Williamson Murray

Williamson Murray

Biography: 

Williamson Murray serves as a Minerva Fellow at the Naval War College. He graduated from Yale University in 1963 with honors in history. He then served five years as an officer in the US Air Force, including a tour in Southeast Asia with the 314th Tactical Airlift Wing (C-130s). He returned to Yale University, where he received his PhD in military-diplomatic history under advisers Hans Gatzke and Donald Kagan. He taught two years in the Yale history department before moving on to Ohio State University in fall 1977 as a military and diplomatic historian; in 1987 he received the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award. He retired from Ohio State in 1995 as a professor emeritus of history.

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Recent Commentary

Poster Collection, UK 2771a, Hoover Institution Archives.
Related CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

Possessing Sea And Land

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Only those who are ignorant of military history and strategy can argue that the changes in technology and the international environment have marginalized conventional capabilities.

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Clausewitz: Dead at Last?

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

At a recent meeting of the senior officers of one of the services, an academic expert on terrorism—one of the fashionable topics in Washington these days—announced that in the modern world Clausewitz was irrelevant because he had nothing to say about ISIS or the various other nasty malignancies bothering the international landscape.

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Wars of Religion

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Thursday, April 16, 2015

In his masterful account of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides lays out the bitter fruit of civil wars within the Greek poleis of his time, particularly in the city state of Corcyra. In words that echo through the centuries, the great Greek historian warned that in such conflicts (3.82), “words, too, had to change their usual meanings...

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The Coming Explosion in the Middle East

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Monday, April 13, 2015

By the end of the sixteenth century Europe had largely recovered from the massive kill off of its population that the Black Death had brought in its wake in the fourteenth century. But by that point, the ability for the continent to feed its growing population was reaching its limit, while the economy was incapable of supporting the increasing numbers of young men.

Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

The Strategic Consequences Of Increased U.S. Energy Production

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Over the past decade, we have seen an astonishing recovery of America’s position as a major producer of fossil fuels. In the case of natural gas, the reserves in North America appear extensive enough to sustain most of the energy demands of the American, Canadian, and Mexican economies and still export substantial amounts of that crucial energy well into the next century.

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The Air Campaign against ISIS

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Monday, March 9, 2015

One of the enduring myths of the Second World War is that strategic bombing had little impact on popular morale in Germany. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Combined Bomber Offensive, much of which targeted civilians, had a profound effect on German morale, while it severely impeded the ability of the Nazi war economy to meet the war’s spiraling demands.

Related Commentary

Bolster U.S. Military Presence in Eastern Europe

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It is useless to talk about Europe taking any steps to counter Russian ambitions. For the British and French, Eastern Europe is too far away, and the problems of Russian aggrandizement too insignificant for those powers to take any steps that might have any impact on Vladimir Putin and his crew of former KGB thugs. In the case of the Germans, the situation is even more dismal.

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ISIS: A Threat?

by Williamson Murrayvia Analysis
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The past suggests that for the short term ISIS does not represent a significant threat to the strategic security of the First World’s homelands. A few returnees may slip though the intelligence net, but it is unlikely that they will cause anything other than local mayhem. Such acts may cause similar overreactions among the security fanatics, as was the case after 9/11, and undoubtedly will excite the media enormously; but the damage they might inflict will remain limited.

Harold Melvin Agnew Motion Picture Film, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “The Nuclear Future” with Williamson Murray

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Friday, July 18, 2014

The Prospects for Nuclear Proliferation in a Dangerous Age.

Poster Collection, INT 00398, Hoover Institution Archives.
Featured Commentary

The Scramble for Nuclear Deterrence

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Sunday, June 1, 2014

Given the diplomatic and strategic weaknesses that the United States and its leaders have exhibited over the past six years, it is almost inevitable that America’s allies, which exist in substantially more dangerous neighborhoods than does the United States, will seek to develop their own nuclear capabilities.

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