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Monday, October 31, 2016

Issue 36

The Legacy of the Obama Doctrine
Background Essay
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.

Featured Commentary
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.

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. 

E.g., 12 / 5 / 2016
E.g., 12 / 5 / 2016
Monday, October 31, 2016

Issue 36

The Legacy of the Obama Doctrine

Background Essay

by Mark Moyar Monday, October 31, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Thomas H. Henriksen Monday, October 31, 2016
article
by Barry Strauss Monday, October 31, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, October 31, 2016
article
by Thomas Donnelly Monday, October 31, 2016
article
by Andrew Roberts Monday, October 31, 2016
article
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Issue 35

Israel And A Nuclear Iran

Background Essay

by Edward N. Luttwak Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Thomas Donnelly Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Kori Schake Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Peter Berkowitz Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Josef Joffe Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Ralph Peters Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Andrew Roberts Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
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

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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.

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.

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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.