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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 / 19 / 2017
E.g., 10 / 19 / 2017
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Issue 45

The Practice of Principled Realism

Background Essay

by Josef Joffe Thursday, September 28, 2017
article

Featured Commentary

by Robert G. Kaufman Thursday, September 28, 2017
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Thursday, September 28, 2017
article

Related Commentary

by Bruce Thornton Wednesday, August 30, 2017
article
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Issue 44

Preemptive Strikes and Preventive Wars

Background Essay

by Williamson Murray Tuesday, August 29, 2017
article

Featured Commentary

by Barry Strauss Tuesday, August 29, 2017
article
by Max Boot Tuesday, August 29, 2017
article

Related Commentary

by Kori Schake Thursday, August 10, 2017
article
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Issue 43

The Middle East: Terrorism Forever?

Background Essay

by Reuel Marc Gerecht Wednesday, July 26, 2017
article

Featured Commentary

by Bing West Wednesday, July 26, 2017
article
by Thomas Donnelly Wednesday, July 26, 2017
article
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Issue 42

Europe: Death or Renewal

Background Essay

by Erik Jones Tuesday, June 20, 2017
article

Featured Commentary

by Ralph Peters Tuesday, June 20, 2017
article
by Bruce Thornton Tuesday, June 20, 2017
article

Related Commentary

by Bruce Thornton Thursday, March 5, 2015
article

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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.

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. 

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.

Related Commentary

America’s Foreign Policy Crisis

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Leaders and voters can’t decide between isolationism, realism, and idealism. 

Featured Commentary

Preemptive Strikes and Preventive Wars: A Historian’s Perspective

by Barry Strauss via Strategika
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Preventive wars and preemptive strikes are both risky business. A preventive war is a military, diplomatic, and strategic endeavor, aimed at an enemy whom one expects to grow so strong that delay would cause defeat. A preemptive strike is a military operation or series of operations to preempt an enemy’s ability to attack you. In both cases, a government judges a diplomatic solution impossible.

Featured Commentary

Calculating The Risk Of Preventive War

by Max Bootvia Strategika
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The issue of “preemptive” war is more in the news now than at any time since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The impetus, of course, is the rapid development of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, which will soon give Pyongyang the capability to hit any American city with a nuclear-tipped ICBM. President Trump has been threatening “fire and fury” in response, and warning that the United States is “locked and loaded” for war. 

Background Essay

Preemptive Strike Or Preventive War?

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

With the troubles bubbling over on the Korean Peninsula, as the North Korean regime approaches possession of nuclear weapons and missiles capable of striking the United States, two words, preemptive and preventive, have gained increasing currency. While similar in meaning, their context is crucial in understanding their applicability to the current crisis. And here, as is so often the case, history is a useful tool in thinking through the possibilities. 

Related Commentary

Considering Preemptive War

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Thursday, August 10, 2017

President Trump set off a rhetorical hand grenade this week, threatening North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” The Secretary of State rushed to reassure Americans that there was no imminent threat and they could “sleep safe at night.”

Featured Commentary

Beyond The Terror War

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Since the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the story of the Middle East has been one of inconclusive struggles of the weak against the weak. That the Ottomans lasted as long as they did is in substantial measure a testament to the constant chaos of Arab and Persian politics. 

Featured Commentary

The Middle East: Terrorism Forever?

by Bing West via Strategika
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The short response is yes. Crime forever? Also, yes. Turbulence, terror, pestilence, famine, love, procreation, taxes, families, sunsets, rain, shine, etc.—all are components of the human condition. There is no arc toward perfection in human nature.

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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.