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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. 

E.g., 1 / 22 / 2020
E.g., 1 / 22 / 2020
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Issue 22

How will new gas and oil production affect, if at all, America’s military and geostrategic role abroad?

Background Essay

by Williamson Murray Wednesday, March 25, 2015
article

Featured Commentary

by Kori Schake Thursday, March 26, 2015
article
by Walter Russell Mead Thursday, March 26, 2015
article

Related Commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson Monday, March 30, 2015
article
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Issue 21

What additional future steps should the United States and Europe take, if any at all, to counter Russian ambitions?

Background Essay

by Victor Davis Hanson Thursday, February 26, 2015
article

Featured Commentary

by Paul R. Gregory Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article

Related Commentary

by Max Boot Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Frederick W. Kagan Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Peter R. Mansoor Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Williamson Murray Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Ralph Peters Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Barry Strauss Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
Friday, December 19, 2014

Issue 20

How might the U.S. reboot its Middle East policy and restore confidence in U.S. power and influence?

Background Essay

by Joshua Muravchik Friday, December 19, 2014
article

Featured Commentary

by Kimberly Kagan Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Joseph Felter Friday, December 19, 2014
article

Related Commentary

by Thomas Donnelly Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Walter Russell Mead Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Kori Schake Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Barry Strauss Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Bing West Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Peter R. Mansoor Tuesday, February 17, 2015
article
Monday, November 10, 2014

Issue 19

What is the likely trajectory of Chinese-Japanese tensions and how will the United States be affected?

Background Essay

by Miles Maochun Yu Monday, November 10, 2014
article

Featured Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, November 10, 2014
article
by Mark Moyar Monday, November 10, 2014
article

Related Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, November 10, 2014
article
by Miles Maochun Yu Monday, November 10, 2014
article

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Featured Commentary

What Can We Expect From Trump’s Foreign Policy Of “Principled Realism”?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Since the Trump team labeled its foreign policy “principled realism” before carrying out much of it, the term is not a description of things accomplished. Instead, it tells us how the Trump team wants to regard the policies it may pursue and, above all, what it wants others to think of them. Being a label applied to an as-yet largely empty container, it is advertising.

Featured Commentary

Two First Quarter Cheers For Trump’s Principled Realism

by Robert G. Kaufmanvia Strategika
Thursday, September 28, 2017

The content and trajectory of Donald Trump’s foreign policy have defied the expectations of many of his supporters as well as his critics across the political spectrum. The President has moved a long way from his campaign positions of denigrating the value of America’s democratic alliances and renouncing America’s role as the world’s default power essential to deterring hegemonic threats in vital geopolitical regions. 

Background Essay

Of Allies And Adversaries: Donald Trump’s Principled Realism

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Foreign policy doctrines are as American as apple pie, and as old as the Republic. Start with George Washington’s Farewell Address: The “great rule” in dealing with other nations was to extend “our commercial relations” and “to have with them as little political connection as possible.” So stay out of Europe, and keep Europe away from us.

Related Commentary

The Need For Missile Defense

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, September 28, 2017

America has been largely impervious to foreign attack and invasion. That’s no longer the case. 

Related Commentary

America’s Foreign Policy Crisis

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Leaders and voters can’t decide between isolationism, realism, and idealism. 

Featured Commentary

Preemptive Strikes and Preventive Wars: A Historian’s Perspective

by Barry Strauss via Strategika
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Preventive wars and preemptive strikes are both risky business. A preventive war is a military, diplomatic, and strategic endeavor, aimed at an enemy whom one expects to grow so strong that delay would cause defeat. A preemptive strike is a military operation or series of operations to preempt an enemy’s ability to attack you. In both cases, a government judges a diplomatic solution impossible.

Featured Commentary

Calculating The Risk Of Preventive War

by Max Bootvia Strategika
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The issue of “preemptive” war is more in the news now than at any time since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The impetus, of course, is the rapid development of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, which will soon give Pyongyang the capability to hit any American city with a nuclear-tipped ICBM. President Trump has been threatening “fire and fury” in response, and warning that the United States is “locked and loaded” for war. 

Background Essay

Preemptive Strike Or Preventive War?

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

With the troubles bubbling over on the Korean Peninsula, as the North Korean regime approaches possession of nuclear weapons and missiles capable of striking the United States, two words, preemptive and preventive, have gained increasing currency. While similar in meaning, their context is crucial in understanding their applicability to the current crisis. And here, as is so often the case, history is a useful tool in thinking through the possibilities. 

Related Commentary

Tale Of The Tape: North Korea VS. Joint US-ROK Force

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Escalating threats and counter-threats arising from the United States and North Korea have created an ominous standoff. President Trump warned Pyongyang that it faced “fire and fury” for aggression. The American leader added that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded” should it act foolishly. The Democratic People’s Republic kept up the rhetorical duel by threatening to engulf Guam with an “enveloping fire” of ballistic missiles.

Related Commentary

Considering Preemptive War

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Thursday, August 10, 2017

President Trump set off a rhetorical hand grenade this week, threatening North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” The Secretary of State rushed to reassure Americans that there was no imminent threat and they could “sleep safe at night.”

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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.