Mark Moyar

Mark Moyar


Mark Moyar is the director of the Center of Military and Diplomatic History in Washington, DC. In April 2017, Basic Books will publish his sixth book, a history of American special operations forces. He is currently writing the sequel to his book Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965. Moyar has served as a professor at the US Marine Corps University and a senior fellow at the Joint Special Operations University and has advised the senior leadership of several US military commands. He holds a BA summa cum laude from Harvard and a PhD from Cambridge.

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Recent Commentary

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Security by the Book - Oppose Any Foe: The Rise Of America's Special Operations Forces

by Jack Goldsmith, Mark Moyarvia Lawfare
Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Hoover Institution hosted "Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America's Special Operations Forces" on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST. 

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

A Foreign Policy To Advance The Domestic Economy

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Monday, April 3, 2017

President Donald Trump’s avowedly nationalist foreign policy agenda has been roundly criticized, both in the United States and abroad, for its narrow focus on America’s own interests. Some of the critics see as aberrant the very notion of putting American interests first, warning that it will promote “tribalism” and prevent cooperation among nations. In actuality, every U.S. administration has put America’s interests ahead of those of other nations, and every president at some point acknowledged as much in public, although not as often or as brashly as President Trump.

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Advising The President

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Monday, January 30, 2017

Early in the second week of his presidency, Donald Trump sparked fresh controversy with an executive order altering the composition of the National Security Council. The measure reduced the participation of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to meetings for which their expertise was relevant.

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America First—Always

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

“From this moment on, it’s going to be America First,” President Donald Trump proclaimed in his inaugural address. “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” Although the new president did not delve into specifics in the address, he has made clear previously that “America First” policies will include tariffs, curbs on immigration, and reductions in overseas commitments, particularly those involving risk of military conflict.

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Mosul And The Future Of Iraq

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The 100,000-man assault on the Iraqi city of Mosul has reportedly made swift gains in recent days. After months of slow going, the assault force of Iraqi Army soldiers and Kurdish and Shiite militiamen appears to be wearing down the heavily outnumbered ISIS defenders. Obama administration officials are touting the recent advances as vindication of their strategy of restricting American participation to advice and support of local forces.

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Increased Support For Afghanistan

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This past week, the Marine Corps announced that it will be deploying 300 Marines to Afghanistan’s Helmand province to serve in an “advise-and-assist” capacity. According to Brig. Gen. Roger B. Turner Jr., who will command these Marines, their duties will include helping the Afghans in intelligence, logistics, and other combat-enabling functions. Their most immediate concern will be the defense of the province’s beleaguered capital, Lashkar Gah.

Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

Leaving Behind “Leading From Behind”

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

In 2008, Barack Obama campaigned as a foreign policy moderate, wary of the aggressive interventionism of the George W. Bush administration but willing to take on a leading role for America in combating particularly ominous threats. While promising to pull the remaining American forces out of Iraq, he vowed to send additional troops to Afghanistan. He said that he would collaborate with other nations to a greater extent than Bush, but at the same time served notice that he would act unilaterally when vital U.S. interests were at stake.

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Seven Deadly Strategic Sins

by Mark Moyarvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 11, 2016

A common thread runs through US military disappointments: errors at the top.

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The White House’s Seven Deadly Errors

by Mark Moyarvia Defining Ideas
Friday, February 12, 2016

Why have so many of America’s military interventions failed over the past decade? 

Background EssayFeatured

Typologies Of Terrorism

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Monday, February 1, 2016

The term “terrorism” is commonly understood as political violence outside the norms of conflicts between states. Terrorism’s victims can be innocent civilians, or they can be political officials or even soldiers. More controversial is the term “terrorist.”