Bing West

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How Important Is the Mediterranean in American Strategic Thinking?

by Bing Westvia Strategika
Friday, January 10, 2020

In posing this question, the Hoover Institution advanced both a major and a minor subject. The major issue is defining what passes as strategic thinking in America; the minor subject is the role of the Mediterranean within that context.

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A Vietnam “Deal” for Afghanistan?

by Bing Westvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

In late November, President Trump announced that peace talks with the Taliban had resumed. “The Taliban wants to make a deal—we’ll see if they make a deal.” Mr. Trump said. The president has said he is tired of American soldiers acting as policemen in a remote country of scant strategic significance. Afghans are tribal, with little loyalty toward the Kabul government awash in factionalism and corruption. 

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The Cost For Saving A Life

by Bing Westvia Military History in the News
Monday, December 9, 2019

A few weeks ago in Afghanistan, the Taliban handed over one American and one Australian citizen in exchange for three high-level Taliban prisoners, including a leader of the notorious Haqqani terrorist network. President Trump praised the swap, tweeting (November 20, 2019, 1:45 p.m.), “Let’s hope this leads to more good things…” The reaction by the Congress and the mainstream press in America was muted but positive in tone.

Thanksgiving Redux

by Bing Westvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

In describing the first Thanksgiving in 1621, the prominent Pilgrim farmer Edward Winslow wrote, “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together…many of the Indians coming amongst us…by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.” About half of the small Pilgrim party had perished since landing at Plymouth the preceding year. 

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American Naval Initiative—The Next Time Around

by Bing Westvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

In November of 1942, the U.S. Navy wrested the warfighting initiative from imperial Japan and set the course toward victory. Less than a year after Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor and proclaimed that all of Asia belonged to Emperor Hirohito, American successes in two naval battles permanently altered the course of the war. In the words of the Naval War College, the “operational initiative” lay with the American Navy.

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E Pluribus Plures

by Bing Westvia Strategika
Friday, September 6, 2019

A doctrine is a set of guiding principles shared widely by an organization or a nation. The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 stated that any effort by a European nation to take control of any North or South American country would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” In 1962, the Doctrine was invoked during the Cuban Missile Crisis. With the support of the Organization of American States (OAS), President Kennedy established a naval quarantine around the island.

Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead

by General Jim Mattis, Bing Westvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A clear-eyed account of learning how to lead in a chaotic world, by General Jim Mattis--the former Secretary of Defense and one of the most formidable strategic thinkers of our time--and Bing West, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine.

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Europe Lacks the Will to Defend Itself

by Bing Westvia Strategika
Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University posed this question—Will NATO Europe fully partner with the U.S., or continue to downplay military readiness? The brief answer is that the leading economic powers in Europe have moved beyond national defense into a never-never land of post-military globalism. The liminal leap into self-induced delusion assumes that major conflict will never again embroil the European continent. So there isn’t enough money for a credible military force in Europe because there is not the political will. The moral is to the physical as four to one in battle, and Europe lost the spirit to fight long ago.

Will America or China Prevail in the Trade War?

by Bing Westvia Military History in the News
Friday, November 30, 2018

While the Constitution vests in the Congress the power to declare war, American presidents wield great discretion in initiating hostilities. Lyndon B. Johnson dribbled troops into combat in Vietnam in a series of halfway measures that led to disaster. After taking care to build a broad alliance, George H. W. Bush ordered the assault that threw the Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in 1991. His son, George W. Bush, orchestrated the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, after gaining the support of Congress. And recently, without involving the Congress, President Donald Trump has shifted the field of battle to economics by declaring a trade war against China.

Defending the Nation: Resources

by Bing Westvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

It is unremarkable to observe that America will fight a future war against an enemy much stronger than Islamist terrorists. War continues to be a central feature of world history due to the immutable nature of the human being. Understanding this, the leaders of all nations maintain armies to protect their nation states.