Writing History in the "End of History" Era - Reflections on Historians and the GWOT
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Military history can and should play a role, even a prominent role, in debates over strategy and policy in wartime. The problem begins when partisans, polemicists, and ideologues pluck examples from past military campaigns or wars that are subsequently interpreted in ways that support policy and strategy decisions. In the case of the current “long war,” neoconservative and neoimperialist historians construct and reconstruct interpretations of the past in ways deliberately calculated to promote and sustain a policy agenda. The danger is that history twisted by some partisans into an apologia for contemporary American policy, and ultimately as a weapon of intimidation to silence doubt, dissent, disagreement, and even debate, serves neither the cause of history, nor of policy and strategy formulation, nor even of democracy in a moment of national peril.
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