been focused recently on the relatively insignificant town of Kobane.  Kobane is hardly worth getting upset about; Aleppo, Homs, and Damascus are all far more central to the events in Syria.  And yet here we are, all watching the street-to-street fighting in a place we'd probably not even considering getting … Continue reading Turkey, Neo-Ottomans, and The Cycle of History (Or: When Picking Starting Territories for Empires, Anatolia Ain’t Half Bad)

The Failure of Qatar’s Foreign Policy Has Come; Or, Everyone Conforms Eventually, Even Rich States

From 1995 until 2013, Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani had one of the best jobs a world leader could ask for.  His state, Qatar, was tiny, both in land size and population.  That meant, for his day job, he had to balance fewer competing interests; fewer people means fewer needs.  His borders were secure, having … Continue reading The Failure of Qatar’s Foreign Policy Has Come; Or, Everyone Conforms Eventually, Even Rich States

The Dynasty Has Gotten Too Fat: Or, Kim Jong Un’s Gout Is Both Predictable and Potentially Disastrous

One should never take something complicated - like a nation-state of 24.9 million - and reduce its fate to a single personality.  Caesar may be fat, incestuous, and even downright evil, but that does not mean the Empire will fall (and there are plenty of cases where bad leaders still led good states). That being … Continue reading The Dynasty Has Gotten Too Fat: Or, Kim Jong Un’s Gout Is Both Predictable and Potentially Disastrous