Thomas H. Henriksen

Senior Fellow, Emeritus

Thomas H. Henriksen is an emeritus senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he focuses on American foreign policy, international political affairs, and insurgencies. He specializes in the study of US diplomatic and military courses of action toward terrorist havens in the non-Western world and toward rogue regimes.

Henriksen's next book, America's Wars: Interventions, Regime Change, and Insurgencies after the Cold War, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. His Cycles in U.S. Foreign Policy since the Cold War was published by Palgrave in 2017. The year before, Eyes, Ears & Daggers: Special Operations Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency in America's Evolving Struggle against Terrorism was published. 

Earlier his book, America and the Rogue States, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012. It analyzes Washington’s interactions with Iran, North Korea, and other rogue nations since the Cold War. It was preceded by American Power after the Berlin Wall (2007), which examines US policy through the prism of US interventions in Panama, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq (twice). Other books and monographs include Foreign Policy for America in the 21st Century: Alternative Perspectives, Using Power and Diplomacy to Deal with Rogue States, and an edited collection, North Korea after Kim Il Sung (Hoover Institution Press, 1999).

He also authored or edited the following books and monographs: One Korea? Challenges and Prospects for Reunification; The New World Order: War, Peace, and Military Preparedness; Revolution and Counterrevolution: Mozambique's War of Independence; The Struggle for Zimbabwe: Battle in the Bush; Soviet and Chinese Aid to African Nations; and Mozambique: A History, which was selected by Choice magazine for its Outstanding Book Award for African History. Additionally, he has written numerous journal articles and newspaper commentaries concerning international politics and security.

He is also a senior fellow at the US Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), where he concentrates on counterinsurgency practices. For JSOU, he has authored monographs entitled Dividing Our Enemies; The Israeli Approach to Irregular Warfare; Is Leaving the Middle East a Viable Option?; What Really Happened in Northern Ireland's Counterinsurgency; and Afghanistan, Counterinsurgency, and the Indirect Approach. His most recent monograph is WHAM: Winning Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan and Elsewhere.

He was a trustee of the George C. Marshall Foundation for 25 years. During the 1979–80 academic year, he was the Susan Louise Dyer Peace Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He taught history at the State University of New York from 1969 until he left in 1979 as a full professor. During 1963–65, Henriksen served as an infantry officer in the US Army. His other national public service includes participation as a member of the US Army Science Board (1984–90) and the President's Commission on White House Fellowships (1987–93). He also received a Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service from the US Department of the Army in 1990.

Henriksen received his BA from Virginia Military Institute and his MA and PhD from Michigan State University. He was selected for membership in Phi Alpha Theta, the history honorary society, as a graduate student.

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Recent Commentary

Distant Warnings

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 18, 2021

In their eagerness to be done with “forever wars,” especially in Africa, Americans and their leaders may just bring the danger closer.

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“Forever Wars”: Our Hidden Shield

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, June 16, 2021

US involvement in African quasi-wars is vital to protecting the homeland and American interests.

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Area 45: What’s Next For North Korea With Thomas Henriksen

interview with Thomas H. Henriksenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Friday, May 31, 2019

Will Kim Jong-un ever give up his nuclear ambitions or allow economic reforms into North Korea?

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The Road from Damascus

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Trump administration’s timing may be questionable, but the pullout of US forces from Syria is not.


Thomas Henrickson: Is America Gaining Ground With North Korea Or Just Spinning Its Wheels?

interview with Thomas H. Henriksenvia Lars Larson Show
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Henriksen discusses North Korea and what we can do to minimize the risk of nuclear weapons being developed and used.


Latest US-North Korea Summit Was 'Deja Vu All Over Again'

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Sunday, March 3, 2019

The second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un has come and gone — without a denuclearization agreement, let alone a breakthrough signed by the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


Trump's Instincts Are Correct On Syria, If Not His Haste

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Thursday, January 3, 2019

President Trump’s abrupt announcement last month to yank U.S. military forces from their fight against the Islamic State in Syria plunged the American foreign policy establishment into near-hysteria. Now, it seems that the White House is having second thoughts about a hasty withdrawal after all.


Trump Leaves 'Little Rocket Man' Barbs At Home In Stately Un Speech

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Donald Trump gave his second and much-anticipated speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to the usual response of not-so-muffled laughter, feigned shock and condescension from much of the American and English media.


North Korea Gets By With A Little Help From Its Friends: Russia And China

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What happened to U.S. plans to denuclearize North Korea since the high-profile Singapore summit? A recent report from the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization casts doubt on Pyongyang’s denuclearization steps.


North Korea Has Come In Out Of The Cold — A Positive Step

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Singapore summit changed the old dynamics and raised the prospects for a geostrategic revolution in East Asia.