Mark Moyar

Mark Moyar


Mark Moyar is a Visiting Scholar at the Foreign Policy Initiative. His books include Aid for Elites: Building Partner Nations and Ending Poverty Through Human Capital (Cambridge University Press, 2016); Strategic Failure: How President Obama’s Drone Warfare, Defense Cuts, and Military Amateurism Have Imperiled America (Threshold, 2015); A Question of Command: Counterinsurgency from the Civil War to Iraq (Yale University Press, 2009); Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954–1965 (Cambridge University Press, 2006); and Phoenix and the Birds of Prey: Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism in Vietnam (Naval Institute Press, 1997; University of Nebraska Press, 2007). He is currently writing a book on the history of U.S. special operations forces. He holds a BA, summa cum laude, from Harvard and a PhD from Cambridge.

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Recent Commentary

How Obama Shrank the Military

by Mark Moyar
Sunday, August 2, 2015

He’s used the budget sequester to accomplish what looks to have been his political goal from the start. News last month of the U.S. Army’s decision to cut 40,000 active-duty soldiers, shrinking to 450,000 by 2017, drew fusillades inside the Beltway. Sen. John McCain assailed “another dangerous consequence of budget-driven strategy.”

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Political Battles

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Monday, July 27, 2015

Since the 1970s, the U.S. military has experienced intense conflicts between traditionalists and individuals intent on reshaping the military for ideological reasons.

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The Perils Of Downsizing

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The current downward trends in fighter wings and conventional ground forces are likely to continue, given the ongoing shrinkage of the defense budget, and carrier groups appear to be headed in the same direction. 

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What Terrorism Could Have in Store for America

by Mark Moyarvia Analysis
Monday, February 2, 2015

The scarcity of significant terrorist attacks in recent years has led Americans to assume that the days of mass casualty attacks are in the past. But history teaches us to beware of the assumption that recent trends foretell the future. Americans are paying insufficient attention to unexpected events in which terrorists inflict serious harm on the United States.

Reign of Terrorists

by Mark Moyarvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The self-proclaimed Islamic State might fail as a caliphate but succeed in promoting international terrorism.

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Ceasefire in Colombia

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Monday, December 22, 2014

This week, diplomats from the United Nations and the European Union are hailing the unilateral ceasefire declared by the leftist FARC as the harbinger of a peace that will permanently end a conflict dating back to the 1960s.

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Continuing to Demand More From Our Armed Forces

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Military Times just released the results of a survey of 2,300 military personnel, in which 49 percent said that the “operational tempo” of their unit had increased during the past five years, while only 14 percent said that it had decreased.

Poster Collection, UK 2763, Hoover Institution Archives.

Money For Security Forces, Not Hostage-Takers

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Monday, December 8, 2014

Last month, the Iranian regime celebrated the 35th anniversary of the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, which was followed by an abortive American rescue attempt that helped sink Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

Poster Collection, JA 108, Hoover Institution Archives.
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No Time For Disunity In Afghanistan

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Thursday, December 4, 2014

This week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani decided to fire his entire cabinet, after he and presidential runner-up Abdullah Abdullah failed to agree on a new slate of cabinet ministers. As part of the power-sharing agreement brokered by the United States in September, Abdullah Abdullah was made co-equal with Ghani in selecting the cabinet.

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Strategika – “China and Japan: A Tense Equilibrium” with Mark Moyar

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Why Chinese-Japanese tensions are unlikely to dissipate soon—and why that may prove dangerous.