Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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World War II Amnesia

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

For seventy years, the war’s lessons guided U.S. foreign policy—but no longer.

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Maskirovka And The Greeks

by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

On April 14, a Russian jet barrel-rolled over a U.S. reconnaissance plane doing a routine flight in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. That followed an incident on April 12 in the Baltic Sea, when Russian jets made close-range and low-altitude passes near a U.S. navy destroyer engaged in joint exercises with its NATO ally Poland. 

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America the Weak

by Bing West via Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 31, 2016

We’re losing our wars because our enemies do not fear us and our allies don’t trust us.

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The Protection of US Allies

by Andrew Robertsvia Analysis
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Alliances have historically never been an ideal option, but the United States needs them in order to keep Chinese, Iranian, and Russian ambitions in check. The Obama administration’s woeful record of nurturing and protecting America’s global alliances has led to the likelihood of key allies acquiring nuclear weapons to protect themselves in a new and dangerous world, but that should now be encouraged. The disturbing part of this article is the revelation of a shocking new potential chink in the West’s armor, in an area that absolutely no one had hitherto considered might ever be a possible source of danger.

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Alliance, Engagement, And America's Indolent China Strategy

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Analysis
Thursday, March 24, 2016

The central pillar of America’s predominance in world affairs in the past seven decades is the Unites States’ ability to maintain and lead a system of alliances. In the Asia-Pacific region, the US-led alliance centered on the Washington-Tokyo-Seoul axis of democracies has been a credible guarantee of peace and stability. With China’s rise as a militarized revisionist state bent on changing the status quo, the US-led alliance is facing its gravest challenge since its formation. Yet America’s response to the challenge has been anemic and indolent, primarily as a misguided China policy that puts the premium on engagement without confrontation, a policy that has split the unity of the alliance and emboldened China.

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Are Traditional US Security Guarantees Still Sufficient?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Analysis
Thursday, March 24, 2016

To defend allies against nuclear-armed nations we must become able to protect ourselves against missile attack. Our missile defense programs are not serious about that and cannot lead to that. To avoid defending ourselves, we defend allies badly. The United States has shelved the technologies that make for seriousness in missile defense: launching surface-based interceptors on the basis of data from orbit and striking missiles as they rise into space with orbit-based lasers. Taking these technologies off our shelf before others develop them is essential if our guarantees are to safeguard rather than endanger all concerned.

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A Single British Soldier: On Extended Deterrence and Security Guarantees for America's Allies

by Josef Joffevia Analysis
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Reliable guarantees do not come on paper, as the protector can always opt out. The most effective pledge in history, by the United States to Cold War Europe, did not rest on the NATO treaty, which contains no automatic obligation. The real commitment was embodied in 300,000 US troops plus their nuclear weapons on the firing line. These kept the peace because they spelled out to the Soviet Union that an attack on the allies was an attack on America itself. This lesson holds for the future, as well. The guarantor must tie his hands, and he does so with maximal credibility by putting his own forces in harm’s way.

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A Winning Strategy: Combine Military Force With Good Governance

by Kori Schakevia Analysis
Thursday, March 24, 2016

The United States has been unable to translate frequent tactical successes into strategic victories in most of its recent overseas interventions for two reasons: first, because our political leaders have not defined clear political end states; and second, because we have relied too heavily on military means instead of crafting an integrated mix of political, diplomatic, economic, intelligence, information, and cultural elements. Our outcomes have been actually worse than just successes that are not quantifiable: we are telegraphing to allies and to enemies an incapacity to act strategically.

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Protecting America’s Friends In The World

by Andrew Robertsvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the head of the British Labour Party threatens the Anglo-American alliance and global security. 

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Why Can’t America Win Its Wars?

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 10, 2016

America’s military is like Germany’s in the twentieth century—a tactically and operationally brilliant force that cannot think strategically.

Pages

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.

News

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.