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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 / 17 / 2020
E.g., 1 / 17 / 2020
Hoover Archives poster collection: UK 2756
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Issue 10

Do drones present new military opportunities or are they simply an updated technological variant of age-old weapons and tactics?

Background Essay

by Thomas Donnelly Wednesday, January 1, 2014
article

Featured Commentary

by Mark Moyar Wednesday, January 1, 2014
article
by Kenneth Anderson, Benjamin Wittes Wednesday, January 1, 2014
article

Related Commentary

by Benjamin Wittes Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
by Admiral Gary Roughead Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
by Peter R. Mansoor Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
by Frederick W. Kagan Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
Poster Collection, TU 28, Hoover Institution Archives
Sunday, December 1, 2013

Issue 09

Is our NATO ally Turkey emerging as a regional power that is hostile, neutral, or can remain a partner to American strategic concerns?

Background Essay

by Barry Strauss Sunday, December 1, 2013
article

Featured Commentary

by Williamson Murray Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
by Walter Russell Mead Sunday, December 1, 2013
article

Related Commentary

by Edward N. Luttwak Monday, November 18, 2013
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Monday, November 18, 2013
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, November 18, 2013
article
Hoover Archives Poster collection: FR 1145
Saturday, November 2, 2013

Issue 08

Is Russia now an enemy, neutral, irrelevant to U.S. strategic interests, or a possible partner with shared concerns?

Background Essay

by Edward N. Luttwak Friday, November 1, 2013
article

Featured Commentary

by Ralph Peters Friday, November 1, 2013
article
by Kiron K. Skinner Friday, November 1, 2013
article

Related Commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson Friday, November 1, 2013
article
by Bruce Thornton Friday, November 1, 2013
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Friday, November 1, 2013
article
Poster Collection, UK 2798, Hoover Institution Archives.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Issue 07

Is there any chance that Europe, either in common or in terms of individual European nations–in particular Britain, France, or Germany–will recoup its military capability?

Background Essay

by Andrew Roberts Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article

Featured Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article
by Josef Joffe Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article

Related Commentary

by Bing West Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article
by Bruce Thornton Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article
by Ralph Peters Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article
by Josef Joffe Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article
by Williamson Murray Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article
by Kori Schake Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article
by Gil-li Vardi Tuesday, October 1, 2013
article

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Related Commentary

Technological Advances, Diminishing Results

by Max Bootvia Strategika
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The former secretary of defense, Ash Carter, fervently hoped that technology would transform military operations in the near-future in ways favorable to the United States. He put billions of dollars behind what is called the “third offset strategy.”

Featured Commentary

America Respected Vs. Global Security

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Thursday, January 26, 2017

George Kennan wrote that Americans in 1905 had not imagined threats from abroad, but that by 1950 they could hardly think of anything else. In the intervening half century, U.S. foreign policy had adopted the maxim that America’s security is inseparable from the rest of the world’s peace and progress. Accordingly, Woodrow Wilson’s Great War, his settlement thereof, and subsequent American-led treaties for global peace and arms control sought to “make the world safe for democracy.” 

Background Essay

Blast From The Past: The Strategic Realignment Of The United States In The Trump Administration

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Thursday, January 26, 2017

As Donald Trump assumes office as the nation’s 45th president, questions swirl regarding the strategic trajectory and alignment of the United States during his administration. Mr. Trump campaigned on a platform of putting “America First,” but the policy details of what exactly this means were, to put it mildly, lacking.

Featured Commentary

Trump’s Strategic Realignments

by Bing Westvia Strategika
Thursday, January 26, 2017

“Likely,” when considering what strategic realignments the Trump administration will embrace to restore American deterrence and enhance global security, is the least likely adverb to apply to predictions. A Wall Street Journal review of 6,500 market predictions by economic experts found that most were wrong. 

Related Commentary

Russia in 2030

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It has become increasingly clear that Russia is on the inexorable path toward restoring its territory on the old map of the USSR. Whether Moscow will be able to achieve such a grandiose scheme to recreate another Soviet Union-size Rodina has been traditionally believed to depend on the strength and willingness of NATO and Europe to counter such Russian ambition. The assumption is that if the counterthrusts from the West are robust enough, Moscow will fail in its attempt, otherwise Russia’s territorial map will look like the Soviet Union in 2030.

Related Commentary

Russia’s Borders In Thirty Years: A Vision, Not A Certainty

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

We cannot project with any assurance where Russia’s boundaries will lie in thirty years. There are far too many variables, from the Islamist contagion to China’s appetite and others yet unknown. But we do know roughly what Russia’s current czar would like those borders to be, should an enervated world continue to bow to Moscow’s will.

Related Commentary

Russia: Its Boundaries In 2050

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In the late 1960s, Charles de Gaulle is reputed to have commented that the Soviet Union would collapse before the end of the twentieth century and that Russia itself would find its eastern borders back on the Urals before the twenty-first century had ended. Given our focus on the present it is impossible to predict what the future will look like thirty years down the road. Nevertheless, given the arrogant machinations of Putin and his crew of kleptomaniacs in destabilizing the small states on Russia’s western borders, it is not difficult to argue that Russia that may well regain much of its political, if not direct, control over its Baltic neighbors, Belarus, and Ukraine, not to mention the small states in the Caucasus. But such a prediction would miss looking at the troubles that Russia faces to the east.

Related Commentary

The Kazakh Connection And The Future of Russia’s Borders

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Since Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012, Russian revisionism has focused on the western reaches of the former Soviet Union. He has annexed Crimea and unleashed his surrogate forces in Southeast Ukraine. He has tested NATO defenses in the Baltic and North Sea, while intimidating Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. He has expanded his military across the board to raise the price of Western counter-escalation.

Featured Commentary

Putinism or Nationalism? Neither. Opportunism

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Thursday, December 8, 2016

“All politics is local” works in the international arena, too. Shakespeare put it well in Henry IV Part II (4.3.343-345) when the king counseled his son and successor: “Be it thy course, dear Harry, to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels.”

Featured Commentary

Russia Is Fighting For Relevance, Not Dominance

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Prevalent in many western capitals is the narrative that Vladimir Putin is striving to regain dominance of the “lost” Soviet empire, and his aggressive behavior in Ukraine—especially his blatant annexation of Crimea in March 2014—is just the beginning of a great Russian advance toward another Pax Russiana.

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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.