Kori Schake


Dr. Kori Schake is the Deputy Director-General of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). She was a distinguished research fellow at the Hoover Institution and is the editor, with Jim Mattis, of the book Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military

She has served in various policy roles including at the White House for the National Security Council; at the Department of Defense for the Office of the Secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff and the State Department for the Policy Planning Staff.  During the 2008 presidential election, she was Senior Policy Advisor on the McCain-Palin campaign.

She has been profiled in publications ranging from national news to popular culture including the Los Angeles Times, Politico, and Vogue Magazine.

Her recent publications include: Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony (Harvard University Press, 2017), Republican Foreign Policy After Trump (Survival, Fall 2016), National Security Challenges for the Next President (Orbis, Winter 2017), and Will Washington Abandon the Order?, (Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb 2017).

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Recent Commentary

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

Civilians Win Wars, Too

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Shielding civilians from warfare has not always been routine practice. Homer tells of Troy in flames, soldiers of the Greek alliance raping, pillaging, and burning the city to the ground. Thucydides recounts how in 427 B.C. the Athenians nearly killed all the rebellious Mytilenean men and enslaved their women and children, but ultimately executed only the leaders of the revolt. Over a decade later in 416/5 B.C, the Athenians failed to exercise restraint and did bring about that very punishment against the neutrality-seeking Melians.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The Generals

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Press coverage of President Trump’s national security team has routinely described Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, White House chief of staff John Kelly, and Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster as “the generals.” It is a convenient framing for those who fear a Trump presidency, for whom the three constitute “the adults in the room,” or alternatively the sinister undercurrent to military predominance in policy making, and for the President’s supporters, for whom the three are proof of the President’s seriousness of purpose.


Why Nations Go To War

by Victor Davis Hanson, Kori Schakevia Policyed.org
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

War is politics by other means. In other words, when political leaders cannot get what they want through peaceful methods, they judge the cost of achieving their goal through military force. Preventing armed conflict requires raising the cost of using force. Until the cost of any armed conflict is prohibitively high, conflicts will continue.

Analysis and Commentary

Cancel Your Steve Bannon Victory Dance

by Kori Schakevia Foreign Policy
Sunday, August 20, 2017

[Registration Required] Steve Bannon is no longer Strategist in Chief to the President of the United States. Bannon himself told the Weekly Standard “’the Trump Presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.” From which the Weekly Standard concludes “a new phase of the Trump presidency begins.” Maybe not so fast.

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Time For New National Heroes

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

After the violence in Charlottesville, mayors around the country are having to decide whether to take down statues of Confederate icons like Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. As part of that national dialogue, we might want to consider whether it remains appropriate to have military bases named for soldiers who took up arms against the government of the United States of America.

Analysis and Commentary

Kori Schake On Making Empty Threats In Foreign Policy

by Kori Schakevia Policyed.org
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hoover Institution Fellow Kori Schake responds to questions related to the making of empty threats in foreign policy.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and CommentaryRelated Commentary

Considering Preemptive War

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Thursday, August 10, 2017

President Trump set off a rhetorical hand grenade this week, threatening North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” The Secretary of State rushed to reassure Americans that there was no imminent threat and they could “sleep safe at night.”


When Words Risk Provoking War

by Kori Schakevia The Atlantic
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Even if threatening North Korea with “fire and fury” wasn’t intended as an ultimatum, its consequences could be serious.

John McCain
Analysis and Commentary

This Is Not A Eulogy For John McCain

by Kori Schakevia Foreign Policy
Thursday, July 20, 2017

[Registration Required] Perhaps no one alive has paid as high a price for the truths we hold to be self-evident as has John McCain. He chose military service as a profession. Offered early release as a prisoner of war by North Vietnam, he kept faith with his fellow POWs and insisted on order of capture release, extending the time of his captivity by years.


The Summer Of Misreading Thucydides

by Kori Schakevia The Atlantic
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

There’s a delicious irony in the Trump team’s affection for the historian—who repeatedly shows how populists lead societies to ruin.