Historical analogies often serve as tools to explain the world we confront today or expect for tomorrow. In foreign affairs, the pre-World War II "appeasement of Munich" provides one of the most powerful images. For the U.S. military, influential analogies are drawn from Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and Mogadishu. Ernest May insightfully examined the use—and misuse—of such historical analogies for policymaking in his seminal book Thinking in Time (New York: Free Press, 1986). The Department of Defense would be well advised to consult this work in its preparations for the many difficult problems ahead.
Always Test History for Relevancy
By Adam B. Siegel