Today in European history: the Battle of the Kalka River (1223)

The 1240 siege of Kiev occurred on the Mongols’ second incursion into the eastern European steppe and the first that was intended to conquer territory. The Mongols’ first European invasion amounted to a raid, but holy mackerel, what a raid. By 1221 the Mongols’ war against the Khwarazmian Empire in Central Asia/eastern Iran was over, although that empire’s … Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of the Kalka River (1223)

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Sometimes it’s OK to take the other guy (or lady) at his (or her) word

At Arms Control Wonk, Michael Krepon has written a great piece comparing the skepticism over Hasan Rouhani's outreach to the West with the skepticism that greeted Mikhail Gorbachev's similar overtures in the 1980s: The Reagan and Bush administrations were initially caught off-guard by Gorbachev’s rhetorical flourishes and diplomatic initiatives. US intelligence community assessments, shaped by … Continue reading Sometimes it’s OK to take the other guy (or lady) at his (or her) word