Issue 17

Can ISIS/Islamic State create a viable caliphate?
Background Essay
Poster Collection, IQ 2, Hoover Institution Archives.
Background Essay

Caliphate Redivivus? Why a Careful Look at the 7th Century Can Predict How the New Caliphate Will End

by Edward N. Luttwak via Strategika

When modern Muslims invoke the Khilāfa, the Caliphate as their ideal of governance for the Ummah, the planetary community of all Muslims, and indeed for all humans once converted or killed if stubbornly pagan, they do not refer to the famous caliphates of history from the splendiferous Umayyad, to the longer-lasting Abbasid extinguished by the Mongols in 1258, the Egypt-based and tolerant Fatimid in between, or the Ottoman that lingered till 1924, let alone the extant Ahmadiyya Caliphate that most condemn as heretical.

Featured Commentary
Cairo Punch 19, Hoover Institution Library.
Featured Commentary

The Rise and Inevitable Fall of the ISIS Caliphate

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika

The recent seizure by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) of much of northern and western Iraq, along with its ongoing control of large swaths of eastern Syria, has reignited the question of the long-term goals of Islamist extremists. 

Cairo Punch 13, Hoover Institution Library
Featured Commentary

Overambitious Reach Undermines Islamic State’s Prospects of Creating a Caliphate

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika

By declaring the Islamic State a global caliphate, Iraqi cleric Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has tapped into the universalist and utopian aspirations of Sunni extremists around the world. 

Poster Collection, US 4642, Hoover Institution Archives.

Issue 16

What will be the immediate strategic repercussions, if any, of the scheduled radical pruning of the size of the American military?
Okhrana Records, Box 237, Hoover Institution Archives.

Issue 14

Are 20th-century-style conventional military assets and strategies still relevant, or are they being replaced by drones, cyber-warfare, counterinsurgency, and satellite technologies?


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US flag on military helmet

Strategika: “Planning for Defeat” with Kiron Skinner

by Kiron K. Skinnervia Strategika
Friday, August 15, 2014

The dangerous distance between means and ends in Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

Strategika: “Fighting to Win” with Angelo Codevilla

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Friday, August 15, 2014

History’s lessons about military effectiveness.

Poster Collection, INT 00398, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “A Brief History of Nuclear Weapons” with Josef Joffe

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How and Why Countries Decide to go Nuclear.

Harold Melvin Agnew Motion Picture Film, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “A World of Nuclear Instability” with Josiah Bunting III

by Josiah Bunting IIIvia Strategika
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Examining the Prospects for the Future Use of Nuclear Weapons.

Harold Melvin Agnew Motion Picture Film, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “The Nuclear Future” with Williamson Murray

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Friday, July 18, 2014

The Prospects for Nuclear Proliferation in a Dangerous Age.


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Strategika is a new 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.