Let’s Talk About Geopolitical Illiteracy

By Sophia Meyer ’24

Sophia Meyer ’24

If there is anything that shows the American public’s lack of education on foreign policy and geopolitical issues, the Pew Research Center’s 2022 survey on citizen knowledge tells it all. The report presents a startlingly grim picture and should alarm anyone who reads it. Only about half of Americans correctly answered questions about our involvement in the global system. Just 48% knew that Ukraine was not part of NATO. Only 51% could answer that Antony Blinken is the current U.S. Secretary of State. A solid 25% of respondents answered Not Sure on eleven different questions. This geopolitical illiteracy was evident among men, women, all education levels, all ages, and all political affiliations. What does that say about our understanding of our place in the world? More importantly, what does it say about our ability to form educated opinions on domestic and international politics?  

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Geopolitical Illiteracy”

Congressional Dysfunction: The Many Failures of the 118th Congress

By Naveen Wineland ’27
Managing Editor, Ike’s Anvil

Naveen Wineland ’27

On February 15, the House of Representatives went on vacation, a two-week recess until February 28. This recess occurred despite numerous pressing challenges requiring our legislature’s urgent attention. During this break, Avdiivka (one of the most critical “fortress cities” in Ukraine) fell to Russian advances due to a lack of American weaponry. Also during this recess, tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants crossed the border due to a lack of adequate legislation from Congress. This is all occurring amid a looming government shutdown, especially since the recess left Congress almost no time to make a deal. A shutdown was narrowly averted with temporary funding through March 8, with 12 funding bills once again in limbo. This is only one manifestation of a House incapable of legislating since being sworn in on January 3, 2023. 

Continue reading “Congressional Dysfunction: The Many Failures of the 118th Congress”

Drag Shows Are No Threat to National Security

By Sam Arkin ’23

Sam Arkin ’23

Drag shows are not typically the first thought that comes to mind when asked about national security. However, they have become a significantly contested issue in the security realm. On March 29, against a backdrop of anti-LGBTQ+ state laws passed throughout the United States, drag was raised as an issue during a meeting of the House Armed Services Committee on the Pentagon’s 2024 budget. During the testimony of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Under Secretary of Defense Michael J. McCord, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) inquired into drag performances held on military bases. 

Continue reading “Drag Shows Are No Threat to National Security”

The Role of Language in Defining National Security

By Marisa Conners ’26

Marisa Conners ’26

Words have meaning, and that meaning translates into reality. The more influence an individual or organization has, the more their language could become dangerous and incite violent action. As a participant in Professor Annie Morgan’s Emerging Threats in National Security program, I have learned of the vital role that language plays in the study of national security threats and government policy.

Continue reading “The Role of Language in Defining National Security”

Reevaluating America’s Role in Israel

By Vincent DiFonzo ’25                                                                                                        Managing Editor, Ike’s Anvil

Vincent DiFonzo ’25

Last March, I had the opportunity to travel to Israel as part of the Eisenhower Institute’s Contours of the Middle East program. I visited during a time of political crisis. Israel’s young democracy was being challenged—not by a foreign power—but by their own prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. During the trip, our group met with a diverse range of people from the region, including both a retired Israeli Defense Force (IDF) general and a member of the Palestinian National Authority, the provisional government of the West Bank. These two people, from opposite sides of the conflict, disagreed on many things, yet they likely would have agreed on one: Netanyahu’s attempted judicial reforms, which would allow him to end his own corruption trial, are harmful to Israel. Israelis overwhelmingly opposed the changes and took to the streets in massive numbers to protest Netanyahu’s power grab. 

Continue reading “Reevaluating America’s Role in Israel”

What the Iran-Saudi Arabia Pact Means for U.S. Foreign Policy

By Ameer Mohra ’25

Ameer Mohra ’25

As China’s economic and political power expands, the world order is moving away from unipolarity and towards a bipolar balance of power. Economic growth has driven China’s rise for the past few decades, transforming it into a major global player in trade, finance and investment. The United States, on the other hand, has been grappling with a range of domestic and international challenges that have contributed to a perception of declining global influence. The pact between Iran and Saudi Arabia, brokered by China in March, has further sidelined the US and weakened its power in the Middle East.

Continue reading “What the Iran-Saudi Arabia Pact Means for U.S. Foreign Policy”

The Future of Drone Warfare

By Blake Dudley ’23

Blake Dudley ’23

Much of the recent discussion on warfare has focused on drones and their impact on the battlefield. Though drones are vital in war, they are not the game-changer they might initially seem to be. The Russian Invasion of Ukraine has revealed that while drones play an important role in combat, they do not truly revolutionize modern warfare, which is still largely characterized by traditional weapons and tactics.

The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020 is one of the most important and overlooked conflicts in recent history. Evolving from an ethnic dispute in Nagorno-Karabakh, the war was a bitterly fought affair in the Caucasus mountains between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The conflict was brief, lasting only 44 days, yet the lessons learned and, more importantly, the tactics used have shined a light on the new era of warfare.

Continue reading “The Future of Drone Warfare”

The Importance of a Total Ukrainian Victory

By Vincent DiFonzo ’25

Vincent DiFonzo ’25

Since assuming the presidency of the Russian Federation in 1999, Vladimir Putin has deliberately worked towards an invasion of Ukraine. Over the past two decades, Putin has built up the Russian military, tested his boundaries with the West and repeatedly provoked Ukraine. 

In 2014, following the pro-democracy and pro-European Maidan Revolution in Ukraine, Russia invaded and occupied the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea with almost no resistance. The diplomatic backlash from the West, including the United States, Canada, the European Union  and NATO was swift. However, the actual repercussions were small and mostly symbolic. Since 2014, Putin has continued to cause chaos in Ukraine through his support for Russian separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Despite years of warnings that Russia could invade Ukraine, the West still wasn’t ready.

Continue reading “The Importance of a Total Ukrainian Victory”

An Old Rivalry Reignited

By Blake Dudley ’23

Blake Dudley ’23

As the Russo-Ukrainian War continues to rage on, it has become clear that Russia has suffered an immense failure. From the first week of the conflict, when Russia failed to seize Kiev and topple the Ukrainian government, its forces have continued to face setback after setback with continued ground loss and mounting casualties. Russia still holds a significant portion of Ukrainian territory and still poses a significant threat, but its pride and military capabilities have been shattered. Yet, who does Russia blame for this? It is not Ukraine, but rather NATO and the United States.

Continue reading “An Old Rivalry Reignited”

A Reflection on the 76th Student Conference on United States Affairs

Blake Dudley ’23

Blake Dudley ’23

From the third of November to the sixth, I had the privilege of attending West Point’s Student Conference on United States Affairs. This annual gathering grants students from across America the opportunity to get together and draft memos for future policy initiatives. Each year, there is an overarching theme, with this years’ being Disruptive Technology. This broad theme is split into more specific topics, which vary table-to-table. From the impacts of social media to space technology, students gathered to discuss varying matters; my table was assigned the concern of China. 

Continue reading “A Reflection on the 76th Student Conference on United States Affairs”

css.php