Confederate and U.S. Flag

Winning Hearts and Minds: How the United States Lost the Civil War

The age-old aphorism “History is written by the victors” exemplifies the belief that, whoever wins a conflict, writes the history books in favor of themselves and their message. In effect, with one’s goals accomplished and victory gained, they are able to construct the future’s telling of this battle, war, or event to better suit their own desires. This belief is often incorrect and does not account for a substantial number of historical events in which the “losers” of a conflict or event have written history to suit themselves. In the United States, perhaps the most prevalent form of pseudohistorical and false thought is our nation’s collective understanding of the U.S. Civil War.

Hayley Elizabeth Atwell as Peggy Carter in Captain America The First Avenger

Women in Power: Peggy Carter, the World of Intelligence, and a Powerful Role Model for Women

Representation in media (comics, films, television series, and video games) has become a hot button issue over the past decade. In March of 2022, the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film of San Diego State University found “that men outnumbered women onscreen by a factor of 2 to 1 in 2021”. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is no exception and has had its share of sexist, derogatory, and stereotypical depictions of women. However, in at least one, rather niche area, the MCU does excel in their representation of women: particularly in their representation of women within Intelligence Communities (IC) around the globe via the character of Peggy Carter.

Amadou Diallo Anti-Police Brutality Protest March

41 Shots: Bruce Springsteen’s American Skin (41 Shots) and Police Violence

Bruce Springsteen is one of the greatest songwriters and performers in American musical history. His lyrics are full of simultaneous hope and despair, reflecting the changing and evolving social fabric of the United States resulting in a sound that resonates with hundreds of millions of Americans coming from all faiths, socioeconomic, racial, age, and ethnic backgrounds. While many Americans have misunderstood Springsteen’s politics through his 1984 single “Born in the U.S.A.”, mistaking him for being a symbol of Reagan-era politics and staunchly Conservatively patriotic, his politics are far more Progressive and Liberally focused. His lesser-known work, the 1997 single titled “41 Shots (American Skin)”, is an example of this.

Richard Grenell served as Acting Director of National Intelligence in President Trump’s Cabinet in 2020

Presidential Delegates: The Politicization of Intelligence and Political Appointees

The politicization of intelligence products is a recurring issue that can have extreme effects on how foreign policy is conducted, how military operations and orders of battle are planned, and how intelligence is presented to policymakers. This politicization can clearly have an effect on intelligence and how it is presented to policymakers and the public. One of the most contested and interesting examples of the politicization of intelligence was in the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War.

Dismantle White Supremacy Protest

Fan Power: The White Supremacy Movement of the 1990’s as a Fandom

In the past year, since the January 6th attacks on the U.S. Capitol, white supremacy and right-wing extremist militant groups have been experiencing a rise in recruitment and have been undergoing many changes, largely due to the changing social and political structures within the United States. Renewed discussion about fandoms and white nationalist/right-wing movements has been occurring in the media since the January 2021 storming of the Capitol building. Partially classifying the white supremacist movement as a fandom can have benefits in the study of these organizations and the individual relationships of domestic terrorists to one another.

Alejandro Mayorkas, United States Secretary of Homeland Security

Damage Control: What Ms. Marvel Tells Us About the State of Homeland Security in the United States

Marvel Studios’ latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is Ms. Marvel, the TV series which showcases Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American high school student who gains cosmic energy powers from a family heirloom, fights crime and becomes a superhero in her native home of Jersey City, NJ. One area that has been often overlooked in the discourse surrounding this series has been the behavior of the U.S. Department of Damage Control (DODC), a rather lesser agency than S.H.I.E.L.D or S.W.O.R.D, yet one that has been around for many years within the background of the MCU. With Ms. Marvel, however, we get a rather different view of the agency, one that has been hinted at before but never fully seen.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Show Bus Billboard

S.W.O.R.D and S.H.I.E.L.D: What the Marvel Cinematic Universe Tells Us About the World of Intelligence and Ethics

It is without question that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is one of the biggest media franchises in the current day. For many, it has become a part of their personality and something they enjoy either discussing, collecting, or watching. They allow us to see and explore the world differently than before and in many cases allow us commentaries on pressing issues within society or history, such as gender, race, and power. While there have been many commentaries and analyses on these topics, little has been said about the commentary the MCU offers on the world of intelligence and espionage.

United Nations Headquarters

Monisms in International Relations: The Differences and Benefits of Unilateralism and Multilateralism

Bruce Jentleson in his work “American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st Century” defines multilateralism and unilateralism quite clearly. A multilateralist approach differs from a unilateralist approach starkly. However, there are certain aspects of the 21st-century world that assist in fostering such approaches. There are six points that assist in fostering a unilateralist and multilateralist approach; both approaches have been experienced within the new millennium.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg meets Jake Sullivan, US National Security Advisor

Changing the Playing Field: Non-Traditional Security Threats and the State of International Security

Whenever national security is brought up in public discourse, it is commonly thought of and discussed in stricter terms. Images of military personnel performing combat operations, government-sponsored hackers performing network intrusions, or hypersonic missile launches are among the first images. However, these are only part of the entire national security threats posing nation-states around the globe. Non-traditional security threats pose a real and serious challenge to the Intelligence Community and the U.S. national security strategy as a whole.

The Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima

The Decision to Use Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

While it took less than a second for the atomic bombs on the 6th and 9th of August 1945 to detonate and usher in an age of nuclear fear and paranoia, the decision to drop the bombs took much longer. The ability to destroy an entire city within seconds, wiping out millions of people with the single press of a button, immediately became realized and decades of weapons stockpiling and threats would follow, multiple times stopping just short of bringing the world to destruction. Simply stated, a more diplomatic approach should have been performed to secure America’s moral and ethical standing in the aftermath of the Second World War and in contemporary times.