Posts by Earl H. Tilford

The Future of War

The Future of War

“We have tried since the birth of our nation to promote our love of peace by a display of weakness. This course has failed us utterly.”
&endash;Gen. George C. Marshall, 1945

War remains, as a Prussian general defined it nearly … More>

The Future of War

The Future of War

“We have tried since the birth of our nation to promote our love of peace by a display of weakness. This course has failed us utterly.”

-Gen. George C. Marshall, 1945

War remains, as a Prussian general defined it nearly … More>

Air Power’s Siren Song

Air Power’s Siren Song

In the early morning of September 23, 2014, American air forces—joined by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Jordan—began striking targets in Syria as part of ongoing operations against the terrorist group ISIS. Nearly a week earlier, September … More>

Camelot and the Syrian crisis

Camelot and the Syrian crisis

November 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the end of Camelot. During its tenure, President John F. Kennedy’s administration set national security precedents that have influenced the way Washington has approached military commitments to the present day.

For instance, … More>

A Report from Tuscaloosa’s Ground Zero

A Report from Tuscaloosa’s Ground Zero

The Warrior River borders the University of Alabama campus, separating old Tuscaloosa from up-scale housing developments to the north. Tuscaloosans know a “north of the river” address connotes six-figure incomes. The schools, public and private, are excellent. It’s the country … More>

Mission Accomplished?

Mission Accomplished?
“Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy the fear to attack.”
— Dr. Merkwurdichliebe, 1964

“War kills men, and men deplore the loss; but war also crushes bad principles and tyrants and so saves society.”

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General Powell’s Endorsement

General Powell’s Endorsement

Many conservatives wonder why retired Army Gen. Colin Powell endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. The quick answer—and the most inadequate one—is that Powell is obliged to endorse the first African-American with a real chance to win the presidency. That … More>

Victims of Their Own Making

Victims of Their Own Making

As Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary, there are voices raised accusing Israel of victimizing the Palestinian Arabs and “running them out” of the Jewish state. Ironically, some 1,300,000 Arab-Israeli citizens live and work in Israel. They worship freely in mosques … More>

Middle East & Terrorism

Middle East & Terrorism

According to recent intelligence reports, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) killed 40 Hamas terrorists in Gaza this past December without inflicting a single civilian casualty. In fact, over the past five years collateral damage and civilian casualties caused by Israeli … More>

No Exit

No Exit
“The man who runs away will fight again.”
– Menander, 303 B.C.

In April 1972, with North Vietnamese forces advancing as part of their Nguyen Hue Offensive, Seventh Air Force Headquarters in Saigon began drawing up evacuation plans. Approximately 60,000 … More>

Victory Japan Tilford

Victory Japan Tilford

In early August, members of the Witherspoon Society, a “progressive” religious advocacy group affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA, attended the “Ghost Ranch Week of Peace” in rural New Mexico. Ghost Ranch participants generally are anti-war and anti-military, support the … More>

Avoiding the Iraq Hangover

Avoiding the Iraq Hangover

After Saigon fell to a North Vietnamese onslaught on April 29, 1975, Americans experienced a “Vietnam hangover” lasting until the electorate emerged from its grogginess to elect Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980. If you have ever gotten “knee-crawlin’, … More>

Point of Collapse

Point of Collapse

American policy and the global war against al Qaeda, associated groups and nations that support them—Iran and Syria—are collapsing. Blame goes beyond liberal politicians intent on destroying the Bush administration, a pernicious press and the radical left who rule academe, … More>

Stuck in the Sixties

Stuck in the Sixties

The 1960s was nirvana for American liberalism. From the day John F. Kennedy inspired a new generation of Americans to the time that newest of the new generations, my generation now entering our sixties, rebelled against the war in Vietnam, … More>

Storm Warnings

Storm Warnings

“The aircraft carrier Eisenhower, accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio, guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage, guided-missile destroyer USS Mason and the fast-attack submarine USS Newport News, is, as I write, making its way to the Straits of Hormuz off Iran. … More>

Apocalyptic Visions

Apocalyptic Visions
“If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?”
I Corinthians 14:8

Five years ago 19 Islamist Jihadists murdered nearly 3,000 Americans in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.  In carrying out their “martyrdom … More>

V&V Fellow Featured in Groundbreaking Documentary

V&V Fellow Featured in Groundbreaking Documentary

Noted military historian and Fellow for the Middle East & Terrorism with the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College—Dr. Earl Tilford—was featured alongside prominent scholars and commentators in a groundbreaking documentary produced by Coral Ridge Ministries. The … More>

Why Terrorism? Because it Works

Why Terrorism? Because it Works

When Hamas terrorists tunneled from Gaza into southern Israel, killed two Israeli soldiers and abducted Corporal Galid Shalit, that probably put the nail in the coffin of any prospect for a peaceful settlement between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority. … More>

Ungracious Idiocy

Ungracious Idiocy
War is such a dangerous business that the mistakes
which come from kindness are the very worst.
—Carl von Clausewitz, On War, 1832

The Father of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, Vladimir Lenin, used the term “useful idiots” to describe … More>

Dishonest Divestment

Dishonest Divestment

In 2004, at its 216th General Assembly, the national governing body of the Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA), instructed its Mission Responsibility through Investment Committee to consider divesting stock in companies doing business with Israel. The 2.7 million member denomination did … More>

Pow’r in the Blood

Pow’r in the Blood

In the early 1950s, when I was barely in grammar school, my father got religion like a case of the flu. And not just any religion. He caught the Chattanooga-Tennessee-Born-Again-Christ-Crucified-for-Sinners-Washed-in-the-Blood-of-the-Lamb faith flu. Every Sunday morning, Dad and Mom hauled me … More>

Those “First Christmases After”

Those “First Christmases After”

While I cannot say I look forward to Christmas, I celebrate it, even if less enthusiastically as time passes. Perhaps it’s the “bah humbug factor” that comes with fading eyesight and the other vicissitudes of what is, however—at least for … More>

Three Weeks in a Progressive Swamp

Three Weeks in a Progressive Swamp

Through the first three weeks of May, the Rockridge Institute, a California-based politically progressive think tank, partnered with a coalition of religious organizations to host an online conference on “Values and Building a Movement.” After going to http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org, signing on … More>

The Downing Street Dead End

The Downing Street Dead End

For the American radical left the July 23, 2002 “Iraq: Prime Minister’s Meeting” memorandum, dubbed “The Downing Street Memo,” was the “smoking gun” that convicted President George W. Bush of manipulating intelligence to support his decision to go to war … More>

Uli with the Uzi and Childlike Faith

Uli with the Uzi and Childlike Faith

arly last summer, I was among a dozen American university professors studying terrorism in Israel. On the Sabbath we took a day off to visit the religious sites in Jerusalem.

Given the terrorist threat, armed security personnel always accompanied us. … More>

Generalissimo Bush

Generalissimo Bush

Effective wartime presidents are generalissimos, commanders-in-chiefs wielding military power to achieve historically monumental strategic ends; visionaries who shape and mold events through bold political and military action. Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, America’s two greatest wartime Presidents, served the … More>

There’s a War to be Won

There’s a War to be Won

President George W. Bush’s recent misstatement that the “War on Terror is unwinnable,” corrected by the President the next day on the Rush Limbaugh Show with an explanation that the war will not end with a surrender ceremony reminiscent of … More>

The ’64 Dogs

The ’64 Dogs

Forty years after we graduated about half the Sheffield High School class of 1964 gathered on a July Saturday night at a local Holiday Inn for our fortieth reunion.  Four decades had passed since I left Sheffield, Alabama.

Located in … More>

Babbling in Political Tongues

Babbling in Political Tongues

Just before midnight on June 1, 2001, a Palestinian suicide bomber strolled into a crowd of youngsters cued up outside Tel Aviv’s hottest nightclub, the Dolphinarium, located on the seafront promenade about a mile north of the ancient port of … More>

Iran and World War IV

Iran and World War IV

The word “crusade” long ago became anathema to the politically correct.Nevertheless, America’s most successful wars were crusades fought against demonstrably evil foes to right blatant wrongs. The American Civil War, World Wars I and II and the Cold War (World … More>

The Theater of Terror

The Theater of Terror

At this writing, American contractor Paul Marshal Johnson may face a gruesome death at the hands of his al-Qaeda captors. The image of a blindfolded Johnson accompanied by a message demanding the release of terrorists in Saudi custody, seen around … More>

‘Happy Talk’

‘Happy Talk’

Chief Weapons Inspector David Kay’s resignation and announcement that, in all likelihood, Iraq did not have a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program at the time the U.S.-led war began is bad news for the Bush administration. Like a pack … More>

Gephardt’s Gaffe

Gephardt’s Gaffe

Amid the several contortions in logic apparent in presidential candidate Representative Dick Gephardt’s (D-Missouri) July 22 presentation to the San Francisco Bar Association was the contention that the operational and tactical successes achieved by American forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom … More>

A Grover by Another Name

A Grover by Another Name

He’s 19 or 20 years old and a Marine Rifleman fighting in Iraq. His hair’s cut “high and tight” and he’s muscled, weighs about 150 pounds on average. He’d get carded in a bar and in six or seven years … More>

Have You Asked Hannibal?

Have You Asked Hannibal?

There’s a serial killer in Louisiana who kidnaps, rapes and murders women. Another may be active in the Los Angeles area. Have the police in Louisiana and Los Angeles-and presumably the F.B.I.-gone to Anthony Hopkins for advice?

Who would know … More>

Don’t Dally, Let’s Roll!

Don’t Dally, Let’s Roll!

Grand strategy on the international scale is not an American strength. Historically, Americans have been open, impatient, alternatively idealistic or pragmatic, and until the twentieth century isolated from serious external threats.

Still, successful powers from Rome to the British Empire … More>

On the Rantings of Peter Singer

On the Rantings of Peter Singer

Dr. Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, speaking to the 2002 Animal Rights Conference held in McLean, Va., earlier this month, gave a talk in which he … More>