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

Analysis and Commentary

An Easy Primer On The South China Sea

by Kori Schakevia Real Clear Defense
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In the coming days, an obscure court in the Netherlands will issue a ruling in a dispute between the Philippines and China over an uninhabited Pacific reef known as Scarborough Shoal. It will be an important test of whether China can rise peacefully, as the Chinese government claims it is doing. 

Analysis and Commentary

How Brexit Will Change The World

by Kori Schakevia Politico
Saturday, June 25, 2016

17 top economists, foreign policy gurus and historians look five years into the future. 

Analysis and Commentary

Post-Brexit Defense Policy

by Kori Schakevia Foreign Policy
Saturday, June 25, 2016

[Subscription Required] Europeans often grumble that American presidential elections are unrepresentative: despite being so much affected by U.S. policies, they have no vote in our elections. Yesterday, that argument was reversed. Americans will be greatly affected by a decision they were not party to making. 


Can Paul Ryan Save The Republican Party From Donald Trump?

by Kori Schakevia Foreign Policy
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

[Subscription Required] A new report from the speaker of the House on national security sets out a dramatically different course than the GOP presidential nominee. Is anyone listening?


Israel Looks To Russia As A Security Partner

by Kori Schakevia National Review
Friday, June 10, 2016

American unreliability is forcing nations to look elsewhere for support.


Veterans And The Alienated Society

by Kori Schakevia War on the Rocks
Friday, June 10, 2016

Sebastian Junger understands a lot about warfare. He is admirably passionate about helping America’s veterans come to terms with their wartime experience and form the kind of meaningful connections that inoculate against post-traumatic stress disorder.

Analysis and CommentaryRelated Commentary

Reasons For Confidence In The Iran Deal

by Kori Schakevia Hoover Daily Report
Friday, May 27, 2016

There are historical precedents to justify current American confidence that the treaty with Iran will prevent it from going nuclear. In fact, Iran itself provides the most important precedents. Three factors have in the past caused Iran to curtail its nuclear weapons programs: high likelihood of exposure, belief the United States would destroy their weapons programs, and fear that military conflict with the United States would result in regime change in Iran.


How To Manage A Rising Power—Or Two

by Kori Schake, Anja Manuel via The Atlantic
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What America can learn from 19th-century Britain.


Is The Obama Administration Changing Its Strategy In Afghanistan?

by Kori Schakevia National Review
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Akhtar Mansour, the leader of the Taliban, is dead. As he was returning from Iran, his car was hit by a missile fired from an American military drone in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution
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Defense Policy Challenges For The Next President

by Kori Schakevia Hoover Institution
Friday, May 6, 2016

Hoover Institution fellow Kori Schake discusses the evolving threats to US interests that are waiting for the next presidential administration.