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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Issue 42

Europe: Death or Renewal
Background Essay
Background Essay

U.S. Foreign Policy and the Transatlantic Relationship

by Erik Jonesvia Strategika
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

As candidate, Donald Trump made a number of comments about the utility of the North Atlantic Alliance and about the virtues of European integration that left many in the establishment scratching their heads. When he was elected President of the United States, Trump did very little to soften his tone. On the contrary, the Trump White House floated the names of potential ambassadorial appointments who talked about the transatlantic relationship and the European Union in even more disparaging tones. 

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

State Of The European Union: God Bless The Bureaucrats

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

In the immediate wake of the Brexit vote, a normally astute talk-show host declared, gleefully, that “the European Union is dead.” One begged, and begs still, to differ. The EU is a bureaucratic monster that interferes absurdly with “the structures of everyday life.” Its grand rhetoric masks expensive inefficiencies and military powerlessness: In global affairs, it’s a chatroom. On the economic side, its attempt to establish a common currency, the Euro, was folly, unleashing some economies but debilitating others.

Featured Commentary

Europe Is Still Ailing

by Bruce Thorntonvia Strategika
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Recent elections in France, the Netherlands, and Austria, in which Eurosceptic populist and patriotic parties did poorly in national elections, suggest to some that the EU is still strong despite Britain’s vote to leave the union. Yet the problems bedeviling the EU ever since its beginnings in 1992 have not been solved. Nor are they likely to be with just some institutional tweaks and adjustments. “More Europe,” that is, greater centralization of power in Brussels at the expense of the national sovereignty of member states, is not the answer. 

E.g., 7 / 21 / 2017
E.g., 7 / 21 / 2017
Monday, August 15, 2016

Issue 34

The Potential Of Today’s Terrorists To Conduct Large-Scale Attacks

Background Essay

by Peter R. Mansoor Monday, August 15, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Ralph Peters Monday, August 15, 2016
article
by Williamson Murray Monday, August 15, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Max Boot Monday, August 15, 2016
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, August 15, 2016
article
Friday, July 1, 2016

Issue 33

The Strategic Ramifications of a Fractured EU

Background Essay

by Andrew Roberts Friday, July 1, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Friday, July 1, 2016
article
by Josef Joffe Friday, July 1, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Max Boot Monday, June 27, 2016
article
interview with Victor Davis Hanson Friday, June 24, 2016
podcast
by Kori Schake Friday, July 1, 2016
article
by Barry Strauss Friday, July 1, 2016
article
by Bruce Thornton Monday, June 27, 2016
article
by Max Boot Monday, June 20, 2016
article
Friday, May 27, 2016

Issue 32

New Perspectives on the Iran Deal
Friday, April 29, 2016

Issue 31

U.S. Military Readiness

Background Essay

by Thomas Donnelly Friday, April 29, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Admiral Gary Roughead Friday, April 29, 2016
article
by James O. Ellis Jr. Friday, April 29, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Thomas Donnelly Friday, April 29, 2016
article
by Ralph Peters Friday, April 29, 2016
article
by Bing West Friday, April 29, 2016
article
by Miles Maochun Yu Friday, April 29, 2016
article

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Related Commentary

Russia’s Borders In Thirty Years: A Vision, Not A Certainty

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

We cannot project with any assurance where Russia’s boundaries will lie in thirty years. There are far too many variables, from the Islamist contagion to China’s appetite and others yet unknown. But we do know roughly what Russia’s current czar would like those borders to be, should an enervated world continue to bow to Moscow’s will.

Related Commentary

Russia: Its Boundaries In 2050

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In the late 1960s, Charles de Gaulle is reputed to have commented that the Soviet Union would collapse before the end of the twentieth century and that Russia itself would find its eastern borders back on the Urals before the twenty-first century had ended. Given our focus on the present it is impossible to predict what the future will look like thirty years down the road. Nevertheless, given the arrogant machinations of Putin and his crew of kleptomaniacs in destabilizing the small states on Russia’s western borders, it is not difficult to argue that Russia that may well regain much of its political, if not direct, control over its Baltic neighbors, Belarus, and Ukraine, not to mention the small states in the Caucasus. But such a prediction would miss looking at the troubles that Russia faces to the east.

Related Commentary

The Kazakh Connection And The Future of Russia’s Borders

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Since Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012, Russian revisionism has focused on the western reaches of the former Soviet Union. He has annexed Crimea and unleashed his surrogate forces in Southeast Ukraine. He has tested NATO defenses in the Baltic and North Sea, while intimidating Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. He has expanded his military across the board to raise the price of Western counter-escalation.

Featured Commentary

Putinism or Nationalism? Neither. Opportunism

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Thursday, December 8, 2016

“All politics is local” works in the international arena, too. Shakespeare put it well in Henry IV Part II (4.3.343-345) when the king counseled his son and successor: “Be it thy course, dear Harry, to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels.”

Featured Commentary

Russia Is Fighting For Relevance, Not Dominance

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Prevalent in many western capitals is the narrative that Vladimir Putin is striving to regain dominance of the “lost” Soviet empire, and his aggressive behavior in Ukraine—especially his blatant annexation of Crimea in March 2014—is just the beginning of a great Russian advance toward another Pax Russiana.

Background Essay

Vladimir Putin and The Russian Soul

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Thursday, December 8, 2016

A skilled miner is useless without a seam of ore. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, czar in all but name, has a genius for mining the ore of Russian nationalism, but the crucial factor is that the ore was there, waiting to be exploited. A ruler perfectly fitted to Russian tradition, Putin is the right man at the right time to dig up Russia’s baleful obsessions, messianic delusions, and aggressive impulses.

Related Commentary

Trump's Russia "Reset"?

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Expect the new president to adopt a realpolitik stance toward Vladimir Putin.

Related Commentary

Cleaning Up The Mess

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

It is one of the glories of the U.S. Constitution that although presidential administrations must abide by the laws made by previous ones until they are repealed, foreign policy initiatives that are unworthy of a great nation can be discarded almost immediately. This is what will happen in November next year; indeed, the Obama administration’s keenness to argue that the Iranian nuclear deal did not constitute a formal treaty—in order to prevent the Senate from debating and perhaps refusing to ratify it—will make it all the easier for an incoming administration to denounce it. 

Related Commentary

Obama’s Foreign Policy: No Easy Fix

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

All of the Obama administration’s strategic initiatives will have lives that endure beyond the next president’s term, and three of them are quite likely to have even more profound effects.

Related Commentary

Time To Dump The Baby—And The Bathwater

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

The premise that the current foreign policy’s major features (e.g., Iran deal, tergiversation regarding ISIS, etc.) are peculiar to the Obama administration is mistaken. In fact, these policies are manifestations or extrapolations of attitudes longstanding and pervasive among U.S. policymakers of both parties. As such, they are sure to transcend Obama. They will characterize U.S. foreign policy unless and until these officials, academics, and media figures are replaced by persons with different mentalities.

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The Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict strives to reaffirm the Hoover Institution's dedication to historical research in light of contemporary challenges, and in particular, reinvigorating the national study of military history as an asset to foster and enhance our national security. Read more.

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Strategika is an online journal that analyzes ongoing issues of national security in light of conflicts of the past—the efforts of the Military History Working Group of historians, analysts, and military personnel focusing on military history and contemporary conflict.

Our board of scholars shares no ideological consensus other than a general acknowledgment that human nature is largely unchanging. Consequently, the study of past wars can offer us tragic guidance about present conflicts—a preferable approach to the more popular therapeutic assumption that contemporary efforts to ensure the perfectibility of mankind eventually will lead to eternal peace. New technologies, methodologies, and protocols come and go; the larger tactical and strategic assumptions that guide them remain mostly the same—a fact discernable only through the study of history.

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The opinions expressed in Strategika are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hoover Institution or Stanford University.