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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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Related Commentary

Winning a Lose/Lose War

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Once again neighboring enemies are warring in diametrically opposite ways. Hamas sees the death of its civilians as an advantage; Israel sees the death of its civilians as a disaster. Defensive missiles explode to save civilians in Israel; in Gaza, civilians are placed at risk of death to protect offensive missiles.

Jerusalem
Related Commentary

The Incoherent Excuses for Hating Israel

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage Mag.com
Monday, July 21, 2014

Israel’s military operation to degrade Hamas’ ability to rain rockets down on Israeli cities has stirred up the usual noisy and nasty protests in Europe. 

Related Commentary

Why Obama, Kerry, Abbas, Hamas, BDS, and Hezbollah Will All Go Poof!

by Edward N. Luttwak via Tablet Magazine
Sunday, July 20, 2014

In 1912, David Ben Gurion moved to Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman Empire, to study law at Istanbul University. The land of Israel had been under Ottoman rule for centuries, and the only way the Jews could grow their villages and towns, family by family, house by house, was to be accepted as loyal Ottoman subjects.

Harold Melvin Agnew Motion Picture Film, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “The Nuclear Future” with Williamson Murray

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Friday, July 18, 2014

The Prospects for Nuclear Proliferation in a Dangerous Age.

Poster Collection, INT 00398, Hoover Institution Archives.
Related Commentary

It’s Better Not to Play with Nukes

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Monday, July 14, 2014

The problem is that, if one of the children gets a new toy, all of the other kids want a new toy, too. Nor is this remark flippant, since a crucial issue here is the emotional maturity of the government, state, and population in question...

US flag on military helmet
Related Commentary

Today’s Military Needs to be Run More Like a Business

by Kori Schakevia Room for Debate (New York Times)
Monday, July 14, 2014

In the near term, the threats to our interests are numerous small-scale contingencies against militaries not our equal but with pockets of high-tech or disruptive capabilities, like nuclear weapons, cyber or accurate ballistic missiles. In the longer term, there is the potential for China to become a military threat that could challenge us across the military spectrum.

Poster Collection, US 1153, Hoover Institution Archives.
Featured Commentary

The U.S. Cannot Wish Away Its Present Security Concerns

by Kiron K. Skinnervia Strategika
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grand strategy requires states to have a long-term plan. It also requires that means and ends be clearly articulated and calibrated to each other. The Obama administration’s long-term plan appears to shift U.S. economic and military assets away from the Middle East and toward Asia. The Middle East, however, shows no signs of relinquishing its role as the world’s central battleground. Furthermore, means and ends are mixed together as priorities under the Obama doctrine.

Poster Collection, US 4642, Hoover Institution Archives.
Background Essay

Size Isn’t All that Matters

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Repercussions of quantitative changes in military forces are relative strictly to those forces’ specific missions and deployments.

Featured Commentary

Pruning the U.S. Military: We Will Do Less But Must Not Do It Less Well

by General Jim Mattisvia Strategika
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Clearly America's military will continue to shrink. Across our body politic from fiscal conservatives to those who support increasing entitlements to those unimpressed with the last ten or forty years of America's role on the international stage, there is no longer in Washington adequate vision or sufficient political will to restrain the downsizing of our military. 

Spanish Civil War from an anarchist art album

Strategika: “A History of Surprise: War and Unpredictability” with Andrew Roberts

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why Armed Conflict Never Goes according to Plan

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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.