Virginia Hall, SOE Agent to CIA Pioneer

Reading time: 10 minutes

Virginia Hall (1906–1982) was an American woman who served with the British Special Operations Executive in France in 1941–1942. She then joined its US equivalent, the Office of Strategic Services, and became a founding member of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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History’s Greatest Nicknames

Reading time: 7 minutes
A browse through any military history book will no doubt bring up titles of famous officers, often bearing unusual, surprising, or sometimes downright hilarious nicknames. In many cases, it’s clear where the sobriquet originated, while other examples hold a less-obvious significance.

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Putin’s failure to learn from history has led to Russian quagmire in Ukraine

Reading time: 4 minutes

As the Russo-Ukraine conflict continues with no resolution in sight, we are painfully reminded of not only the horror of war, but also how often major powers’ interventionism, for whatever objective, hasn’t paid off. These powers have repeatedly failed to learn from the futility of their past adventures to avoid future ones. Counterproductivity has often become the hallmark of their efforts.

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Ukraine war: how Gorbachev’s 1987 INF missile treaty has limited the arsenal available to Putin

Reading time: 4 minutes
Thanks to the final Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who has died aged 91, a disarmament treaty has denied Vladimir Putin thousands more missiles which he could have ordered to be used against Ukraine. Russian forces attacking Ukraine have not been able to use land-based missiles with ranges of between 500km and 5,500km because this entire category of weapons was scrapped under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which the former Soviet leader was instrumental in establishing.

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The End of History: Francis Fukuyama’s controversial idea explained

Reading time: 8 minutes
In 1989, a policy wonk in the US State Department wrote a paper for the right-leaning international relations magazine The National Interest entitled “The End of History?”. His name was Francis Fukuyama, and the paper stirred such interest – and caused such controversy – that he was soon contracted to expand his 18-page article into a book. He did so in 1992: The End of History and the Last Man. The rest, they say, is (the end of) history.

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