Kori Schake

Research Fellow
Biography: 

Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

During the 2008 presidential election, she was senior policy adviser to the McCain-Palin campaign, responsible for policy development and outreach in the areas of foreign and defense policy.

From 2007 to 2008 she was the deputy director for policy planning in the state department. In addition to staff management, she worked on resourcing and organizational effectiveness issues, including a study of what it would take to “transform” the state department so as to enable integrated political, economic, and military strategies.

During President Bush's first term, she was the director for Defense Strategy and Requirements on the National Security Council. She was responsible for interagency coordination for long-term defense planning and coalition maintenance issues. Projects Schake contributed to include conceptualizing and budgeting for continued transformation of defense practices; the most significant realignment of US military forces and bases around the world since 1950; creating NATO's Allied Command Transformation and the NATO Response Force; and recruiting and retaining coalition partners for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

She has held the Distinguished Chair of International Security Studies at West Point, and also served in the faculties of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the University of Maryland’s School of Public Affairs, and the National Defense University. She is on the boards of the journal Orbis and the Centre for European Reform and blogs for Foreign Policy’s Shadow Government.

Her publications include State of Disrepair: Fixing the Culture and Practices of the State Department (Hoover Institution Press, 2012), Managing American Hegemony: Essays on Power in a Time of Dominance (Hoover Institution Press, 2009), “Choices for the Quadrennial Defense Review” (Orbis, 2009), “Dealing with a Nuclear Iran” (Policy Review, 2007), and “Jurassic Pork” (New York Times, 2006). She coauthored “How America Should Lead” (Policy Review, 2002), and coedited The Berlin Wall Crisis: Perspectives on Cold War Alliances (2002), and “Building a European Defense Capaibility” (Survival,, 1999).

From 1990 to 1996, she worked in Pentagon staff jobs, first in the Joint Staff’s Strategy and Policy Directorate (J-5) and then in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

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Recent Commentary

US flag on military helmet
Featured Commentary

Today’s Military Needs to be Run More Like a Business

by Kori Schakevia Room for Debate (New York Times)
Monday, July 14, 2014

In the near term, the threats to our interests are numerous small-scale contingencies against militaries not our equal but with pockets of high-tech or disruptive capabilities, like nuclear weapons, cyber or accurate ballistic missiles. In the longer term, there is the potential for China to become a military threat that could challenge us across the military spectrum.

Featured Commentary

@ISIS Is #Winning

by Kori Schakevia ForeignPolicy.com
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham is running a brilliantly effective social media campaign. With the group rebranded as the Islamic State (IS), its grisly messaging gets attention and discourages resistance to its military operations, both where it is fighting and among countries that might be inclined to intervene against it.

The globe in slices
Featured Commentary

How to Lose Friends and Alienate Allies

by Kori Schakevia ForeignPolicy.com
Monday, June 30, 2014

 The Obama administration has achieved a landmark heretofore considered impossible: they are making America's allies homesick for the administration of George W. Bush. 

Featured Commentary

Withdrawal Symptoms

by Kori Schakevia Foreign Policy
Friday, June 13, 2014

So this is what a "responsible withdrawal" from Iraq looks like? Mosul overrun by terrorists more virulently dangerous than al Qaeda. Iraqi security forces throwing off their uniforms and fleeing, leaving all their high-end hardware -- paid for by the American taxpayer -- in the hands of our enemies.

D-Day Helmet
Featured Commentary

The War We Won, and the Wars to Come

by Kori Schakevia Foreign Policy
Thursday, June 5, 2014

D-Day is a hallowed day and, fittingly, follows close after Memorial Day, when we Americans grieve and celebrate our war dead.

Barack Obama
Featured Commentary

A Litany of Grandiose Claims

by Kori Schakevia Room for Debate (New York Times)
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

President Obama’s speech was a litany of grandiose claims unenforced by policy: a paean to the Law of the Sea Convention, of which he has put no effort into ratification; a restatement of the need to close Guantanamo; “new restrictions on how America collects and uses intelligence”; a “willingness to act on behalf of human dignity.”

World Puzzle

Schake on Fox News: “there’s no way that this plebiscite is actually going to tell us what the people of Ukraine think”

by Kori Schakevia Fox News
Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hoover research fellow Kori Schake discusses the foreign policy on Fox News. Topics include the referendum held in Eastern Ukraine, the need for European support to proceed with sanctions, and the Benghazi select committee.

Gold Globe

Special: the John Batchelor Show from the Hoover retreat

by Peter Berkowitz, Abbas Milani, Kori Schake, Kiron K. Skinnervia John Batchelor Show
Friday, May 9, 2014

As part of the annual Hoover Spring Retreat, John Batchelor of the John Batchelor Show and Mary Kissell of the Wall Street Journal did a special live taping of the John Batchelor Show featuring Hoover senior fellow Peter Berkowitz and Hoover research fellows Abbas Milani, Kori Schake, and Kiron Skinner. The topic of the discussion was President Obama’s Biggest Foreign Policy Challenges.

Poster Collection, RU/SU 2165, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “Understanding Ukraine” with Kori Schake

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Friday, May 9, 2014

Kori Schake explains how the history of Ukraine informs the current impasse with Russia, how the present conflict is likely to play out, and what the implications are for the future.

Chess pieces

Special: Henriksen, Sofaer, and Schake on the John Batchelor Show

by Thomas H. Henriksen, Abraham D. Sofaer, Kori Schakevia John Batchelor Show
Monday, May 5, 2014

On the eve before a special live taping of the John Batchelor Show at the Hoover Spring Retreat, John Batchelor and Mary Kissel of the Wall Street Journal hosted a special foreign policy discussion featuring Hoover senior fellows Thomas Henriksen and Abraham Sofaer and Hoover research fellow Kori Schake.

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