Afghanistan - Is it really a graveyard of empires?

In recent years, especially with the clumsy US withdrawal, there were many talks about Afghanistan being the so-called “graveyard of empires”. The term, once limited to popular books and mass media, even penetrated scholarly circles. It seems to be a part of international popular culture, probably the most common trope and supposed fact known about the Afghani nation. This poses an important question about Afghanistan - is it really a graveyard of empires?

The Soviet debacle in Afghanistan

After the United States faced defeat in the Vietnam War it seemed like both Cold War superpowers learned their lesson - do not interfere in unnecessary conflicts, especially when those are a civil war. However, in late 1979 the USSR repeated the American mistake, leading to the Soviet debacle in Afghanistan that would end in a defeat nearly a decade later. What went wrong and why is it sometimes considered a greater failure than Vietnam?

The volume of the transatlantic slave trade

History is filled with bloody and grim movements, world-changing events and practices as well as long-lasting processes. Yet there aren’t many that combine all of those qualities. Among those usually infamous pieces of our past, the Atlantic slave trade holds a rather notorious place. It influenced the demography, economy, development, and society of at least three continents (four if we count the Americas as separate continents) for roughly 400 years. One of the reasons for such a vast impact is in the sheer volume of the Transatlantic slave trade.

Legality and morality of the First Gulf War

Introduction The United Nations is an international organization that was created to uphold peace and encourage good international relations and cooperation. It was supposed to bring harmony among the nations of the world and lead them to a future where there were no more wars. However, like all human creations, its structure and administration have flaws while the utility of the UN always relied upon the imperfect humans that constitute it.

Cod Wars - The Fish that Threatened NATO

Can you name a war fought by Icelanders? Kind of a difficult task. One would have to search deep in the past to find when was the last time inhabitants of this remote northern island resorted to weapons and methods of warfare. Well, nothing strange for a country that doesn’t even have a proper army and hasn’t had one for centuries. Yet, in the second half of the twentieth century, in the midst of the Cold War, Iceland was involved in three related conflicts.

The Non-Aligned Movement: Caught in the middle of the Cold War

Introduction The Cold War is often depicted as an era marked by a struggle for global dominance between two blocs led by the USSR and the US. Such representation is quite reasonable, yet it clouds our view on the past by focusing it on only a fraction of the historical horizon. There were more nations and states than just the two giants, many of which gained independence in their struggle against colonialism and imperialism.

The unfinished revolution – The Civil Rights Movement

The unfinished revolution – The Civil Rights Movement Introduction Up until recently the most common perspective of the Civil Rights Movement was that it represents a victory for African Americans and overall equality. However, recent unrest that permeated the American society questions such interpretations, as racial tensions are spurring once again. So the question arises – was the Civil Rights Movement successful or not? The roots of the idea For a long time, the story of the Civil Rights Movements began in the early 50s with Brown v.

A pause between two wars: Disaster of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference

Background In the early 20th century, the world found itself in a global conflict. World War I, or the Great War as it was known at the time, lasted from 1914 to 1918, pitching Central Powers (Germany, Austro-Hungary, Ottoman Empire) versus the Entente/Allied Powers (Russia, France, Britain, and later the US), with a myriad of smaller allies on both sides. Without going into the question of reasons and causes of the war, many fighting at the time thought of it as a “war to end all wars”, a notion which proved to be too idealistic.

The hollow victory of African Americans: The US Civil War (1861-1865)

Introduction When talking about the United States history, an unavoidable topic is the Civil War. It is often represented as a struggle for the liberation of African American slaves between the heroic Union in the north and the vile Confederation in the south. Similar descriptions and perceptions can be found throughout mainstream media, school textbooks, various arts, and more. By now it has become a dominant narrative which, despite its appealing image, is somewhat misrepresentative from reality.

Operation Cottage - The Battle on the Ghost Island

History has taught us that anything can happen. Literally anything. The number of events from our past that one would find hard to believe is endless. A unit saved by a pigeon. A submarine that sunk itself with its own torpedo. How about fighting a battle with no enemy on the other side? It happened to soldiers of the United States and Canadian armed forces on the small island of Kiska. Whatmore, during the World War Two battle known as Operation Cottage they suffered casualties of more than 300 soldiers. Their enemies, the Japanese, had no casualties. Of course they didn’t! They never fought in the battle.