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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Issue 45

The Practice of Principled Realism
Background Essay
Background Essay

Of Allies And Adversaries: Donald Trump’s Principled Realism

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Foreign policy doctrines are as American as apple pie, and as old as the Republic. Start with George Washington’s Farewell Address: The “great rule” in dealing with other nations was to extend “our commercial relations” and “to have with them as little political connection as possible.” So stay out of Europe, and keep Europe away from us.

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

Two First Quarter Cheers For Trump’s Principled Realism

by Robert G. Kaufmanvia Strategika
Thursday, September 28, 2017

The content and trajectory of Donald Trump’s foreign policy have defied the expectations of many of his supporters as well as his critics across the political spectrum. The President has moved a long way from his campaign positions of denigrating the value of America’s democratic alliances and renouncing America’s role as the world’s default power essential to deterring hegemonic threats in vital geopolitical regions. 

Featured Commentary

What Can We Expect From Trump’s Foreign Policy Of “Principled Realism”?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Since the Trump team labeled its foreign policy “principled realism” before carrying out much of it, the term is not a description of things accomplished. Instead, it tells us how the Trump team wants to regard the policies it may pursue and, above all, what it wants others to think of them. Being a label applied to an as-yet largely empty container, it is advertising.

E.g., 10 / 20 / 2017
E.g., 10 / 20 / 2017
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
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

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Related Commentary

Russia in 2030

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It has become increasingly clear that Russia is on the inexorable path toward restoring its territory on the old map of the USSR. Whether Moscow will be able to achieve such a grandiose scheme to recreate another Soviet Union-size Rodina has been traditionally believed to depend on the strength and willingness of NATO and Europe to counter such Russian ambition. The assumption is that if the counterthrusts from the West are robust enough, Moscow will fail in its attempt, otherwise Russia’s territorial map will look like the Soviet Union in 2030.

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.

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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.

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