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

Analysis and Commentary

North Korea: Let China Pay the Bill

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Big Peace
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

America’s only realistic reply to North Korea’s nuclear-arming and peace-disturbing attacks is action from China. The road to stability on the KoreanPeninsula runs through Beijing...

Analysis and Commentary

Letters: Iraq Represents a U.S. Achievement

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, August 30, 2010

Defeating an insurgency ranks high in exorcising the Vietnam syndrome and providing lessons and insights on how to wage war on shadowy insurgents...

In the News

Afghanistan, Counterinsurgency, and the Indirect Approach

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Joint Special Operations University
Friday, April 30, 2010

In exploring Counterinsurgency and the Indirect Approach, Dr. Thomas Henriksen assesses several cases where the United States has employed an Indirect Approach toward achieving strategic objectives, and he suggests where this concept has landed short of expectations...

Why Pakistan Must Succeed

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 14, 2010

The war in Afghanistan, a primitive land of 28 million, now threatens Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 180 million. The collapse of Pakistan would place in danger a third nation: ours. By Thomas H. Henriksen.

Analysis and Commentary

America The Indispensable

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Forbes
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Berlin Wall collapsed amid a failed faith in communism and exalted hopes for a world free of rivalries and conflicts...

Analysis and Commentary

As goes Afghanistan ...

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia National Post (Canada)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The outcome of the Afghanistan strategy debate within Barack Obama's administration will carry deep consequences for the fight against terrorist-based insurgencies around the world...

Analysis and Commentary

Remembering the Marshall legacy

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Roanoke Times
Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fifty years ago, a towering figure of the 20th century passed from the world scene...

Analysis and Commentary

Letters: Undercutting Reformers

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia New York Times
Friday, September 18, 2009

Regarding Chester Crocker’s “Terms of Engagement” (Views, Sept. 14): Mr. Crocker’s endorsement of engagement with adversaries builds a strong case for talking with rogue states...

Analysis and Commentary

A nation up for grabs

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Washington Times
Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pakistan is in political and military play. And the stakes in its struggle against Islamic extremism could not be higher for the South Asian country or the United States...