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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., 6 / 27 / 2017
E.g., 6 / 27 / 2017
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
Friday, December 4, 2015

Issue 28

Why is Germany a non-nuclear power and will it ever become one?

Background Essay

by Thomas Donnelly Friday, December 4, 2015
article

Featured Commentary

by Josef Joffe Friday, December 4, 2015
article
by Russell A. Berman Friday, December 4, 2015
article

Related Commentary

by Josiah Bunting III Friday, December 4, 2015
article
Thursday, October 29, 2015

Issue 27

Missile Defense: Given the specter of more emerging nuclear powers, how and where should the U.S. focus its missile defense capability?

Background Essay

by Kiron K. Skinner Friday, October 30, 2015
article

Featured Commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson Friday, October 30, 2015
article
by Frederick W. Kagan Friday, October 30, 2015
article

Related Commentary

by Bruce Thornton Friday, October 30, 2015
article

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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.

Featured Commentary

Missiles And More: Iran’s Threats To Israel And The Middle East

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Iran nuclear deal makes an Israeli strike less likely in the near term, and more likely in the medium term unless U.S. policy changes to restore the credibility of our own military options and suppresses the non-nuclear threats Iran is fomenting.

Featured Commentary

Time Is On Iran’s Side

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The conclusion of the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal—formally the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”—last year has created a new and profoundly different set of strategic realities across the Middle East. While this shift is hardly irreversible, it is moving rapidly, and, by the time the next American president figures out where the restroom is in the White House, the process will, like quick-drying cement, be well set.

Related Commentary

Snake Charmers and Snake Killers

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The immediate result of an Israeli strike—assuming it were successful in destroying or at least very significantly degrading the Iranian nuclear program—would be a collective exhalation of breath across the Middle East and Europe. One of WikiLeaks’ most telling revelations came when the King of Saudi Arabia was heard urging the Americans “to cut off the head of the snake,” and if the Israelis undertook the identical action the Sunni Arab leadership would be cock-a-hoop with pleasure and relief (while of course publicly reserving the right to denounce Israel for aggression and war-mongering).

Background Essay

The US, Iran, And Israel

by Edward N. Luttwak via Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The disagreement with Israel over Iran’s nuclear endeavors long pre-dated the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015,” which the White House prefers to call “The Historic Deal that Will Prevent Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon”, but which should really be called Barjam, the Farsi acronym that is entering local parlance for any big deal.

Related Commentary

Israeli Jab, American Knockout

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The challenge for Israel in responding militarily to Iran’s nuclear weapons program is that Israel has the capacity to start a conflict, but not to conclude it (save through the use of its own nuclear arms—an unlikely scenario, for now). Israeli airpower and missile forces could frustrate Tehran’s ambitions for a period of a few and perhaps several years, but it would prove a Pyrrhic victory, given Iran’s inevitable response.

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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.