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Friday, December 27, 2019

Issue 62

Is the Mediterranean Still Geo-strategically Essential?
Background Essay
Background Essay

Is The Mediterranean Still Geo-Strategically Essential?

by Barry Strauss via Strategika
Friday, December 27, 2019

The Mediterranean Sea is today, as it has always been, a crossroads. The name itself testifies to that, as it means “the sea in the middle of the earth,” a Latin term reflecting an earlier Greek belief. We know better, or do we? From Syria to Libya and on the high seas, and with outside players including China, Iran, Russia, and the United States, the Mediterranean has re-emerged of late as a cockpit of conflict. 

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

The Wrong Side Of The Pillars Of Hercules: The Mediterranean Just Doesn’t Matter Much Anymore

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Friday, December 27, 2019

The United States is an Atlantic and Pacific power by virtue of geography, strategic necessity, and economic opportunity. A forward defense of the far littorals—Europe and the East-Asian barrier states facing China—is the essential requirement for our security. All else is not only secondary or tertiary, but often an ill-advised and grossly costly drain on our resources.

Featured Commentary

Europe’s Mediterranean Frontier

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Friday, December 27, 2019

The Mediterranean abruptly separates Europe’s civilization from those of Africa and the Middle East. On one side, reaching North to Scandinavia and East to the Bering Strait, some seven hundred million mostly prosperous people live according to principles derived from Judeo-Christianity, Greek philosophy, and Roman law. Their number is shrinking. 

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Strategika: “Reasons for Hope: How Arab Countries Can Advance the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process” with Kori Schake

interview with Kori Schakevia Strategika
Friday, October 10, 2014

Why there is still hope for progress despite recent violence

Strategika: “Mowing the Grass: Why Half-Measures Won’t Solve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” with Thomas Henriksen

interview with Thomas H. Henriksenvia Strategika
Friday, October 10, 2014

Why Israel’s current approach to Palestinian violence can never lead to peace.

Strategika: “The Long Conflict: Why the Israeli-Palestinian Question Won’t Be Settled Anytime Soon” with Andrew Roberts

interview with Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Friday, October 10, 2014

Why turmoil in the Middle East will likely continue for generations to come.

Poster Collection, IQ 2, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “The Quest for a Caliphate” with Edward Luttwak

by Edward N. Luttwak via Strategika
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What historical trends inform ISIS’s pursuit of a caliphate? And what do they mean for the future of Islamism?

Related Commentary

What Israel Won in Gaza and What Diplomacy Must Now Gain

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Markets
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

TEL AVIV -- For the time being, people are going about their business. Hamas is not raining rockets down on residents here, daily ear-piercing air-raid warning sirens are not sending everyone running for cover, and the city has returned to its bustling self.

Related Commentary

The Middle East’s Maze of Alliances

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Thursday, September 11, 2014

Try figuring out the maze of enemies, allies, and neutrals in the Middle East.

Cairo Punch 13, Hoover Institution Library

Strategika: “Can ISIS Govern?” with Mark Moyar

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Now that the terrorist group has seized territory, can they hold it?

Cairo Punch 19, Hoover Institution Library.

Strategika: “How to Defeat ISIS” with Peter Mansoor

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How do we stop the next great terrorist threat?

Featured Commentary

Military Means for Political Ends in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Monday, September 1, 2014

There are many military solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the problem is that none of them are particularly good outcomes. In fact, they are so draconian as to admit the proposition that there is no practical or sustainable solution that is solely military. That, however, is the case for most wars. Any war that stops short of killing every single member of the opposing society accepts a political solution.

Background Essay

Just the Start of an Age-Old Conflict?

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Monday, September 1, 2014

In a fascinating appendix to his history of guerilla warfare, Invisible Armies, the military historian Max Boot displays an extraordinarily comprehensive database of the 443 military insurgencies that have taken place globally since 1775. The earliest of these that is still ongoing is the Kachi and Karen tribes’ struggle against Burma, which started in 1948. Second comes the FARC/ELN/EPL/M-19 narco-insurgency against the government of Colombia, which started in 1963.


The Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict strives to reaffirm the Hoover Institution's dedication to historical research in light of contemporary challenges, and in particular, reinvigorating the national study of military history as an asset to foster and enhance our national security. Read more.

Is there a military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

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Strategika is an online journal that analyzes ongoing issues of national security in light of conflicts of the past—the efforts of the Military History Working Group of historians, analysts, and military personnel focusing on military history and contemporary conflict.

Our board of scholars shares no ideological consensus other than a general acknowledgment that human nature is largely unchanging. Consequently, the study of past wars can offer us tragic guidance about present conflicts—a preferable approach to the more popular therapeutic assumption that contemporary efforts to ensure the perfectibility of mankind eventually will lead to eternal peace. New technologies, methodologies, and protocols come and go; the larger tactical and strategic assumptions that guide them remain mostly the same—a fact discernable only through the study of history.

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The opinions expressed in Strategika are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hoover Institution or Stanford University.