If I was the right kind of historian, I would write something lengthy and turgid about the tendency of generals to fight the last war rather than the current one - at least, at the outset. But I'm not any kind of historian, so I won't.
I am struck, though, by this last weekend's conjunction of pictures showing Russian tanks manoeuvring around the border with Ukraine, with anxious editorials about the falling price of oil. From a Russian perspective, there is a case for securing access to Ukraine, and tanks would seem to be a tried and tested, if old-fashioned, way to make that happen.
It's not exactly a new idea that the oil price might in this instance be a weapon of war - counter-attack by economic means against incursions by tanks - but if it's working, and if this world is as networked as it's widely supposed to be, that would be good news for the future.
History books would be less interesting, though. And armchair generals would need to get a grip on applied economics.
What happens here
This site is updated weekly, usually on a Friday although I might change that (again). I write it because (1) I like writing it and (2) I like having a deadline. More often than not, it works out as a commentary on the week just passed.
There are no ads, no pop-ups and no tricky business with cookies. I don't take money for my own opinions. I write this for myself, without a set agenda, on any subject that catches my attention. If you're interested enough, it's not hard to work out my interests.
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Welcome. Thank you for coming. But am I the right
William Essex? Click here
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Read My Shorts?
Here is yet another page of old blog posts and other writings. Sorry, but I need my metaphorical sock drawer for metaphorical socks. The link to the page is right at the end of the paragraph here.
Roads without end
Here is a passage from a review of the book The Road to Somewhere by David Goodhart. I haven't read the book (yet), but the collected reviews would make a worthwhile set of political arguments in their own right. More.
State of the Union
Several commentators today saying that they've lost confidence in the US. Making their point by talking up the glories of the past. After two weeks of this administration, they're not going back.
Were they wrong, and they've seen the light? Or has the US changed? I guess the latter is the intended meaning. But we should at least acknowledge the possibility... More.