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Monday, April 3, 2017

Issue 40

Trump's New Nationalism
Background Essay
Background Essay

America Alone

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Monday, April 3, 2017

Both in his campaign speeches and in his initial actions after taking office, Donald Trump has made it clear that he aims in his foreign policy to follow the path of dismantling America’s alliance system of turning away an economy that has emphasized globalization to one that is protected by tariffs, and of pursuing what he called one of “America first.” For many Americans, at least to those with some knowledge of the last 75 years, Trump’s direction appears to be a massive break with the past. It is not.

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

Precedents For The New Nationalism

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Monday, April 3, 2017

Donald Trump has cultivated comparisons between himself and President Andrew Jackson by hanging the portrait of Jackson in the White House, making pilgrimage to Andrew Jackson’s grave, and pointedly emphasizing that he, like Jackson, “fought to defend forgotten men and women from the arrogant elite of his day.” It is a choice distressing to those who associate Jackson with illiberal policies of slavery, Indian removal, and refusing to enforce Supreme Court verdicts.

Featured 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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Related Commentary

Who Possesses Nuclear Weapons, Not the Weapons, Is the Question

by Bruce Thorntonvia Strategika

Since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have attracted an apocalyptic glamour that has confused and distorted the strategic calculations that should determine their production and deployment. The same sort of irrational response greeted the development of bombers in the 20s and 30s, when lurid scenarios of the civilization-ending power of strategic bombing––popularized in novels like H.G. Wells’ Things to Come and exploited by pacifists––convinced British military planners and politicians that they should avoid war at all costs, for as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin famously, and erroneously, proclaimed to the “man in the street,” “There is no power on earth that can protect him from being bombed,” for “the bomber will always get through.”

Related Commentary

Sunni-stan Rising

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Library of Law and Liberty

Sunni fighters from around the Muslim world, having failed to conquer all of Syria from the Assad regime’s Alewites (a branch of Shia Islam) have been pushed eastward into majority-Sunni areas.

Related Commentary

Sect and Power in Syria and Iraq

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Library of Law and Liberty

Important as it is to keep in mind that sectarian socio-religious hate is what drives the vast bulk of the people engaged in today’s Muslim-world war, understanding that war requires taking into account those who provide the contending forces’ military organization.

Related Commentary

Madness in Mesopotamia

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Library of Law and Liberty

President Obama’s order for air strikes that are to last “several months” against the northern and eastern edges of the Islamic State In the Levant (ISIL) is a small part of a political effort to promote a “more inclusive” Iraqi government in Baghdad.

Related Commentary

If You Want To Stop ISIS, Here Is What It Will Take

by Angelo M. Codevillavia The Federalist

Killing the Islamic State requires neither more nor less than waging war.

Related Commentary

Another Iraq war is coming – the only question is whether we want to win

by Max Bootvia The Spectator

A successful military intervention isn't just possible; it's essential

Related Commentary

Time to Annihilate ISIS; Here’s How

by Max Bootvia Commentary

The videotaped beheading of American journalist James Foley reveals both the barbarism and the weakness of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

Related Commentary

Airstrikes Can Only Do So Much to Combat ISIS

by Colonel Joseph (Joe) Felter (ret.)via The New York Times

At the tactical level, air-delivered munitions can significantly degrade the ability of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, to mass their forces or employ artillery, mortars, rockets and other weapons that can have a devastating impact on civilians as well as Iraqi military forces in the field.

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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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