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Monday, September 14, 2020

Issue 67

U.S. Troop Deployments in Germany
Background Essay
Background Essay

America—A European Power No More? Shifting Tectonics, Changing Interests, And The Shrinking Size Of U.S. Troops In Europe

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Friday, September 11, 2020

The Trump drawdown of U.S. troops in Europe is not the end of the alliance, but part of a familiar story. America’s military presence has been contested from Week 1—make that February 4–11, 1945. At Yalta, Franklin D. Roosevelt assured Joseph Stalin that the United States would soon depart from Europe. Its troops—three million at the peak—would all be gone in two years.

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

Is It Wise To Pull Out And Redeploy 12,000 U.S. Troops From Germany?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Friday, September 11, 2020

President Trump’s decision to return the U.S 2nd Cavalry Regiment currently stationed in Germany to American soil (6,500 troops), as well as to redeploy mostly Air Force units from Germany to Italy and command headquarters to Belgium and Poland (another 5,600), will have mostly modest positive military consequences and has already benefited America diplomatically. The military consequences are modest because U.S forces in Europe have long since ceased to be potential combatants. 

Featured Commentary

Return Of Forces From Germany?

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Friday, September 11, 2020

On September 11, 1944, a patrol led by Staff Sergeant Warner L. Holzinger of Troop B, 85th Reconnaissance Squadron, 5th Armored Division, crossed the Our River from Luxembourg into Germany. Those five soldiers were the vanguard of a mighty Allied force that would within eight months conquer the Third Reich, thereby ending World War II in Europe.

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Poster Collection, INT 00491, Hoover Institution Archives.
Featured Commentary

The Risks of Expanding the Nuclear Club’s Membership

by Josiah Bunting IIIvia Strategika
Sunday, June 1, 2014

Vladimir Putin’s indifference to the bleating admonitions of Western leaders will persist. These, and the President’s pathetic warnings that have followed, have all the credibility of promising a Red Line in Damascus. 

Harold Melvin Agnew Motion Picture Film, Hoover Institution Archives.
Background Essay

A History of Nuclear Choices

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Sunday, June 1, 2014

The question “Should more of our European or Pacific democratic allies possess nuclear weapons?” harbors two unspoken ones. First, why do nations go nuclear? Second, will America’s allies do so if U.S. security guarantees wane in this era of retraction and disarmament? A quick history of the nuclear age reveals many mixed motives and only a tenuous relationship between great-power assurances and client-power abstinence.

Related Commentary

Security and Solvency

by Kori Schakevia Orbis
Sunday, June 1, 2014

The American defense establishment has come to think of itself as the victim of complex and demanding threats, political irresponsibility and public apathy. 

Poster Collection, RU/SU 1437, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “Vladimir Putin, Murderer of Myths” with Ralph Peters

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Monday, May 12, 2014

Ralph Peters analyzes Vladimir Putin’s recent aggression towards Ukraine and explains how the Russian president’s actions fly in the face of many of the most cherished beliefs of western policy leaders.

Poster Collection, RU/SU 2165, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “Understanding Ukraine” with Kori Schake

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Friday, May 9, 2014

Kori Schake explains how the history of Ukraine informs the current impasse with Russia, how the present conflict is likely to play out, and what the implications are for the future.

Poster Collection, RU/SU 2575, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “Vladimir Putin’s Ambitions” with Thomas Donnelly

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Friday, May 9, 2014

Thomas Donnelly explains why resisting Russian expansion into Ukraine is an American security interest, examines whether Vladimir Putin’s ambitions will continue to grow, and makes recommendations for an American response.

Poster Collection, INT 503, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “A Better Way in Afghanistan” with Bing West

by Bing Westvia Strategika
Friday, May 9, 2014

Bing West looks at the failures of American strategy during the war in Afghanistan — from nation-building and counterinsurgency to efforts to defeat the Taliban — and provides recommendations for what can be done to avert total disaster in the country.

Okhrana Records, Box 237, Hoover Institution Archives.
Background Essay

Proper Military Balance As A Hedge Against An Uncertain Future

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Thursday, May 1, 2014

The only thing that is predictable in warfare is its unpredictability. As soon as experts, general staffs, and politicians decide what they believe will be the nature of the next war in order to prepare for it properly, an entirely different kind of conflict happens. The witness of history is so uniform in this regard that it needs to become a general law of warfare: The war we expect and plan for is never the one we’re called upon to fight.

Okhrana Records, Box 237, Hoover Institution Archives.
Featured Commentary

Be Prepared For Conventional War, Even If It’s Unconventional

by Frederick W. Kaganvia Strategika
Thursday, May 1, 2014

Kharkov. Dnepropetrovsk. Odessa. Mariupol. Sites of great armor battles seven decades ago, these cities are once again the front line of war. Tanks are massed but remain idle. Protesters, separatists, and “little green men” are the foot soldiers in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Snipers are the most effective weapons. Ukraine may fall to this “invasion” more easily than to an armored assault. Is this quasi-war the ultimate proof of the irrelevance of conventional forces today?

Okhrana Records, Box 237, Hoover Institution Archives.
Featured Commentary

The Continuing Relevance of Conventional Military Forces

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Thursday, May 1, 2014

In his magisterial treatise On War, Prussian military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz wrote that war may have its own grammar, but not its own logic. By this he meant that wars are fought for political purposes, and although the means by which they are waged changes over time, the nature of war remains constant. History has witnessed a number of revolutions in military affairs, periods of time in which the grammar of war has changed significantly.

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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.

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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.