Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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Corbett Vs. The Caliphate: What A Long-Dead Naval Strategist Tells Us About Combatting Islamic State

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Friday, October 2, 2015

Julian Corbett (1854-1922) has long been hidden in the shadow of Clausewitz and by the baneful glare of modern think tanks. Renowned as a naval thinker, Corbett was far more—and ever adept at pointing out how absolute theories collapse when faced with reality.

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The Wild West, The Wild South, And The Pope: What The Pundits Missed In Pope Francis’ Address To Congress

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Those who study history hear differently. In his magnificently crafted address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on September 24th, Pope Francis raised an issue that commentators overlooked or, at best, misread...

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Deep History And Europe’s Migrant Crisis: The Media Present A Dishonest, One-Sided Picture

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Friday, September 18, 2015

As I write, guards are using water cannons and tear gas to turn back Middle Eastern migrants and refugees storming Hungary’s border. The media are on the side of the migrants. History sympathizes with the Hungarians.

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Marks Of Weakness, Marks Of Woe: When The U.S. Goes Weak, Russia Strikes

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Monday, September 14, 2015

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, is piling on military support for the faltering Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. And Washington is shocked—as Washington’s always shocked when the predictable-but-distasteful becomes reality. Unlike the current U.S. administration, Putin doesn’t abandon embattled allies.

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What The 1952 Republican Primary Teaches Us About Today’s Primary

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

As we watch a ferocious contest play out in the Republican primaries, it is worth looking back to 1952 to see how foreign policy played in that election.

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In Praise Of Difficult Allies

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Thursday, August 27, 2015

This week, we friends of France celebrate the liberation of Paris from Nazi occupation in 1944. Four years earlier, the Wehrmacht’s combined arms had roared through the Ardennes forest from the Netherlands, bypassing from the north France’s eastern line of defenses.

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

Lessons Of Past Arms Control Agreements For The Proposed Iran Deal

by Barry Strauss via Strategika
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The history of arms control agreements is the history of violations. States sign agreements when they must, but break them when they wish. Secret violations are especially hard to monitor in dictatorships and closed societies.

Featured CommentaryFeatured

The Checkered History Of Arms Control

by Walter Russell Mead via Strategika
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Arms control agreements have become an accepted part of the diplomat’s toolkit. They’re taught in seminars at places like Johns Hopkins’ SAIS and Harvard’s Kennedy School; they’re name-checked alongside peace treaties and trade agreements as things diplomats do; negotiating and monitoring them is even a career track.

Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

The Flaws Of Arms Control

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The U.S.-Iran “agreement” of 2015—its genesis, the negotiations that led to it, and its likely consequences—is comprehensible only in terms of a set of ideas peculiar to the post-WWI era, which distinguishes it from previous historical examples.

Poster Collection, IQ 2, Hoover Institution Archives.
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A Foreign Diplomat Just Taught America How to Win the War of Ideas

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Monday, August 17, 2015

It is conventional wisdom in Washington that the United States is losing the “war of ideas” to the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, al Qaeda, and even the Taliban.  All those forces of entropy and intolerance that practice and support terrorism are somehow proving superior at messaging to the country with Madison Avenue advertising, Silicon Valley innovation, Hollywood image-making, the 24-hour news cycle, and permanent political campaigning.


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.


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.