Mercenaries and Volunteers

The Peace of Westphalia Google alert brought my attention to a surprisingly thoughtful article on the subject of mercenaries, something that is highly relevant to the Thirty Years’ War and the Congress of Westphalia. The article groups the two categories in the title of this post, mercenaries and volunteers, under the general header of “foreign …

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Victory Day

I read an interesting article recently arguing that Putin may be planning a major offensive of some sort leading up to May 9th, when Russia celebrates Victory Day commemorating its victory over Germany in World War II. The idea is that the Russian people expect some show of strength on that day, and recent comments …

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Not Quite a Ceasefire

As you probably know by now, Russia is pulling back from Kiev “in order to create conditions for successful negotiations.” The withdrawal seems to be real, although the reasons for it probably are not. I would imagine that Putin has given up on seizing Kiev, so by pulling back he can avoid further attrition to …

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On War Crimes and Trials

Alan Dershowitz has a very interesting video up in which he discusses the possibility of trying Putin in absentia. The gist of it is, he probably won’t be tried in absentia, but Dershowitz thinks we should still have a tribunal of some sort to gather and evaluate the evidence, just so it will be available …

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Rembrandt’s Elephant

I was excited to find an article yesterday about an elephant named Hansken that Rembrandt painted. I had previously read that there was an elephant at the Congress of Westphalia, possibly brought for or with Madame de Longueville when she came to Münster in 1646. She was beautiful, wealthy, and far more important socially than …

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NATO Expansion

I am not an expert on modern international relations, but I know something about how states act and I have an interest in the subject insofar as it can affect my own life. I have been sceptical of NATO expansion since back in the 1990’s, when I was at Yale and NATO’s expansion was a …

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Treaty of Istanbul?

As you may have read, negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are being carried out in person in Istanbul. This seems like a big win for Turkey’s prestige, and specifically for Recep Erdogan. It also seems like the negotiations are progressing, at least to some extent. Russia is pulling back from around Kiev and Chernigov, and …

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Audio for Westphalia

If you want to get in the mood to study the Peace of Westphalia, there is nothing better than some period music. I have listed a couple of albums on my a/v page, and I came across another one recently that I forgot I had: “Un Concert Pour Mazarin.” It consists of Italian music allegedly …

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