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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.

E.g., 4 / 29 / 2017
E.g., 4 / 29 / 2017
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
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Issue 30

After the end of sanctions by the West, will Iran succeed in its efforts to find state legitimacy with Europe and the United States?

Background Essay

by Kori Schake Monday, March 14, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, March 14, 2016
article
by Max Boot Monday, March 14, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Bruce Thornton Wednesday, March 16, 2016
article
Monday, February 1, 2016

Issue 29

Does ISIS really differ from other terrorist groups; if so, how does its singularity complicate U.S. efforts to defeat it?

Background Essay

by Mark Moyar Monday, February 1, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Peter R. Mansoor Monday, February 1, 2016
article
by Raymond Ibrahim Monday, February 1, 2016
article

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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.

Featured Commentary

From Leading From Behind To Fighting On The Frontier

by Barry Strauss via Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

Every empire or great power, no matter how interventionist it is, undergoes periods of retrenchment. For example, after the Roman emperor Trajan (r. A.D. 98-117) conquered Dacia (Romania) and fought an exhausting, at first successful but ultimately failed war in Mesopotamia (Iraq), his successor Hadrian (r. A.D. 117-138) pulled back. Hadrian accepted defeat in Mesopotamia, gave up part of Dacia, and put the empire on a defensive footing. 

Featured Commentary

Foreign Policy Course Correction

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

Barack Obama’s retrenchment policies may be unprecedented in degree, but not in kind. Other presidents have implemented pullbacks from an overseas engagement, usually after a war. These retreats have all been followed by pendulum swings back toward re-engagement. This pattern will, no doubt, hold after Obama. Historical determinism does not account for the oscillations, which are instead due to partisanship between the major political parties, domestic considerations, and ideological convictions of the commanders-in-chief as well as the need for course corrections.

Background Essay

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.

Strategika: "Empowering Iran: The Weaknesses Of The Nuclear Deal," With Tom Donnelly

interview with Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Friday, October 14, 2016

How the nuclear deal with Iran unleashed Tehran's ambitions in the Middle East.

Strategika: "The Iran Time Bomb," with Kori Schake

interview with Kori Schakevia Strategika
Friday, October 14, 2016

The nuclear deal makes conflict less likely in the near future ... but more likely in the long-term.

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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.