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

Illustration by Taylor Jones for the Hoover Digest.

How "the Troubles" Really Ended

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 13, 2009

It wasn’t British force alone that secured Northern Ireland’s uneasy peace. Offering decent lives to ordinary people—jobs, houses, education, and local control—proved even more important. By Thomas H. Henriksen.

Instead of peace, tranquility, and ubiquitous brotherhood after the Berlin Wall tumbled, the world pitched into turbulence.

American Power: Past Is Prologue

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 22, 2009

Memo to the new leadership: don’t just charge ahead, think ahead. By Thomas H. Henriksen.

Analysis and Commentary

Manila Must Beat the Separatists

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, October 13, 2008

Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recently suspended peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a separatist group that wants to claim the southern island of Mindanao as its own...

In the News

What Really Happened in Northern Ireland's Counterinsurgency: Revision and Revelation

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Joint Special Operations University
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The stubborn insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq have sparked searches for successful counterinsurgent lessons from around the world...

Goodbye to All That?

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 27, 2008

Washing our hands of the Middle East—a notion that’s as futile as it is appealing. By Thomas H. Henriksen.

Analysis and Commentary

Picking up the red phone

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Washington Times
Friday, March 28, 2008

Now that the Democratic Party's primary contest has reinjected national security issues into the presidential race, it's a good time to pose tough questions to all the candidates about the red phone ringing in the White House at 3 a.m., signaling a crisis somewhere in the world....

Thomas Henriksen discusses American Power and the Long War.

with Thomas H. Henriksenvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thomas Henriksen discusses American Power and the Long War. (41:12)

Analysis and Commentary

Larger forces in play in Iraq

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Orange County Register
Friday, October 19, 2007

The recent U.S. political headway in Iraq among the Sunni tribes around Baghdad is chalked up to their revulsion against al-Qaida in Mesopotamia's brutalities coupled with the surge of some 30,000 more American troops into the war-torn country since February and the fresh mastery of counterinsurgency techniques by American forces...

Security Lessons from The Israeli Trenches

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Policy Review
Thursday, February 1, 2007

A half-century of counterterrorism

Divide et Impera

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 30, 2006

Divide et impera—divide and conquer—is an ancient strategy. Thomas H. Henriksen explains how to adapt it to the war on terror, exploiting the ideological and religious differences of our enemies.