Dominic Tierney

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Ukrainian soldiers monitoring the sky near Bakhmut, March 2024. Serhii Nuzhnenko / Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

In early 2022, much of the world applauded the heroic Ukrainian troops who held back Russian forces outside the gates of Kharkiv and Kyiv. “This is Ukraine’s finest hour, that will be remembered and recounted for generations to come”, declared then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “Its soldiers have demonstrated immense bravery”, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In a speech from Warsaw, U.S. President Joe Biden proclaimed that Russian forces “met their match with brave and stiff Ukrainian resistance”.

Two years later, Ukrainian soldiers are again resisting massive Russian military assaults, this time in Donetsk, Luhansk, and elsewhere. But now there are far fewer cheers.…  Seguir leyendo »

Chinese President Xi Jinping welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron in Beijing, April 2023. Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters

In April 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron visited Beijing, where he spent six hours meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and discussing Europe, Russia, and Taiwan. Then, on the flight home, Macron declared that Europe should strive for “strategic autonomy” from the United States. The continent, he said, should not “take our cue from the U.S. agenda” and should not be “caught up in crises that are not ours”. Macron even argued that European countries should reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar so as not to become mere “vassals” of Washington.

Macron’s comments were music to Beijing’s ears, but they provoked a furious backlash in the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »

On February 15, 1989, Soviet General Boris Gromov walked across the Friendship Bridge from Afghanistan into the Soviet Union, where he was greeted by Soviet television cameras and given a bouquet of red carnations. After a decade-long war in Afghanistan, Gromov was officially the last Soviet soldier to leave the country. Moscow used his choreographed walk to signal that the mission had been successful and to highlight its orderly departure, one that stood in stark contrast to the final days of the Vietnam War, when Americans desperately clambered onto helicopters to escape Saigon.

But it was a charade. Gromov had spent the previous night at a hotel in the Soviet Union and traveled to Afghanistan only to stage the exit.…  Seguir leyendo »

On the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, members of Congress gathered on the steps of the Capitol to express their unity of purpose in the aftermath of the day's catastrophic attacks. Then, apparently spontaneously, they began to sing. The television cameras widened their shots, and surprised anchors back in their studios grew quiet as the voices of Democrats and Republicans rose together: "God bless America, land that I love, stand beside her and guide her through the night with a light from above."

The chorus moved a nation, and for a moment, we were truly a United States of America. In the weeks that followed, Congress and the American people rallied overwhelmingly behind a war to overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which had given safe harbor to Al Qaeda.…  Seguir leyendo »

En enero de 1968, los norteamericanos encendieron los televisores y se toparon con escenas de caos y matanzas. Los vietnamitas habían desatado por sorpresa la llamada ofensiva del Têt. La ofensiva ha pasado a la Historia como la derrota más severa sufrida por los norteamericanos en el campo de batalla durante la Guerra Fría.

Veinticinco años después, en diciembre de 1992, Estados Unidos puso en marcha una intervención humanitaria en Somalia que ha sido considerada el fracaso más notable en los años que siguieron a la Guerra Fría. Posteriormente, en marzo de 2003, los carros de combate de Estados Unidos se abrieron paso a la carga entre las dunas para invadir Irak, con lo que daba comienzo, a ojos de muchos norteamericanos, la peor catástrofe de la política exterior del mundo surgido del 11 de Septiembre.…  Seguir leyendo »

In January 1968, Americans turned on their televisions to find scenes of chaos and carnage as Vietnamese communists unleashed their surprise Tet offensive. It would go down in history as the greatest American battlefield defeat of the cold war.

Twenty-five years later, in December 1992, the United States began a humanitarian intervention in Somalia that would be viewed as the most striking failure of the post-cold-war era. Then, in March 2003, American tanks charged across the dunes into Iraq, beginning, in the eyes of many Americans, the worst foreign policy debacle of the post-9/11 world. Tet, Somalia and Iraq: the three great post-World War II American defeats.…  Seguir leyendo »