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Category: Robert Farley

Pyongyang’s Last Gamble?

[ 27 ] April 22, 2015 |

MiG-19 DPRK 1983.JPG

“MiG-19 DPRK 1983″ by 元諜報員 – 元諜報員. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

At the National Interest, I ruminate a bit about how a conflict might start on the Korean Peninsula, and how it might play out:

The general peace on the peninsula has more or less held since the 1950s. Still, while North Korea’s power has declined substantially relative to that of South Korea, the idea that Pyongyang might come to the conclusion that war could solve its problems still worries U.S. and South Korean planners.

If North Korea faced a situation in which it determined that war was the only solution, how might it seek to crush the ROK, and deter the United States and Japan?

Mobile Site Down Again

[ 12 ] April 22, 2015 |


The site is down on mobile devices again, although fortunately not nearly as… dramatically as the last time. Working on it.



Foreign Entanglements: Civil War Memories

[ 1 ] April 20, 2015 |

On this week’s episode of Foreign Entanglements, I spoke with Kevin Levin about the 150th commemoration of the Civil War:

Mobile Site Down

[ 17 ] April 16, 2015 |


Our mobile site is down; we are working to resolve the problem. Thank you for your patience.



UPDATE: Fixed, thanks to the fantastic folks at SunAnt.

On Reimbursements…

[ 42 ] April 15, 2015 |

All you out there in academialand, I have a question. Does your institution reimburse for childcare costs associated with “normal” extra-curricular activities? I’m thinking of the need to hire a babysitter for a candidate dinner, or reception, or staff retreat, or other events that are part of the regular course of events during the semester? Please let me know in comments, or by e-mail (contact info in far right sidebar).

On Revisionism

[ 2 ] April 14, 2015 |

My latest at the Diplomat takes a look at Chinese “revisionism”:

Competition within a given system is still competition, and the United States should worry about increases in Chinese military capabilities. Similarly, states invested in the South and East China Sea disputes should view the growth of Chinese power and assertiveness with wariness. But we should also take care not to overstate the degree to which China is challenging the global international order. We have plenty of examples from the 20th century of what revisionist states really look like.

I also have a quote in Peter Ford’s article on the same subject.


Our Struggle to Build a Better World Will Endure Setbacks

[ 2 ] April 14, 2015 |

“Endoftrailx” by Veever – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

With great power comes great responsibility. Consequently, it is with great sadness that I report that the LGM Tournament Challenge was, in fact, won by some asshole who picked Duke.

1 250 220 240 240 160 320 Duke 0 1430 98.7
2 220 220 200 240 160 320 Duke 0 1360 97.5
3* 260 200 160 240 160 320 Duke 0 1340 97.1
3* 240 180 200 240 160 320 Duke 0 1340 97.1
3* 240 180 200 240 160 320 Duke 0 1340 97.1
6 240 180 200 160 160 320 Duke 0 1260 94.5
7 270 180 200 240 320 0 Wisconsin 0 1210 92.5
8* 230 260 280 240 160 0 Kentucky 0 1170 90.8
8* 250 240 280 240 160 0 Kentucky 0 1170 90.8
10* 250 180 160 240 320 0 Wisconsin 0 1150 89.9
10* 210 180 120 160 160 320 Duke 0 1150 89.9


TNDevilFin13, a name which leaves open the grim possibility that “David” might not only be a Duke fan, but also hail from Tennessee, should feel free to contact me (e-mail address on the far right sidebar) with regard to prize information.

Monday Links

[ 20 ] April 13, 2015 |

For your reading pleasure…

Foreign Entanglements: Airpower Geekery

[ 1 ] April 13, 2015 |

On this week’s episode of Foreign Entanglements, Brian Laslie (author of The Air Force Way of War) talk airpower stuff:

The Bridge to the New Life You’ve Been Waiting For

[ 42 ] April 10, 2015 |

Washington, there is nothing that in not awesome about this idea:

Washington State just received federal funds to study a totally unique toll bridge concept, one made out of decommissioned US Navy Super Carriers. The bridge would consist of two or three carriers and would link Bremerton and Port Orchard, Washington, spanning the Sinclair Inlet.

If I still lived in the area, I’d drive over this bridge some large, even number of times per day. Let’s make it happen, Washington.


[ 69 ] April 9, 2015 |
Lee Surrenders to Grant at Appomattox.jpg

“Lee Surrenders to Grant at Appomattox” by The Major & Knapp Eng. Mfg. & Lith. Co. 71 Broadway – Library of Congress. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

150 years ago today, Robert E. Lee surrendered what was left of the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant, who had on hand the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James. The arc of history bent a little more towards justice that afternoon.

I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.

The Country Less Taken…

[ 26 ] April 9, 2015 |


“AsadBabil-Dug-in” by unknown serviceman (US Army) – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

My latest at the National Interest takes a look at how the war and politics might have played out if Saddam Hussein had decided to follow up the invasion of Kuwait with an attack on Saudi Arabia in August, 1990:

But at the time, many in the United States worried that Saddam Hussein would order his army south, into Saudi Arabia. And in retrospect, giving the United States the time to mobilize a huge army in Saudi Arabia looks like something of a blunder. Would Saddam have had a better chance if he had gambled for higher stakes at the start, and ordered his forces to invade Saudi Arabia?

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