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No Need To Declare War Against Our Current Enemy

by Max Bootvia Military History in the News
Thursday, February 19, 2015

Congress is now debating President Obama’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Limited Military Force to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Yet the president’s request for this action from Congress comes more than six months after U.S. aircraft began bombing ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria...

War From On High

by Max Bootvia Military History in the News
Monday, February 9, 2015

President Obama has adopted a “light footprint” approach to battling the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and other terrorist groups. Essentially this means putting few if any American “boots on the ground,” and instead relying on training and arming proxy forces such as the Yemeni, Pakistani, or the Iraqi military while staging air strikes to eliminate terrorist leaders. How well has this approach worked historically?

Poster Collection, UK 3307, Hoover Institution Archives.

American Sniper, American Marines, Iraqi Army

by Max Bootvia Military History in the News
Monday, February 2, 2015

Clint Eastwood’s film American Sniper has become a popular if controversial sensation. Critics accuse it of glamorizing Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, while many have rushed to Kyle’s and the movie’s defense. But one aspect of the debate has gone largely unexamined: How historically accurate is the film?

Why Some Anti-Terrorist Rescues Succeed While Others Fail

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Governments of Europe, the United States, and now Japan—disposing as they do of enormous resources of all kinds and pressured as they are by their own populations—having failed to rescue their citizens held by the Islamic State that disposes of few resources of any kind, raises the question of what it is that that shields the latter and debilitates the former.

Traditional Naval Bases Still Matter

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The importance of naval bases—hence the need to protect them—and the extraordinary efforts required to make up for bases lost, ranks high among the many lessons of which the month of January should remind persons concerned with America’s military viability.

Excerpt of Poster Collection, INT 74.12, Hoover Institution Archives.

Who Is Bargaining With Whom?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Friday, January 16, 2015

In mid-January 2015, as we may be entering a more intense phase of the civilizational conflict that has characterized our century, Henry Kissinger’s capstone book, World Order, perpetuates a legacy of strategic thought centered on resolving major conflicts through grand bargains pursued through complex signals.

Poster Collection, INT 338, Hoover Institution Archives.

Time of The Assassins, Or of The Jackals?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The first week of January 2015’s biggest news—three Muslim jihadists murdering a dozen journalists in their Paris office, another killing four patrons in a nearby Kosher market, and the reactions to these events—leads us to ask what history may teach us about such people and how we may rid ourselves of them.

Ceasefire in Colombia

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Monday, December 22, 2014

This week, diplomats from the United Nations and the European Union are hailing the unilateral ceasefire declared by the leftist FARC as the harbinger of a peace that will permanently end a conflict dating back to the 1960s.

Continuing to Demand More From Our Armed Forces

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Military Times just released the results of a survey of 2,300 military personnel, in which 49 percent said that the “operational tempo” of their unit had increased during the past five years, while only 14 percent said that it had decreased.

Poster Collection, UK 2763, Hoover Institution Archives.

Money For Security Forces, Not Hostage-Takers

by Mark Moyarvia Military History in the News
Monday, December 8, 2014

Last month, the Iranian regime celebrated the 35th anniversary of the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, which was followed by an abortive American rescue attempt that helped sink Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

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Wars, terrorism, and revolution are the daily fare of our globalized world, interconnected by instantaneous electronic news.

Military History in the News is a weekly column from the Hoover Institution that reflects on how the study of the past alone allows us to make sense of the often baffling daily violence, not by offering exact parallels from history, but rather by providing contexts of similarity and difference that foster perspective and insight—and reassurance that nothing is ever quite new.