How Many Countries Are There?

Yesterday I watched a video called “There are NOT 195 countries.” (195 is the number of countries represented in the U.N.) I thought it might have an interesting discussion of what constitutes a country, but I was disappointed. Their definition of a country is “one that is recognized by other countries.” This is a circular …

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More on the Ukraine War

Today I have to offer only 2 decidedly inferior works, but they are not entirely useless because they do focus in on what I believe to be the crucial point in the current international system: the Ukraine war and the threat of nuclear conflict. First we have an incredibly rambling and jargon-laden article titled “American …

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Sovereignty, War, and Ukraine

The direct impetus for this post is another call for the “sovereignty” of the European Union by means of a common defense organization, pronounced by the head of the European Commission, Ursala von der Leyen, in May ( She gave a speech on the occasion of Macron’s acceptance of the Westphalia Peace Prize in which …

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I have posted a new video looking at Peter Turchin’s book “War and Peace and War,” which he claims is a new, scientific approach to history. Unless he takes astrology as his model for science, I disagree with him.

Westphalia in Africa

A few years ago, I set up a Google alert to get an email whenever the Peace of Westphalia is mentioned on the web. Since then, one of the curious things I’ve discovered is the fact that I get two or even three mentions of Westphalia in non-Western sources for every one in a Western …

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Give Peace a Chance?

The city of Münster has embraced its role as site of the Peace of Westphalia. For a century or so, the peace was looked down on by Germans (characterized as “Germany’s Shame” at one point), but these days it is increasingly looked to as a model. It makes sense, therefore, that Münster hosted a new …

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Nagaland and Sovereignty

What a curious coincidence that my first introduction to Nagaland came in the past few months as I have been reading about the Japanese offensive in Burma in 1944, and now I should come across an article about Nagaland and sovereignty. I learned about it in an interesting article about Naga’s relationship with India (“Basic …

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