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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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Featured Commentary

Burning the Terrorist Grass

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Strategika
Monday, September 1, 2014

Over and over, we have heard the no-military-solution shibboleth applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as to insurgencies or military clashes elsewhere. The sheer length of Palestinian and Arab armed hostility toward Israel superficially lends credence to the fuzzy notion that only high-minded diplomacy can dissolve the Middle East belligerency. One after another grand peace scheme, however, has failed. Yet faith remains in them rather than a military end.

Related Commentary

Sherman in Gaza

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

William Tecumseh Sherman 150 years ago took Atlanta before heading out on his infamous March to the Sea to make Georgia “howl.” He remains one of the most controversial and misunderstood figures in American military history.

US flag on military helmet

Strategika: “Planning for Defeat” with Kiron Skinner

by Kiron K. Skinnervia Strategika
Friday, August 15, 2014

The dangerous distance between means and ends in Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

Strategika: “Fighting to Win” with Angelo Codevilla

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Friday, August 15, 2014

History’s lessons about military effectiveness.

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Related Commentary

U.S. Must Strongly Affirm Israel's Right of Self-Defense

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Over the last few days, Israel has pulled its troops out of Gaza and agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire with Hamas. The battle over international public opinion, however, continues to rage.

Jerusalem
Related Commentary

A Stronger Israel?

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

In postmodern wars, we are told, there is no victory, no defeat, no aggressors, no defenders, just a tragedy of conflicting agendas. But in such a mindless and amoral landscape, Israel in fact is on its way to emerging in a far better position after the Gaza war than before.

Cairo Punch 13, Hoover Institution Library
Featured Commentary

Overambitious Reach Undermines Islamic State’s Prospects of Creating a Caliphate

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Friday, August 1, 2014

By declaring the Islamic State a global caliphate, Iraqi cleric Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has tapped into the universalist and utopian aspirations of Sunni extremists around the world. 

Poster Collection, IQ 2, Hoover Institution Archives.
Background Essay

Caliphate Redivivus? Why a Careful Look at the 7th Century Can Predict How the New Caliphate Will End

by Edward N. Luttwak via Strategika
Friday, August 1, 2014

When modern Muslims invoke the Khilāfa, the Caliphate as their ideal of governance for the Ummah, the planetary community of all Muslims, and indeed for all humans once converted or killed if stubbornly pagan, they do not refer to the famous caliphates of history from the splendiferous Umayyad, to the longer-lasting Abbasid extinguished by the Mongols in 1258, the Egypt-based and tolerant Fatimid in between, or the Ottoman that lingered till 1924, let alone the extant Ahmadiyya Caliphate that most condemn as heretical.

Cairo Punch 19, Hoover Institution Library.
Featured Commentary

The Rise and Inevitable Fall of the ISIS Caliphate

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Friday, August 1, 2014

The recent seizure by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) of much of northern and western Iraq, along with its ongoing control of large swaths of eastern Syria, has reignited the question of the long-term goals of Islamist extremists. 

Poster Collection, INT 00398, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “A Brief History of Nuclear Weapons” with Josef Joffe

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How and Why Countries Decide to go Nuclear.

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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.