Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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Mission Unclear

by Bing West via Strategika
Monday, July 27, 2015

It is manifest of our crazy times that the editorial board of Strategika has even posed this question (“Are there new dangers of the military bifurcating along ideological grounds, between traditionalists and those who wish to update military protocols to accommodate social and political agendas?”).

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Political Battles

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Monday, July 27, 2015

Since the 1970s, the U.S. military has experienced intense conflicts between traditionalists and individuals intent on reshaping the military for ideological reasons.

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Reflections on the Military and Society

by Josiah Bunting IIIvia Strategika
Monday, July 27, 2015

The question, “Are there new dangers of the military bifurcating along ideological grounds, between traditionalists and those who wish to update military protocols to accommodate social and political agendas?” interests me because I have spent much of my life as a member of the military establishment—and also as a student, writer and biographer, professor and critic, of its members past and present.

Poster Collection, US 06628, Hoover Institution Archives.
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The Real Danger Of Political Correctness

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Monday, July 27, 2015

The corrosive effects of “political correctness” in modern American society are unlikely to divide “traditionalists” from “accommodationists” among the ranks, but they are all but certain to widen the gap between soldiers and statesmen.

Poster Collection, US 06780, Hoover Institution Archives.
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Surgical Strike

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Monday, July 27, 2015

A series of recent controversies have brought to the fore the central question of how much military protocols need to be updated, on both sides of the Atlantic, to accommodate social and political agendas.

Poster Collection, US 06031, Hoover Institution Archives.
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Political Correctness And The American Military

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Monday, July 27, 2015

One of the major worries that confronts those who study the American military at present is the question as to whether the accommodation of its units to the social and political agendas of a portion of America’s elite might not in the long run damage what has been for the past thirty years the most competent combat organization in the world.

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Lassitude in the Legislature on Iran

by Thomas Donnellyvia Military History in the News
Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bringing an historical bent to the business of blogging is a temptation to, if not necessarily a manifestation of, schizophrenia. Nonetheless, President Obama’s desire to bypass the Congress in favor of the United Nations in ratifying his Iran deal marks a moment to reflect upon the relationship between legislatures and executives when it comes to making strategy.

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Obama’s Dangerous Rhetoric

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Our enemies do not believe the president’s hot air, which will only make the world a more dangerous place. 

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F-35: Highway To The Danger Zone

by Thomas Donnellyvia Military History in the News
Thursday, July 16, 2015

There is something about weapons “testing” that excites all of mankind’s most irrational emotions. The worst example has been the Pentagon’s official test agency, which is—most of the time—dedicated to the proposition that anything can be blown up.

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Javad’s Saga: Epic Poetry And The Iranian Nuclear Deal

by Thomas Donnellyvia Military History in the News
Friday, July 10, 2015

As the denouement of the operatic nuclear negotiations with Iran approaches (although who can be sure about those won’t-get-off-the-stage divas, John Kerry and Javad Zarif), the drama diminishes: Wagnerian epics have loud endings, not plot surprises. It is the job of the libretto to turn the Fat Lady loose.

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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.