First Lieutenant Michael P. Ferguson, USA, is Aide de Camp to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations and Intelligence, Allied Joint Force Command–Brunssum, Netherlands.
Every war is ironic because every war is worse than expected.
—Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory
In 1937, as Adolf Hitler’s infantry divisions skyrocketed in violation of the Versailles Treaty, a member of the House of Commons defended England’s ongoing disarmament policy, claiming one does not need to be “heavily armed” to have an effective world system.1 His colleagues echoed the notion, insisting “Hitler’s dictatorship is gradually breaking down.”2 Such comments were not the result of ignorance, but rather a consensual blindness. They were emblematic of years of political rhetoric that dismissed as warmongering the premonitions of Winston S. Churchill, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.3 In the face of such resistance, Churchill at one time compared himself to Demosthenes of Athens (fourth-century BCE orator and statesman, 384–322 BCE) and Hitler to his Macedonian antagonist, King Philip II (382–336 BCE).4 An overview of these two figures reveals how Demosthenes struggled with remarkably similar challenges that, much like Churchill, pushed him to the fringe of his nation’s political paradigm.
Sadly, the stories of Demosthenes and Churchill (D&C) are the bookends to a long and ignoble history of marginalizing the bearer of bad news, or shooting the messenger, that endures into the 21st century. John Lewis Gaddis touched on this phenomenon regarding the history of surprise attacks on the United States in his 2003 Harvard Press piece, Surprise, Security, and the American Experience. In it, Gaddis offers a noteworthy maxim: “The means of confronting danger do not disqualify themselves from consideration solely on the basis of the uneasiness they produce.”5 Indeed, the clairvoyant yet disturbing insights of D&C understandably made many of their colleagues uneasy, and the expressions of this uneasiness were costly.
As the joint force continues to hone its strategies in an increasingly complex global security environment, contextualizing the legacies of D&C might assist decisionmakers in their effort to envision and offset threats evolving beyond the horizon of conventional wisdom. In pursuit of that end, it is necessary to first explore the oft misused term warmonger before delving into the common grievances of these two historic figures, and extracting lessons germane to more recent challenges, such as the threat posed by Iran.
Warmongers and Mischievous Demagogues
History has been kind to its prescient thinkers in defense. Their contemporaries, on the other hand, were not often so accommodating. D&C were spared no pejorative as they struggled for more than a decade to rouse their lethargic nations to arms, with none other than Aristotle branding Demosthenes a “mischievous demagogue” for the suspicious eye with which he viewed Philip II.6 Churchill received similar treatment when, as early as 1924, he expressed concern over the political winds in postwar Germany.7 While this article deals with these two figures specifically for their remarkable similarities and millennia of separation, they are not historical outliers. In fact, the practice of deriding those with farsightedness in defense matters is well established in the Western world, and can be observed, for instance, in the Seven Years’ War, the American Revolution, throughout the Cold War, and even into the war on terror.8
These “blind spots” usually appear in the wake of protracted or debilitating wars, or during periods of economic instability when offensive military action—or the maintenance of a robust defense—are less palatable to populations beleaguered by war and economic depression. Athens and Great Britain met these conditions. What was it, though, that alarmed D&C to such an extent that their peers branded them warmongers? The accusation appears farcical considering the circumstances but was nevertheless a facet of conventional wisdom in both cases.
In the age of Demosthenes, Philip II developed a reputation for entering cities as a liberator, only to consume the government from the inside and eventually enslave its people.9 For much of the mid-fourth century BCE, Philip conquered various city-states surrounding Athens, all the while assuring the Athenian popular assembly, or ecclesia, that his imperialistic designs excluded Athens itself. Demosthenes remained understandably skeptical, but his fellow statesmen invested heavily in Philip’s empty promises. In the meantime, members of the ecclesia defunded the Athenian navy, employed unreliable mercenaries in ground wars, and disengaged from foreign investments to avoid military entanglements. Athens was a shining beacon of social progress in Greece, but Demosthenes’ gripe was not with standards of living; it was with Athenian strategy and government finances.10
Churchill’s doubts regarding Hitler’s peaceful intentions were equally well founded. By 1938, only 5 years after Hitler assumed the chancellorship, the German army had swollen from 7 infantry divisions to a staggering 46, in contrast to England’s 6.11 Moreover, British and American agents in Germany had reported the widespread killing of Jews, communists, and social democrats, as well as the creation of concentration camps capable of housing up to 5,000 prisoners each.12 Despite these reports, and Germany’s flagrant violations of the Versailles Treaty, members of Parliament followed Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s lead by ignoring Churchill’s admonitions, doubling down on disarmament, and capitulating to Hitler’s demands.13
An examination of the speeches and writings of D&C reveals a consistency in messaging that generally highlights three flaws: a systemic neglect of military readiness, a government consumed by domestic issues and hollow rhetoric, and distrust between allies resulting from a failure to meet mutual obligations. The crux of D&C’s crusade was to develop lines of effort that addressed these three flaws that, in their eyes, would be catastrophic to national defense if not rectified.
An Archaic State of Disrepair
D&C understood well the horrors of war and the necessity of a strong defense. Both of them wore the uniform—Demosthenes as a young navy captain and Churchill as a cavalry officer who saw combat in the Boer Wars. But their experience was no match for a disarmament consensus. Neville Chamberlain’s pre–World War II gutting of England’s military capabilities is renowned. Having denied the air force requested aircraft and the navy much needed ships, he also left the army in an “archaic state” of disrepair.14 Even after Hitler declared himself supreme ruler and cannibalized all German press agencies in 1935, England continued its disarmament the following month, recommending an additional £340,000 reduction in air assets after the £700,000 reduction the previous year.15 While Chamberlain’s misadventures in government remain legendary, lesser known are the policies of his Athenian doppelganger, Eubulus, who gutted Athens’ stratiotic (military) fund and endorsed isolationist policies at a time when Philip was expanding his influence rapidly in neighboring states.16
In the History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides describes how fifth- and fourth-century BCE Athens had come to place more emphasis on grand architecture and metropolitan development than military might.17 He also notes that Athenians were the first of the Greek states to “lay down their arms and switch to a more relaxed and gracious way of life.”18 As a result, Athens grew overconfident in its naval prowess and reliant on mercenaries to achieve its military objectives. This illusion of security led to an obsession with domestic comforts and the willful neglect of military readiness.
Athens thus directed its annual surpluses into the theoric fund created by Eubulus, which subsidized theater performances and religious services for the underprivileged.19 The religious and therefore sacred nature of this fund made it politically untouchable. Those who dared recommend moving surplus theoric funds into the stratiotic fund were prosecuted and found guilty of an illegal proposal.20 Demosthenes often called attention to the inadequacies of Athenian defense and put forward reforms to correct these deficiencies, but they went unheeded.21 As the combat effectiveness of Athens’ military atrophied from stagnation, Philip waged constant battles, molding his tactical capabilities around his strategic vision.
In Churchill’s England, the concept of disarmament eventually became so fashionable that Chamberlain would not even read disarmament proposals before vehemently supporting them.22 While both Athens and England suffered from a systemic fantasy of security, it was domestic concerns and the accompanying political rhetoric that kept this fantasy alive.
Platitudes and Unrealities
Despite the charges leveled against them by their political opponents, D&C were advocates of de-escalation who supported diplomatic engagements whenever possible, so they could hardly be considered warmongers in the classical sense.23 They simply pressed for a resurgence in military readiness and a reassurance of support for their allies, but even these measured proposals were too hawkish in the eyes of their colleagues. Churchill often vented his frustrations with this stubbornness, at one time proclaiming, “There is such a horror of war . . . that any declaration or public speech against armaments, although it consisted only of platitudes and unrealities, has always been applauded.”24
One might excuse Churchill’s abrasive character upon assuming the monumental task of righting these wrongs when, for more than a decade, his colleagues chided him as a madman for simply making perceptive observations. For instance, Anthony Eden, Secretary of State at the Foreign Office, remained adamant that France’s disarmament was essential to the security of Europe, and labeled Churchill’s fears a “fantastic absurdity.”25 Comments like this were slung frivolously because Chamberlain and his ilk remained largely beholden to social obligations such as unemployment, exports, and recovering from the 1931 economic collapse.26
Athens dealt with similar problems in the fourth century as it emerged from multiple wars (the Social War, 357–355 BCE, and the Third Sacred War, 356–346 BCE) and was no longer insulated fiscally by loans from the Persian Empire.27 Both Philip and Hitler were notorious for capitalizing on these weaknesses by targeting states when they lacked the will to fight and were least likely to be ready militarily. As Demosthenes put it, “[Philip] attacks those who are sick from internal dissension, and no one is willing to go out to defend their territory on account of their mutual distrust.”28
Recognizing this trend, Demosthenes believed Athens had engorged itself on privilege, well-wishes, and social programs that sedated the Athenian masses and in turn allowed Philip to accrue power.29 In his Third Philippic speech in 341 BCE, Demosthenes described what is now recognized as the Gray Zone, which created the apparition of peace between Macedonia and Athens: “This is what Philip has bought with all his lavish expenditure: that he is at war with you, but you are not at war with him!”30 Demosthenes understood that as Philip uttered words of peace between 344 and 342, he was in fact setting the conditions for war.31 Both D&C came to the conclusion that only a grand alliance could rescue their nations from their current stupor.
Left to Face Their Fate Alone
Athens, Sparta, and Thebes, the leading Greek states at the time, were weakened by years of infighting and fragile alliances that forced Athenian generals to plunder allied territory to field their armies.32 When barbarians attacked Athens and Sparta in the fifth century, Athenians abandoned their alliance with Sparta and fled to their ships, leaving Sparta to clean up the mess.33 This pattern continued, as Demosthenes made clear during his First Philippic in 351 BCE: “[Athens’] great festivals were always on time, but military support to besieged allies was always too little too late!”34 He concluded by underlining the mutual distrust between Greek states: “we all delay, and are weak, and cast suspicious glances at our neighbors, distrusting each other rather than the man who is wronging us all [Philip].”35 Ironically, Athens had a history of sending ambassadors to criticize Sparta and its warlike culture.36
While Churchill was willing to align with the “insufferable” Bolsheviks if it meant defeating Hitler,37 it was characteristic of Eubulus to cut ties with foreign commitments and reinforce entrenchment policies, particularly after the 355 war between allies.38 When the city of Phocis surrendered to Philip in 346, Athens was unwilling to honor the oath of allegiance between the two states.39 This abandonment came on the heels of Philip’s capture and enslavement of Chalcidice in 349 and Olynthus in mid-348 BCE, which became a turning point in Philip’s war on Athens.40 Demosthenes even sought but failed to achieve an alliance with Persia against Philip.41
Similar to the oath of allegiance between Athens and Phocis, Churchill supported a diplomatic guarantee between England and Poland stipulating that, if attacked, England would support the Polish resistance. But when Hitler invaded Poland, Chamberlain was hesitant to honor the guarantee and sought conference with the German chancellor instead.42 In a 1938 appeal to build a European alliance against Hitler, Churchill became less sanguine about the potential for peace:
If it were done in the year 1938—and believe me it may be the last chance there will be for doing it—then I say that you might even now arrest this approaching war. . . . Let those who wish to reject it ponder well and earnestly upon what will happen to us, if when all else has been thrown to the wolves, we are left to face our fate alone.43
D&C both made final pleas to their people: the Athenian in the form of his Third Philippic speech, and the Englishman with his 1939 publication of Step by Step, 1936–1939, a collection of articles and papers demonstrating the evolution of the Nazi menace. Like England’s surging support for Churchill after Hitler invaded Austria in 1938, Athenian support for Demosthenes increased when Philip attacked Byzantium in 340, leading to a hasty alliance of Greek states.44 Though promising, this measure proved insufficient to counter Philip’s advances.45 Athens lost its independence in 338 when Philip defeated a large force that included Athenians at the Battle of Chaeronea in Boeotia, and a warrant was issued for Demosthenes’ arrest.46 The sage of Athens fled, choosing to poison himself in isolation rather than face humiliation and death at the hands of a Macedonian council.47
In 1939 London, leading thinkers began to arise from their intellectual slumber and agree that “England owes [Churchill] many apologies.”48 Fortune smiled upon Churchill for numerous reasons, and although his tenacity was not enough to avoid war, it did save England from potential annexation. Historians still debate Hitler’s ability to conquer all of Europe, much as they question the capacity for Athens to resist Philip even if it had adopted Demosthenes’ policies in 351, but most agree Hitler came dangerously close to realizing his vision.49 Even Joseph Kennedy, then U.S. Ambassador to London, believed as late as 1939 that England would come to the negotiating table if Hitler offered terms of surrender.50 Others begged to differ, including one confidant who observed of Churchill in 1940: “His spirit is indomitable and even if France and England should be lost, I feel he would carry on the crusade himself with a band of privateers.”51 Due in part to Churchill’s unwavering resolve, skill at forming alliances, and unfiltered rhetoric, England succeeded where Athens failed.
In an increasingly multinational operating environment, it is important to highlight that in the years leading up to World War II, the League of Nations encouraged the disarmament of Europe vociferously, thereby convincing France to succumb to Hitler’s demands. Shortly after this appeasement, Hitler presented France with its terms of surrender.52 More than ever, it is crucial to remember that international consensus is not always in the best interest of individual states, and at times these two interests may be in conflict with one another.
There is also the issue of foresight in defense. Demosthenes directed his grievances toward what he believed was an institutionally reactionary government that only responded to Philip’s moves without forecasting them, thereby placing Athens “at his command.”53 The Western world still struggles with the same challenges of military readiness, the gap between rhetoric and reality, and the maintenance of alliances, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.54 Applying these observations in more recent context reveals several areas of interest.
Iran’s consistent record of undermining Western coalitions, coupled with the simultaneous de-prioritization of military supremacy among major Western powers during the early 21st century, is of particular concern.55 Across the breadth of nations deemed adversarial to the United States, Iran is unique in that it has gone further with its bellicosity than information operations and incendiary rhetoric. In addition to repeated public statements advocating the destruction of the United States, Iran played an objectively subversive role in arming insurgencies during Operation Iraqi Freedom, while also employing proxies against coalition forces in Iraq and elsewhere.56 Iran also has its fingerprints on one of the deadliest weapons deployed against coalition forces in the last 17 years, the explosively formed projectile, which is responsible for the deaths of nearly 200 U.S. Servicemembers in Iraq.57
Despite such developments, many continue to downplay the significance of the threat posed by Iran, insisting that it can be pacified through the forging of amicable diplomatic treaties.58 While the same optimistic notions drove reactions of senior officials to initial threat assessments of the so-called Islamic State,59 the potentialities of a nuclear Iran, the number of fighters it may bring to bear in future conflicts, and the ideology by which its clerical gentry are motivated make Iran a more existential threat to global security.60 In his most recent work, Eliot Cohen suggests the now defunct 2015 nuclear deal struck between the United States and the Islamic Republic does little to prevent Iran from acquiring an arsenal that would eventually trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.61
Like the United States and Iran, the dynamics of the Athenian-Macedonian relationship were complex, and for many years they engaged in a precarious game of impotent peace deals and political chess that ultimately empowered Philip and charmed much of the Athenian citizenry into apathy. The dangers of an increasingly influential Iran are amplified by recent developments concerning the authorization of Iranian militias operating in Iraq, and the potential for Iranian naval bases to appear in Yemen and Syria.62 According to Iranian major general Mohammad Bagheri, such bases are far more valuable than even nuclear technology.63
Western military and intelligence leaders have echoed concerns associated with a budding Iranian regional power, but such caveats have gone largely unheeded and failed to trigger any tangible strategic adjustments.64 Even after Iran seized U.S. Navy boats and used the crewmembers to create propaganda videos, the United States pursued amicable relations with Iran, much as Athens did with Philip after he captured Olynthus in 348 and used Athenian prisoners as bargaining chips.65 This relationship between Iran and the West, and its analogues to the situations of Demosthenes and Churchill, is ripe for additional study focused on the tradition of pragmatic defense in complex environments.
These problems are not limited, however, to the potential of an Iranian-led power bloc in the Middle East. In the span of 3 years, the thought of Russia as a major geopolitical threat went from a laughing matter in 2012 to the gravest existential threat to the United States since the height of the Cold War.66 Considering Russia’s foreign policy interests and its means of pursuing them did not change (Russia has been violating borders and waging information warfare for decades), this is another glaring example of an either passive or active inability to recognize threats in a political climate shackled by war fatigue and economic recovery efforts.67
Having observed the misery of war firsthand, neither Demosthenes nor Churchill had a thirst for conflict. Rather, they sought to deter war by fashioning alliances and military capabilities that would make it imprudent for an adversarial state to consider war a viable option in the pursuit of its political objectives. Judicious assessments of security threats backed by military might as a deterrent to conflict—not a precursor to it—are the most reliable methods of identifying, preparing for, and preventing legitimate challenges to national security.
History’s great social and political upheavals are often precipitated by a collective ambivalence to existential threats. Alistair Horne referred to this obliviousness as a form of strategic hubris that often follows victory, but it may be even more pervasive than that.68 Both D&C described a persistent illusion of security that incubated their nations into indifference. This illusion remains a constant in the human condition, not bound by time or societal progress, and particularly dominant in leading postwar states or those experiencing downward trends in economic prosperity.
The fall of Athens despite Demosthenes’ exemplary case for its defense was primarily the result of a false sense of security that led to poor prioritization of government resources, the erosion of alliances, and a distracted populace that awoke too late to unite Greece and repel Philip’s armies. Churchill’s success is largely credited to the superior momentum of his narrative achieved through unwavering resolve, strategic timing, and a pragmatic approach to building alliances. The position of power held by Churchill offered additional benefits not afforded Demosthenes, as did advances in communication technology that enabled Churchill to reach a larger audience more rapidly than was possible in Athens. But the reluctance to acknowledge the threat posed by Nazi Germany and Macedonia was much more of a cultural problem than a technological or political one. Despite the overwhelming evidence at hand, the public and their representatives did not want King Philip II or the Nazis to be threats. In turn, these very real threats were deemed nonthreatening by simply labeling as warmongers those stating otherwise.
The legacies of Demosthenes and Churchill reflect the primitive and enduring nature of armed conflict. Although the tools used to wage war will change, at times even drastically, the operators of those tools will remain subject to the same flawed judgment that plagued the Athenian assembly 2,300 years ago. Instead of reflexively shooting messengers on account of the uneasiness their words produce, perhaps unconventional strategic assessments deserve a wider audience. If only on occasion, what looks like warmongering might in fact be the ideas that save a continent. JFQ
1 John Keegan, Winston Churchill (New York: Penguin Group, 2002), 118.
3 Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: The Prophet of Truth, 1922–1939, vol. 5 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1976), 445, 494.
4 Ian Worthington, Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 343–344.
5 John Lewis Gaddis, Surprise, Security, and the American Experience (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003), 33.
6 Charles Darwin Adams, Demosthenes and His Influence: Our Debt to Greece and Rome (New York: Cooper Square Publishers, Inc., 1963), 98. Aristotle was friend to King Philip II and advisor to his successor and son, Alexander. For Demosthenes referred to as a warmonger, see Jeremy Trevett, ed., The Oratory of Classical Greece: Demosthenes, Speeches 1–17 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011), 53–55.
7 John Lukacs, Churchill: Visionary, Statesman, Historian (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), 5. Churchill also explained how any speech that “set forth blunt truths” was met with the accusation of “warmongering.” See Gilbert, 445.
8 For instance, critics of Napoleon Bonaparte were often branded “alarmists” in the period following 18th-century British “adventurism” in the North American colonies. See Roger Knight, Britain Against Napoleon: The Organization of Victory, 1793–1815 (New York: Penguin Press, 2013), 70. More recently, Federal Bureau of Investigation agent John O’Neill was dismissed as an alarmist for his focus on al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden long before the 2001 attacks. See Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (New York: Random House, 2006), 296–297, 350.
9 Ian Worthington, Demosthenes: Statesman and Orator (London: Routledge, 2000), 75–76; Worthington, Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece, 113–114.
10 Trevett, 8.
11 Keegan, 116–117.
12 Gilbert, 446–447, 485.
13 For Versailles Treaty violations, such as building aircraft, see ibid., 488. England also allowed Germany to amend the Versailles Treaty to build submarines and conscript forces. See Keegan, 116.
14 Ibid., 115.
15 Gilbert, 457.
16 Ian Worthington, By the Spear: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 58.
17 Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, ed. Walter Blanco and Jennifer Tolbert Roberts and trans. Walter Blanco (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1998), 7.
18 Ibid., 5.
19 Trevett, 9; Worthington, Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece, 89–90.
20 Appollodorus of Acharnae received such a conviction in 348 BCE. See Worthington, Demosthenes, 56.
21 Worthington, Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece, 87; Worthington, Demosthenes, 47.
22 Gilbert, 463.
23 Demosthenes supported all peace deals with Philip II. See Worthington, Demosthenes, 58–71. Churchill similarly sought counsel with Hitler until 1939, even meeting with him numerous times. See Keegan, 124.
24 Gilbert, 445.
25 Ibid., 461.
26 Keegan, 113.
27 John Buckler and Hans Beck, Central Greece and the Politics of Power in the Fourth Century BC (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 222–223; Trevett, 9; Adams, 8.
28 Trevett, 170.
29 Buckler and Beck, 220.
30 Trevett, 158. This is from the Third Philippic presented to the eclessia.
31 For example, Philip sent ambassadors to Athens to discuss a peace treaty in 346 BCE while he headed to Thrace to wage war. See Worthington, By the Spear, 63; Worthington, Demosthenes, 75.
32 Trevett, 8–9.
33 Thucydides, 10–11. It is worth noting that, in fleeing Athens, the Athenian navy was able to win the sea battle of Salamis (480 BCE) and the land battle at Marathon (490 BCE), which proved critical to Greek victory in the Persian Wars. Ibid., 29.
34 Worthington, Demosthenes, 51.
35 Trevett, 166–167.
36 Thucydides, 29–30.
37 Keegan, 96.
38 Worthington, Demosthenes, 47.
39 Ibid., 58.
40 Ibid., 53–55.
41 Worthington, By the Spear, 77.
42 Keegan, 116.
43 Ibid., 123.
44 Worthington, Demosthenes, 82.
45 The infighting and intra-Greek issues that distracted Demosthenes and all of Athens for decades leading up to its demise may have been the true death knell of Athenian independence. See Worthington, Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece, 97.
46 Trevett, 13.
47 Worthington, Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece, 335–337. Demosthenes died in 322 BCE. By this time, Philip had been assassinated and his successor, Alexander, had died only the year prior. Ibid., 261–271, 328.
48 This comment came from Lord Wolmer on July 7, 1939; see Gilbert, 1079.
49 Lukacs, 2.
50 Gilbert, 1074.
51 The words of John “Jock” Colville, Secretary to Prime Ministers Chamberlain and Churchill. See William Manchester and Paul Reid, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Defender of the Realm, 1940–1965 (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2012), 9.
52 Keegan, 118.
53 Worthington, Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece, 120.
54 Mike Benitez, “Air Force in Crisis, Part III: Dear Boss, It’s All About the Culture,” War on the Rocks, March 15, 2018, available at <https://warontherocks.com/2018/03/air-force-in-crisis-part-iii-dear-boss-its-all-about-the-culture/>; Mikheil Saakashvili, “Exaggerating Vladimir Putin’s Impact in the U.S. Only Makes Him Stronger in Our Region,” Washington Examiner, March 14, 2018, available at <www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/mikheil-saakashvili-exaggerating-vladimir-putins-impact-in-the-us-only-makes-him-stronger-in-our-region>; Dominic Evans, “Syrian Frontline Town Divides NATO Allies Turkey and U.S.,” Reuters, February 12, 2018.
55 While the U.S. defense budget has increased during 2015–2017, some leaders, for example, General Joseph Dunford, argue it is not enough to overcome the multiple dilemmas currently facing the West. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley has warned against “rolling the dice” by failing to prepare for a “great-power war with Russia, China, Iran or North Korea.” See Vikram Mansharamani, “Is the Military’s Unpredictable Budget Leading to a Readiness Crisis?” PBS, November 4, 2016, available at <www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/column-militarys-unpredictable-budget-leading-readiness-crisis/>.
56 Michael Knights, “The Evolution of Iran’s Special Groups in Iraq,” Combating Terrorism Center Sentinel 3, no. 11–12 (November 2010), 12–16.
57 Rowan Scarborough, “Iran Responsible for Deaths of 500 American Service Members in Iraq,” Washington Times, September 13, 2015, available at <www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/13/iran-responsible-for-deaths-of-500-us-service-memb/>; Bill Roggio, “Evidence of Iran Supplying Weapons, Expertise to Iraqi Insurgents,” FDD’s Long War Journal, February 11, 2007, available at <www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2007/02/evidence_of_iran_sup.php>.
58 Thomas L. Friedman, “Iran and the Obama Doctrine,” New York Times, April 5, 2015, available at <www.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/opinion.thomas-friedman-the-obama-doctrine-and-iran-interview>.
59 Peter Baker and Eric Schmitt, “Many Missteps in Assessment of ISIS Threat,” New York Times, September 29, 2014, available at <www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/world/middleeast/obama-fault-is-shared-in-misjudging-of-isis-threat>; Jonathan Karl, “3 Times Obama Administration Was Warned About ISIS Threat,” ABC News, video, 6:55, September 29, 2014, available at <www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/times-obama-administration-warned-isis-threat/story?id=25843517>.
60 Afshon Ostovar, Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 25–38, 125.
61 Eliot Cohen, The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force (New York: Basic Books, 2016), 156–160.
62 Gilad Shiloach, “Iran-Backed Militias Legalized by Iraqi Parliament,” Vocativ, November 27, 2016, available at <www.vocativ.com/378895/iranian-backed-militias-legalized-by-iraqi-parliament/>.
63 “Iran May Seek Naval Bases in Yemen or Syria: Chief of Staff,” Reuters, November 27, 2016, available at <www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-navy-yemen-syria-idUSKBN13M08M>.
64 Joint Foreign Affairs and House Armed Services Subcommittees, Michael T. Flynn, “Testimony on Iran,” June 10, 2015, available at <http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA13/20150610/103582/HHRG-114-FA13-Wstate-FlynnM-20150610.pdf>.
65 Fred Barbash, Missy Ryan, and Thomas Gibbons-Neff, “Iran Releases Captured U.S. Navy Crew Members,” with 3 videos, 1:44, 1:14, and 1:47, Washington Post, January 13, 2016, available at <www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/01/13/iran-sends-mixed-message-on-quick-release-of-u-s-navy-crews/?utm_term=.7571537c7d32>. Philip takes Athenian prisoners in Olynthus; see Trevett, 11.
66 Glenn Kessler, “Flashback: Obama’s Debate Zinger on Romney’s ‘1980s’ Foreign Policy,” with video, 1:17, Washington Post, March 20, 2014, available at <www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2014/03/20/flashback-obamas-debate-zinger-on-romneys-1980s-foreign-policy/?utm_term=.d9869de88cbf>. See also Phil Stewart and David Alexander, “Russia Is Top U.S. National Security Threat: Gen. Dunford,” Reuters, video, 11:33, July 9, 2015, available at <www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-defense-generaldunsmore/russia-is-top-u-s-national-security-threat-gen-dunford-idUSKCN0PJ28S20150709>.
67 R. Reed Anderson et al., “The Information Environment: A Critical Element Often Neglected,” in Strategic Landpower and a Resurgent Russia: An Operational Approach to Deterrence (Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College Press, May 2016), 143–158.
68 Alistair Horne, Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century (New York: HarperCollins, 2015), 343–344.