Thomas H. Henriksen

Senior Fellow, Emeritus
Biography: 

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

Analysis and Commentary

Demand for Special Operations Will Increase

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Debate Club (U.S. News & World Report)
Friday, February 17, 2012

A little leeway from regular Pentagon channels could well enhance our security. Bear in mind, al Qaeda and its copycats operate free of restrictive bureaucracy. Shouldn't the U.S. counter-response, too?...

Analysis and Commentary

Back to Kurdistan

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Debate Club (U.S. News & World Report)
Monday, January 23, 2012

The Obama administration's precipitous departure of U.S. military forces from Iraq jeopardizes American interests in the Middle East and beyond...

Analysis and Commentary

Why Did the Obama Administration Break News of the Iran Plot Today?

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Big Peace
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Today’s news that the Department of Justice foiled an Iranian assassination plot against Saudi ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir raises several questions about the Obama administration’s actions regarding this event...

Marines fighting vehicle

Armed with the Odds

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Proposed cuts in defense spending might not harm our national security—but only if the Pentagon plays its cards right. By Thomas H. Henriksen.

Fighting Insurgencies without White Elephants

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Advancing a Free Society
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Along with considering President Barack Obama’s recent budget submittal, Congress should look closely at the way funds are being spent in Afghanistan. The nation’s war expenditures should kick off a debate on how to fight insurgency-based terrorist threats.

Analysis and Commentary

Fighting Insurgencies without White Elephants

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Advancing a Free Society
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Along with considering President Barack Obama’s recent budget submittal, Congress should look closely at the way funds are being spent in Afghanistan. The nation’s war expenditures should kick off a debate on how to fight insurgency-based terrorist threats...

Analysis and Commentary

Letters: The Eisenhower analogy doesn't work

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Washington Post
Friday, January 28, 2011

In his Jan. 23 op-ed, "Ike was right: Cut defense,"...Mr. Ignatius failed to note that while Eisenhower did hold down military spending, his administration relied on "massive retaliation" by nuclear arms to offset reductions in conventional forces...

French soldiers

Our Double-Edged Sword

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The military’s “indirect approach”—battlefield restraint, cultural savvy, the use of local troops—means a big shift in the way U.S. forces operate. It demands a close look. By Thomas H. Henriksen.

North Korea: Let China Pay the Bill

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, November 29, 2010

Once again, North Korea is in the news with a fresh provocation to its South Korean neighbor and the region.  This time Pyongyang has fired salvos of artillery rounds onto South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, killing two South Korean soldiers and wounding several others.

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