About Earl H. Tilford

Dr. Earl Tilford is a military historian and fellow for the Middle East & terrorism with the Institute for Faith and Freedom at Grove City College. He currently lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. A retired Air Force intelligence officer, Dr. Tilford earned his PhD in American and European military history at George Washington University. From 1993 to 2001, he served as Director of Research at the U.S. Army’s Strategic Studies Institute. In 2001, he left Government service for a professorship at Grove City College, where he taught courses in military history, national security, and international and domestic terrorism and counter-terrorism.

The Strategic Effect of Operation Kayla

Raids, like Operation Kayla resulting in the death of Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi and other ISIS terrorist leaders, are usually small affairs with limited results. Nevertheless, such meticulously planned and superbly executed raids also can have significant strategic implications. Roughly five decades … Continue reading

A Time of Civility Needed Again

Tonight, President Donald Trump will visit Minneapolis. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey stated, “While there is no legal mechanism to prevent the president from visiting, his message of hatred will never be welcome in Minneapolis.” For those too young to remember, … Continue reading

Summit Asymmetries

On June 3, 1961, barely into the fifth month of his presidency, John F. Kennedy met with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Kennedy requested the meeting in February as an “informal” opportunity to become better acquainted. Kennedy had risen rapidly through … Continue reading

Homeland: Art Imitating Life

“All theory is gray. But forever green is the tree of life.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe I have enjoyed every season of the TV series “Homeland.” Writers and producers surely anticipated Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 election because season six … Continue reading

Limiting the Coming War

“War is the realm of the unexpected.” — B. H. Liddell Hart, 1950 Early 19th century Prussian general and philosopher Carl von Clausewitz identified “Der Schlag,” or “the punch,” as the vital opening gambit in war. Success depends on military … Continue reading

North Korea: Avoid a Needless War

“To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” —Sun Tzu The recent bogus Hawaiian nuclear alert puts the smoldering crisis with North Korea in perspective. Although most experts believe it will be a year before North Korea’s … Continue reading

The Big Button

“Heck, I reckon you wouldn’t even be human beings if you didn’t have some pretty strong personal feelings about nuclear combat.” —King Kong, Major, USAF (from Dr. Strangelove) In 1964, when I was a college freshman, all healthy male students without … Continue reading

North Korea: Apocalypse When?

Are Western intelligence services—primarily America’s—stupid or is North Korea a convenient toreador’s cape for problems so enormous the Trump administration and the Congress cannot begin to handle them? Look at history. Why did the most powerful nation on earth in … Continue reading

Talking with the Russians

There is nothing new or untoward in American and Russian leaders talking. President Franklin Roosevelt met Joseph Stalin at Yalta and referred to him as “Uncle Joe.” President Dwight Eisenhower entertained Premier Nikita Khrushchev during his whirlwind tour of America … Continue reading