Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

China, North Korea, And 1950’s Shadow Of War

by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Monday, April 24, 2017

When the subject is North Korea, it is hard for a military historian not to think of Thanksgiving 1950. It was around that date that Chinese forces, having stealthily entered the country and already engaged in their first attacks, hit American troops and hit them hard. Two months earlier U.S., South Korean, and other allied forces crossed the 38th parallel dividing the two Koreas, defeated North Korean forces, and advanced toward the Chinese border on the Yalu River. It was part of America’s response to the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950. America saved the south but incautiously tried to conquer the north without reckoning on Chinese intervention. It was a blunder of the first order.

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Echoes Of History In Syria

by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Monday, April 10, 2017

When U.S. President Donald Trump decided to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war last week, he entered a region where it is nearly impossible to take a step without hearing the echoes of history. Civilization and war both go back a long way there.

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The Day That Never Was

by Barry Strauss via Military History in the News
Monday, April 3, 2017

Unlike December 7, 1941, April 6, 1917 is not a date that lives, either in infamy or fame. Few Americans even know that it marks the country’s entry into World War I. It was on that spring day that the U.S. House of Representatives voted, at President Woodrow Wilson’s request, to declare war on Germany. The U.S. Senate had voted two days earlier. It was an earthquake in history, with aftershocks still reverberating but largely to silence.

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Green, Yellow, Or Red—What Color Was Dean Acheson’s Speech?

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Thursday, March 9, 2017

On January 12 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a well-crafted speech at the National Press Club, a speech which has lived in infamy since its delivery, still haunting the U.S. and its allies in the Asia and Pacific region in general and the Korean Peninsula in particular.

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Mosul, Paris, Jerusalem: Faith, Ideology, And Slaughter

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Monday, February 27, 2017

As you read this, a ragged alliance of rival forces fights to wrest Mosul’s western half from the grip of the Islamic State. The besiegers represent different ethnic and religious factions jockeying for power in the ruins. The defenders are religious fanatics of an apocalyptic faith. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are captive in their midst.

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Vladimir Putin And The Reichswehr

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategic mischief reveals him to be an astute student of history. While every Russian knows something about the Red Army’s heroics in the “Great Patriotic War,” Putin, a former KGB man, studied the enemy. 

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The Folly Of Harnessing Snakes

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Thursday, February 9, 2017

In its degenerate grandeur, the Umayyad dynasty that had subdued the Iberian Peninsula found itself too weak of arms and will to fight its own battles. The caliph imported fellow Muslims as mercenaries, Berber warriors whose ferocity had not been dulled by civilization. Then the Cordoba caliphate imported still more Berber troops. And more. They were, after all, fellow Muslims.

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Charlie In Afghanistan, Taliban In ‘Nam

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Live long enough and you’ll be certain you saw the movie before. Recent conclusions that the Kabul government controls barely sixty per cent of Afghanistan (and much of that only by daylight) conjures memories of our failed efforts in Vietnam fifty years ago. We won every firefight—and lost.

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America First—Always

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

“From this moment on, it’s going to be America First,” President Donald Trump proclaimed in his inaugural address. “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” Although the new president did not delve into specifics in the address, he has made clear previously that “America First” policies will include tariffs, curbs on immigration, and reductions in overseas commitments, particularly those involving risk of military conflict.

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Mosul And The Future Of Iraq

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The 100,000-man assault on the Iraqi city of Mosul has reportedly made swift gains in recent days. After months of slow going, the assault force of Iraqi Army soldiers and Kurdish and Shiite militiamen appears to be wearing down the heavily outnumbered ISIS defenders. Obama administration officials are touting the recent advances as vindication of their strategy of restricting American participation to advice and support of local forces.

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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.

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.