It’s Really a Case of Strategic Overreach

The sun is setting on the era of the Global War on Terror. The messy end of the Afghanistan War has come and gone, and President Biden said he’s going to withdraw US forces from Iraq soon. It’s a bit hard to believe America’s time of perpetual war is winding down. While it’s not over yet, enough time has gone by to start asking why we’ve been at war for so long and whether we achieved what we sought by going to war. At least in my mind, the immediate family of thought is that the United States lost the…

The misguided U.S.-led invasion of Iraq set events in motion leading to the current crisis in Afghanistan. | Source: The Guardian (The toppling of Saddam’s statue: how the US military made a myth | Saddam Hussein | The Guardian)

The news streaming from Afghanistan as the Taliban storm back into power is as breathtaking as it is tragic. While I never personally served in Afghanistan, I can’t help but to feel a sense of national loss and disappointment. As a Soldier and a student of American foreign policy, I suspect I’ve paid closer attention to the war in Afghanistan than most Americans. Having served in uniform alongside Afghanistan veterans and personally experiencing war in Iraq, everything happening in Afghanistan similarly feels personal. The debacle unfolding in real time in Afghanistan didn’t begin in April 2021 when President Biden announced…

I nearly met my fate in this roundabout, but I do miss it. (Courtesy Google)

Of all the things I miss about living in the United Kingdom, I think roundabouts are the most underrated.

Driving in Britain was a hair-raising adventure, and roundabouts made them even more so until I got comfortable with them. I think I’m a pretty solid driver most of the time, and I can drive with a standard transmission. But my first time driving in Britain required neurosurgical levels of concentration. That first time, it took so much brainpower to simultaneously drive on the left side of the road, process European road signs, and shift gears using my right hand that…

Racism’s threat to U.S. national security

The water’s edge Sen. Vandenburg was talking about was oceanic, not memorial.

U.S. Senator Arthur Vandenberg said Americans must stop “partisan politics at the water’s edge.” Senator Vandenberg then supported President Harry Truman’s foreign policy initiatives, including the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, and the creation of NATO.[1] This Republican senator’s support for a president’s priorities from the other party helped solidify those initiatives into the foundation for the United States’ fight in the Cold War. Senator Vandenberg’s cooperative bipartisanship notwithstanding, the concept that domestic politics and foreign policy should be two separate arenas has never been true — even during the Cold War. Still, it…

This video sparked my thoughts here.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” — Micah 6:8

Our concept of justice usually revolves around some vision of the law — whether that’s policing, court proceedings, or whichever version of Law & Order you prefer. According to Merriam-Webster, justice is “the maintenance or administration of what is just, especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.” …

This denarius is inscribed with Emperor Tiberius’ profile. Tiberius was the Emperor of Rome from 14 A.D. to 37 A.D., which covers Jesus’ adult life. It’s also the coin Jesus uses to tell people to pay their taxes. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” — Mark 12:17

Jesus feeding the five thousand continues the series of miracles Jesus performed after He began His ministry on Earth. See John 6:1–15.

“Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” — John 6:5

Jesus continued to gain followers because of the miracles He performed and the word of mouth that continued to spread. Jesus saw an opportunity to teach and to show his disciples with the crowd. It’s why He asked them in verse 5, “Where are…

It worked for the official in Cana, and it works for us too!

Reflections on John 4:46–54

Marriage at Cana by Giotto di Bondone

“The official said to Him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’” — John 4:49

Jesus returned to Cana where He had previously performed His first miracle of turning water into wine. Clearly, word of mouth made that first event a major news event. So much so, that upon Jesus’ return, an official who lived there asked Jesus to save his sick son. Jesus doesn’t immediately save the official’s son, but the man persists in asking for Jesus’ help. There are two takeaways…

La Deposizione di Cristo (The Entombment of Christ) by Caravagio

“(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)”John 20:9

The word Easter comes from an Old English word meaning ‘dawn’ or ‘to shine,’ which has some Germanic name basis from the goddess Eostre. The cardinal direction ‘East’ also comes from this word root, which makes sense given we see the sun rise in the east. Much like Christmas trees, the word Easter is yet another example of a variety of influences on Christianity. At any rate, Easter and Resurrection both depend on other things, clearly related, to define them. Easter, or…

Thoughts on Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem for Passover

Jesus enters Jerusalem and the crowds welcome him, by Pietro Lorenzetti —, Public Domain,

“At first his disciples did not understand all of this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.”John 12:16

Jesus made his grand entrance into Jerusalem on the heels of raising Lazarus, “the one [Jesus] love[s],” from the dead. The crowds that greeted Him knew of the miracle Jesus performed in raising Lazarus from the dead. In addition to celebrating Jesus’ arrival, they celebrated Judas Maccabeus, who defeated the Greeks and set…

Irvin Oliver is the author of this post. The views expressed here are solely those of the author. No endorsement by the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense is implied or expressed.

Landpower is Indispensable

The development and advancements in precision-guided munitions have increased the military’s ability to successfully strike targets with a level of accuracy previous generations of weapons couldn’t match. While the exponential increase in accuracy and lethality of today’s weapons have increased the efficiency of our killing power, the ability to be discriminate in its use has not kept pace. …

Irvin Oliver

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