Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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World at War

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Obama administration’s disastrous foreign policy has led to the rise of a new, more brutal generation of radical Islamists.  

Cairo Punch 19, Hoover Institution Library.
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Strategika: “How to Defeat ISIS” with Peter Mansoor

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How do we stop the next great terrorist threat?

Poster Collection, INT 00398, Hoover Institution Archives.
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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.
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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.

US flag on military helmet
Featured Commentary

Honor The Sacrifice of Our Troops

by Kiron K. Skinnervia Room for Debate (New York Times)
Monday, June 16, 2014

According to the Obama Doctrine, making a lighter footprint around the world and ending the wars inherited from President George W. Bush will improve U.S. global standing and encourage other states to take greater responsibility for their own peace, security, political liberalization and prosperity.

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Sunni-stan Rising

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Liberty Law Talk (Library of Law and Liberty)
Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunni fighters from around the Muslim world, having failed to conquer all of Syria from the Assad regime’s Alewites (a branch of Shia Islam) have been pushed eastward into majority-Sunni areas. These extend from east-central Syria into north-central Iraq.

War Plane
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War Was Interested In Obama

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Works and Days
Sunday, June 15, 2014

Leon Trotsky probably did not quite write the legendary aphorism that “you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” But whoever did, you get the point that no nation can always pick and choose when it wishes to be left alone.

World Puzzle
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Our Bad Habit of Negotiating with Terrorists

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage Mag.com
Monday, June 2, 2014

Every parent should be happy for the Bergdahl family, whose son was returned to them after five years of captivity among the Taliban. But every parent is not the president of the United States, whose primary responsibility is to protect the security and interests of all Americans, both now and in the long-term.

an image
Featured Commentary

Obama’s Audiences

by Angelo M. Codevillavia LIbrary of Law and Liberty
Sunday, June 1, 2014

West Point’s graduating cadets were patriotic props for President Obama’s “major speech” on foreign policy. Heavy advertisement of the speech, pre and post, tells us that others were his intended audience. The speech was a defense of his conduct of foreign policy against critics whom he did not name but characterized gratuitously, together with a promise to double down on that conduct in the future.

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From left to right: Bing West, Peter Mansoor, Ralph Peters, Victor Davis Hanson

Military History Working Group meets at Hoover

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict met for a workshop during October 7 and 8 to chart its long-term objectives and review its new online journal, Strategika.

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The Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict examines how knowledge of past military operations can influence contemporary public policy decisions concerning current conflicts. 


As the very name of Hoover Institution attests, military history lies at the very core of our dedication to the study of "War, Revolution, and Peace." Indeed, the precise mission statement of the Hoover Institution includes the following promise: "The overall mission of this Institution is, from its records, to recall the voice of experience against the making of war, and by the study of these records and their publication, to recall man's endeavors to make and preserve peace, and to sustain for America the safeguards of the American way of life." From its origins as a library and archive, the Hoover Institution has evolved into one of the foremost research centers in the world for policy formation and pragmatic analysis. It is with this tradition in mind, that the "Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict" has set its agenda—reaffirming 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. By bringing together a diverse group of distinguished military historians, security analysts, and military veterans and practitioners, the working group seeks to examine the conflicts of the past as critical lessons for the present.

Victor Davis Hanson on War in the Contemporary World — WATCH

The careful study of military history offers a way of analyzing modern war and peace that is often underappreciated in this age of technological determinism. Yet the result leads to a more in-depth and dispassionate understanding of contemporary wars, one that explains how particular military successes and failures of the past can be often germane, sometimes misunderstood, or occasionally irrelevant in the context of the present.

The working group is chaired by Victor Davis Hanson with counsel from Bruce S. Thornton and David L. Berkey, along with collaboration form the group’s distinguished scholars, military historians, analysts, journalists, and military officers.