Paul Poast Profile picture
Was `Tweeting to teach', now `Posting for pedagogy'. International Relations and Foreign Policy. @UChicago Prof. @ChicagoCouncil Fellow. @WPReview Columnist.
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Apr 21 19 tweets 5 min read
The House passed a defense supplement for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Ukraine aid was the most controversial portion of the supplement and might cost Speaker Johnson his leadership position.

Why did he do it?

[THREAD] Image As is being reported, Johnson stated “To put it bluntly, I would rather send bullets to Ukraine than American boys. My son is going to begin in the Naval Academy this fall....This is not a game, this is not a joke.”…
Apr 20 30 tweets 7 min read
Let's do this.

A close reading of Donald Trump's recent description of the Battle of Gettysburg.

TL, DR: there were no pirates.

[THREAD] Image ICYMI, here is a clip of what Trump said about the Battle of Gettysburg at his recent Pennsylvania rally

Apr 14 9 tweets 3 min read
Are we on the brink of a larger Middle East War?

The risk increased in the past day, but is still low.

[SHORT THREAD] Many of the points raised in 👇 🧵 from October still apply: larger wars happen because states want to be drawn in.

Is that still the case?
Apr 13 20 tweets 6 min read
"International law is fake law."

"The only real law is domestic law."

Both statements are wrong. In some sense, the opposite might be true.

[THREAD] Image As I wrote recently in @WPReview, international law is flawed. But flawed shouldn't be confused with pointless.…
Apr 6 26 tweets 8 min read
To truly understand the current value of NATO, you need to think about a world without NATO.

Such "counterfactual thinking" lies at the heart of policy analysis...and IR scholarship.

[THREAD] Image This 🧵 builds on my latest @WPReview piece. I argued that NATO is more valuable than ever to its members. But how do we actually know that?…
Mar 30 12 tweets 4 min read
NATO turns 75 years old this coming week.

To mark the event, here are 7 (and a half) historical facts about NATO.

[THREAD] Image These facts draw from the #NATO7for70 series of 🧵 I wrote during NATO's 70th anniversary (along with *half* a new one). So this is essentially a 🧵 of🧵s.
Mar 23 31 tweets 8 min read
Will nations ever give up "the bomb"? Will we ever live in a nuclear free world?

Probably not (but emphasis on "probably")

[THREAD] Image There are essentially four categories of answers to the question of "will we live in a nuclear free world?":

1) yes, for encouraging reasons.

2) yes, for discouraging reasons.

3) no, for crazy reasons.

4) no, for sensible reasons.

Let's unpack each.
Mar 16 20 tweets 6 min read
Making Predictions.

Are International Relations scholars any good at it?

Yes, but it's important to know the limits.

[THREAD] Image Forecasting and offering projections on future events has a long tradition in international relations. After all, if we are offering explanations of WHAT IS HAPPENING, that should offer insights into WHAT WILL HAPPEN.…
Mar 9 20 tweets 5 min read
When studying war, what is a "Level of Analysis" and why should you care?

[THREAD] Image In the latest @WarOnTheRocks Russia Contingency podcast, @KofmanMichael and I discuss the purpose and role of IR theory, specifically thinking about the War in Ukraine.…
Mar 2 26 tweets 7 min read
Will humanity ever convert all its "swords" to "plowshares"?

That is THE question international relations seeks to answer.

[THREAD] Image The phrase "swords to plowshares" draws from the passage in the Book of Isaiah:

"They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Feb 24 24 tweets 6 min read
Peace is always positive, right?

Not necessarily. That's what Johan Galtung taught us.

[THREAD] Image Galtung was truly a pioneer of the study of "peace research" (i.e. the field of social science that uses modern methodological tools to understand the causes and consequences of violent conflict).…
Feb 17 18 tweets 5 min read
Over the course of its War in Ukraine, Russia has:

- incurred massive loses of material and manpower.
- failed to achieve strategic objectives.
- endured economic hardship.

Despite all of that, it could still "win". Why?

[THREAD] Image This 🧵 is particularly relevant given reports about Russian gains at Avdiivka.…
Feb 10 17 tweets 4 min read
In light of the Carlson-Putin interview, let's (once again) review the reason Russia invaded Ukraine.

Hint: it wasn't about NATO

[THREAD] Image Others will provide the full fact-check of Putin's remarks during the interview,...…
Feb 3 24 tweets 5 min read
Why would a state WANT to be a global hegemon?

[THREAD] Image I’ve had a series of recent 🧵 s that explored the idea of hegemony.

One looked at defining hegemony, as used by International relations scholars.

Jan 27 23 tweets 7 min read
Does the ICJ's ruling in "South Africa v. Israel" matter?

Yes, but it's important to know how and why.

[THREAD] Image As many are now aware, the International Court of Justice made an initial ruling yesterday in South Africa's case against Israel.

Jan 21 20 tweets 6 min read
What is "Hegemony"?

[THREAD] Image Last week, I wrote a thread introducing the idea that hegemons are necessary to provide global public goods (such as ensuring open navigation of the seas).

Jan 13 23 tweets 6 min read
What is the "global commons" and why do "Hegemons" have to support it?

[THREAD] Image Of course, I'm directly referring to the US-led airstrikes against the Houthis, who have been attacking ships in the Red Sea.…
Jan 6 28 tweets 8 min read
Let's revisit a BIG debate from the 1990s: whether Europe was heading "Back to the Future" following the Cold War.

[THREAD] Of course, I'm referring to John Mearsheimer's Summer 1990 piece in @IntSecHarvard.…
Dec 23, 2023 36 tweets 9 min read
Your annual reminder that "Die Hard" is the perfect Christmas movie...for understanding how Americans view international politics.

[THREAD] Image Honestly, the entire "Die Hard" series is great for learning about how American's perceive the world.
Dec 16, 2023 27 tweets 6 min read
Did Russia invade in February 2022 SOLELY (or even mostly) to keep Ukraine out of NATO?

No, but it's important to understand why.

[THREAD] Image Lately, I've seen a number of people bring up the "stop Ukraine's NATO membership" claim, specifically in the context of a possible peace deal offered in the spring of 2022 (hence, the opening image for the 🧵).

Dec 9, 2023 23 tweets 5 min read

Realist Theory.


Aren't these all the same? Not quite.

[THREAD] The death of Henry Kissinger has created opportunities to discuss the relationship between Realism in academic International Relations and Realpolitik in foreign policy practice.…