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 most recent book is Cycles in U.S. Foreign Policy since the Cold War , which 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 is a trustee of the George C. Marshall Foundation. 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

Beijing, China

Kim's China Trip Shows Beijing Still Holds Many Keys To North Korea

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Thursday, March 29, 2018

What does the stealth train ride by the North Korean leader to China portend for the United States and its denuclearization meeting in May with the Pyongyang regime? The short answer is a lot and not a lot. This cryptic answer requires a little background before it is addressed.


North Korean Disarmament: Keep The Champagne Corked For Now

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Friday, March 9, 2018

Wouldn't it be miraculous if North Korea's proposal to talk with United States about abandoning its nuclear arms led to genuine disarmament? Yes, it would. But the proposition is likely more mirage than miracle.


China, Russia Delight As North Korea Preoccupies US

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Friday, February 2, 2018

In his State of the Union address, Donald Trump said that the United States is “waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent” North Korea from threatening “our homeland” by its “reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

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What Beijing Doesn't Want

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 26, 2018

North Korea's nuclear threats are shaking up Asian security. That could put a welcome brake on China's ambitions.


A Mexican Standoff On The Korean Peninsula

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Sunday, January 14, 2018

Just months ago, the world held its breath over the possibility of a war with North Korea. Now, surprisingly sweetness and light seem to have replaced war talk. North and South Korean delegations recently met at Panmunjom, the village on the border of the two states.


Re-Labeling North Korea A Terrorist State A Long Time Coming

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Monday, November 27, 2017

Donald Trump’s decision to re-designate North Korea a terrorist state corrects a mistake that remained in place far too long. But righting this wrong will not change the dynamics of its nuclear-arming.

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Strategic Patience Wears Thin

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 23, 2017

The waiting game on the Korean Peninsula grows more dangerous. 


'Cold War-Light' Policy Toward North Korea Not A Sure-Fire Win

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Friday, September 22, 2017

Almost by default, inside-the-Beltway pundits are advocating a Cold War approach to North Korea’s accelerating nuclear-missile threat. Nothing seems to be working to halt it.


US Has Regained Foothold As Leader In East Asia

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Monday, September 4, 2017

The North Korean missile and nuclear provocations over the last several months are changing the geopolitical landscape of East Asia.

Related Commentary

Tale Of The Tape: North Korea VS. Joint US-ROK Force

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Escalating threats and counter-threats arising from the United States and North Korea have created an ominous standoff. President Trump warned Pyongyang that it faced “fire and fury” for aggression. The American leader added that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded” should it act foolishly. The Democratic People’s Republic kept up the rhetorical duel by threatening to engulf Guam with an “enveloping fire” of ballistic missiles.