recentpopularlog in

jerryking : margaret_macmillan   11

Can Trump Handle a Foreign Crisis?
Feb. 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Peggy Noonan.

He’ll face one eventually, and there’s good reason to worry the administration will be unprepared.

Someday this White House will face a sudden, immediate and severe foreign-policy crisis..... past and present officials of this administration are concerned on how the White House would handle a crisis......History resides in both the unexpected and the long-predicted. Russia moves against a U.S. ally, testing Washington’s commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty; a coordinated cyber action by our adversaries takes down the American grid; China, experiencing political unrest within a background of a slowing economy, decides this is a good time to move on Taiwan; someone bombs Iran’s missile sites; Venezuela explodes in violence during a military crackdown; there’s an accidental launch somewhere..... historian Margaret MacMillan said ....“I think we should never underestimate the sheer role of accident.”....Everything depends on personnel, process and planning. The president and his top advisers have to work closely, with trust and confidence, quickly comprehending the shape of the challenge and its implications. There must be people around him with wisdom, judgment, experience. They must know their jobs and be able to execute them under pressure. Clear lines of communication are key between both individuals and agencies.....keep their eyes on the million moving pieces, military and diplomatic, that comprise a strategy.......During the Berlin airlift, thought at the time to be the height of the Cold War, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who’d been Army chief of staff during World War II, was asked how worried he was. “I’ve seen worse,” he replied. He had. ......“No administration is ready for its first crisis,” says Richard Haass, who was a member of George H.W. Bush’s NSC and is author of “A World in Disarray.” “What you learn is that the machinery isn’t adequate, or people aren’t ready.” First crises trigger reforms of procedures so that second ones are better handled. ......There is no way, really, to simulate a crisis, because you don’t know what’s coming, and key people are busy doing their regular jobs. And all administrations, up until the point they’re tested, tend to be overconfident. What can they do to be readier? Think, study, talk and plan.....For a modern example of good process, personnel and management, there is the Cuban missile crisis. .....the stakes couldn’t have been higher.......It might be good to have regular situation-room meetings on what-ifs, and how to handle what-ifs, and to have deep contingency planning with intelligence, military and civilian leaders discussing scenarios. “Put yourself in a position,” says Mr. Haass, “where you’re less unread when a crisis does occur.”.......Margaret MacMillan again: People not only get used to peace and think it’s “the normal state of affairs,” they get used to the idea that any crisis can be weathered, because they have been in the past. But that’s no guarantee of anything, is it?
adversaries  chance  contingency_planning  crisis  Donald_Trump  U.S.foreign_policy  JFK  Margaret_MacMillan  overconfidence  Richard_Haass  security_&_intelligence  unexpected  White_House  unprepared  accidents  Cuban_Missile_Crisis  luck  Peggy_Noonan  preparation  readiness  George_Marshall  normality  unforeseen 
february 2019 by jerryking
Margaret MacMillan in Sarajevo, 100 years later - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET MACMILLAN
SARAJEVO — Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 27 2014
Margaret_MacMillan  WWI  history  historians  Sarajevo 
july 2014 by jerryking
Fear the military with a timetable of its own - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders

The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Nov. 30 2013

We used to think that wars were triggered by heated tribal animosities, by the hubris of madmen, by struggles for resources or by powerful economic forces. None of these ideas have been much use in explaining the wars of the past century. All of them were swept away, during my student years, by the new concept formulated by British historian A.J.P. Taylor: the “timetable theory.”

Studying the First World War, Mr. Taylor found that none of Europe’s political leaders had sought a larger war, nor did it serve any of their national interests to enter one. But their huge military bureaucracies had drawn elaborate, clockwork plans to mobilize millions of soldiers on multiple fronts at short notice, and a minor confrontation in Bosnia set all these plans in motion on a continental scale.

This theory is given its ultimate test in Margaret MacMillan’s new book The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, in which the Oxford University historian provides a definitive (and gripping) examination of the factors that led Europe into 30 years of largely unnecessary war. The timetable theory remains important though not crucial to her interpretation, but Dr. MacMillan adds a new dimension.

The danger, she finds, is a military that sees itself as autonomous from the country’s political leadership and civil service, combined with political leaders who are weak, self-interested or too eager to acquiesce to the military’s demands.
Doug_Saunders  timelines  WWI  Margaret_MacMillan  books  clockwork  history  bureaucracies  national_interests 
december 2013 by jerryking
Historian Margaret MacMillan on what the ‘war to end wars’ can teach us -
Sep. 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Sandra Martin.
Her new book, The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, will be out this fall – in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the war next August.

Why are we still haunted by the First World War?

Because we still don’t know what to make of it. We’re still horrified by the loss, by the sense that it may have all been a mistake, by the sheer waste, and by what happened afterward. Nothing much was settled, it helped to brutalize European society, to breed ideologies like fascism and Bolshevism, to prepare the way for the horrors that came in the 1920s and 1930s and the Second World War. It’s also a war that created the modern world. It had its greatest impact on Europe, of course, but it shaped Canada and Australia, helped to speed the rise of the United States to superpower status, and redrew the map of much of the world. It was a watershed that remains one of the greatest historical puzzles.
history  historians  WWI  root_cause  Margaret_MacMillan  Syria  books  '30s  WWII  turning_points 
september 2013 by jerryking
Essays on the unexpected consequences of 9/11 - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 10, 2011 | Globe and Mail | graydon carter, margaret macmillan, stephen clarkson, janice gross stein AND bill graham
9/11  commemoration  Janice_Gross_Stein  Margaret_MacMILLAN  unexpected  unintended_consequences 
september 2011 by jerryking
Margaret MacMillan’s multiplicity
Oct. 08, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | MARGARET MacMILLAN
reading  books  historians  Oxford  Margaret_MacMILLAN 
october 2010 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:





to read