Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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Clausewitz: Dead at Last?

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

At a recent meeting of the senior officers of one of the services, an academic expert on terrorism—one of the fashionable topics in Washington these days—announced that in the modern world Clausewitz was irrelevant because he had nothing to say about ISIS or the various other nasty malignancies bothering the international landscape.

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Wars of Religion

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Thursday, April 16, 2015

In his masterful account of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides lays out the bitter fruit of civil wars within the Greek poleis of his time, particularly in the city state of Corcyra. In words that echo through the centuries, the great Greek historian warned that in such conflicts (3.82), “words, too, had to change their usual meanings...

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The Coming Explosion in the Middle East

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Monday, April 13, 2015

By the end of the sixteenth century Europe had largely recovered from the massive kill off of its population that the Black Death had brought in its wake in the fourteenth century. But by that point, the ability for the continent to feed its growing population was reaching its limit, while the economy was incapable of supporting the increasing numbers of young men.

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by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Monday, April 6, 2015

Hannibal of Carthage (in modern Tunisia) was one of history’s greatest generals. He invaded Italy in the third century BC and nearly brought Rome to its knees. At Cannae in southern Italy in 216 BC Hannibal won one of the most crushing victories in all of military history—and it is only the most famous of his battlefield successes.

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A Test Of South Korea’s Diplomatic Skills

by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Thursday, April 2, 2015

Small and medium-sized states located between great powers often develop impressive survival skills. At the dawn of history in the third millennium BC, the smaller city-states of Sumer no doubt had to scramble to survive the wars between such giants as Lagash and Umma or Uruk and Ur.

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by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Monday, March 30, 2015

In the sixth century BC, King Cyrus the Great founded the Persian Empire, the largest realm in human history to date. His advisors suggested that Cyrus relocate his people from their rugged homeland in southwestern Iran to a more imperial seat in one of the lush lands that they now controlled. Cyrus said no; he called the plan a recipe for ruin...

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America’s Too Much of a Good Thing

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Strategika
Monday, March 30, 2015

The United States is currently importing oil at about 1996 levels, or roughly 2.5 million barrels per day less than its peak years of 2005-6 when imports topped 10 million barrels per day. And the price per barrel has collapsed by more than half to about $50. The old 1970s dream of a U.S. self-sufficient in fossil fuel energy is now conceivable.

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America Strikes Oil, Literally And Figuratively

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Thursday, March 26, 2015

J. Paul Getty advised young people to rise early, work hard, and strike oil. It was the recipe to success for many an American robber baron of the nineteenth century, a fortune in both senses of the word being made all over again as hydraulic fracturing enables American energy production to burgeon. American energy production is advancing our national security, as well, emboldening our friends and impinging on our enemies

Podcast: Strategika: “Energy Resources: A Curse or a Blessing?” with Kori Schake
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A More Powerful United States

by Walter Russell Mead via Strategika
Thursday, March 26, 2015

The revolution in U.S. energy production is one of the big stories of our time, and it has consequences for the future of America’s primary geostrategic project of generating, leading, and defending a liberal capitalist world order. Not every result of American energy production will be positive, but the net effect will be to support America’s ability to play a leading role in world affairs.

Podcast: Strategika: “An Abundant Energy Future?” With Walter Russell Mead
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The Strategic Consequences Of Increased U.S. Energy Production

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Over the past decade, we have seen an astonishing recovery of America’s position as a major producer of fossil fuels. In the case of natural gas, the reserves in North America appear extensive enough to sustain most of the energy demands of the American, Canadian, and Mexican economies and still export substantial amounts of that crucial energy well into the next century.

Podcast: Strategika: “More Energy, Fewer Problems?” with Williamson Murray


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.