Kori Schake

Research Fellow

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


Obama’s Syria Policy Is Morally And Strategically Bankrupt

by Kori Schakevia National Review
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Five years ago, President Obama proudly declared that “some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.” Imagine how that must sound to a people whose government has killed more than a quarter million of its citizens and made refugees of 9 million more, who suffer chemical-weapons and barrel-bomb attacks, kidnappings, and torture. 

Analysis and Commentary

How To Carpet Bomb, Discriminately

by Kori Schakevia Foreign Policy
Monday, February 8, 2016

[Registration Required] And other thoughts on the inanities of national security in the Republican debate from New Hampshire.

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The American Way of Refuge

by Kori Schakevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Offering sanctuary to Syrian exiles is both compassionate and wise—and just might give the United States a chance for a regional “reset.”


Obama's Hope For Peace Led To Bolder Foes, Frayed Alliances

by Kori Schakevia The New York Times
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

President Obama came into office believing he could repair America’s standing in the world; he would restore our alliance relations while offering an open hand to our adversaries, and in doing so make the world safer. The legacy of his presidency will instead be a more dangerous international order, deeply distrustful allies and emboldened adversaries.

Analysis and Commentary

The Good News From The GOP Debate

by Kori Schakevia Foreign Policy
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

[Subscription Required] The final republican debate on national security was a relief for the party. The two politicians Republican candidates attacked most in last night’s debate were Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Establishment candidates seemed to retake the high ground, making the case for sustained and serious engagement with the world. 

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Meeting The ISIS Challenge

by Kori Schakevia The Caravan
Thursday, December 10, 2015

President Obama raises an interesting and important challenge for those of us who believe his approach to the threat of ISIS is misguided: develop a better strategy.  Any successful strategy requires three elements: a defined political end state, a prescribed series of actions to attain the end state, and means commensurate with your aims.  President Obama’s strategy fails all three of those tests. 


NATO Invites Montenegro Into The Alliance — And Russia Can Only Blame Itself

by Kori Schakevia National Review
Thursday, December 3, 2015

Russia just got Montenegro admitted to NATO. At the meeting of its foreign ministers on December 1, the NATO alliance agreed to extend an invitation of membership to a country with which it was at war in 1999.

Analysis and Commentary

Take That, Vladimir!

by Kori Schakevia Foreign Policy
Wednesday, December 2, 2015

[Registration Required] It’s a bold move to invite tiny Montenegro to join the NATO alliance — and a rebuke to Russian aggression.


Russia Has Serially Violated Nato Airspace: Time To Push Back

by Kori Schakevia National Review
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Russia has been playing a very dangerous game for over a year now, violating the airspace of NATO allies, holding large-scale military exercises in which the use of nuclear weapons are simulated by Russia against NATO, testing the responsiveness of NATO militaries — last week Britain scrambled its fighters to intercept Russian bombers.


Russia To Blame For Violating Turkish Airspace

by Kori Schakevia Politico
Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NATO must stand by Turkey in this moment of tension with Moscow.