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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 / 21 / 2020
E.g., 1 / 21 / 2020
Hoover Institution Archives Poster Collection: IR 54
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Issue 02

Can Iran be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons by sanctions, or ultimately will it require preemptive military action? If Iran becomes nuclear, can it be contained?

Background Essay

by Edward N. Luttwak Wednesday, May 1, 2013
article

Featured Commentary

by Ralph Peters Wednesday, May 1, 2013
article
by Williamson Murray Wednesday, May 1, 2013
article

Related Commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson Wednesday, May 1, 2013
article
Hoover Archives Poster collection: UK 3297, Britain's Land Offensive, Syria, The
Monday, April 1, 2013

Issue 01

Should the United States Intervene in the Syrian Civil War?

Background Essay

by Mark Moyar Monday, April 1, 2013
article

Featured Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, April 1, 2013
article
by Kimberly Kagan Monday, April 1, 2013
article

Related Commentary

by Bing West Monday, April 1, 2013
article
by Bruce Thornton Monday, April 1, 2013
article
by Thomas Donnelly Monday, April 1, 2013
article
by Kiron K. Skinner Monday, April 1, 2013
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Monday, April 1, 2013
article

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Featured Commentary

Missiles And More: Iran’s Threats To Israel And The Middle East

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Iran nuclear deal makes an Israeli strike less likely in the near term, and more likely in the medium term unless U.S. policy changes to restore the credibility of our own military options and suppresses the non-nuclear threats Iran is fomenting.

Featured Commentary

Time Is On Iran’s Side

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The conclusion of the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal—formally the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”—last year has created a new and profoundly different set of strategic realities across the Middle East. While this shift is hardly irreversible, it is moving rapidly, and, by the time the next American president figures out where the restroom is in the White House, the process will, like quick-drying cement, be well set.

Related Commentary

Snake Charmers and Snake Killers

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The immediate result of an Israeli strike—assuming it were successful in destroying or at least very significantly degrading the Iranian nuclear program—would be a collective exhalation of breath across the Middle East and Europe. One of WikiLeaks’ most telling revelations came when the King of Saudi Arabia was heard urging the Americans “to cut off the head of the snake,” and if the Israelis undertook the identical action the Sunni Arab leadership would be cock-a-hoop with pleasure and relief (while of course publicly reserving the right to denounce Israel for aggression and war-mongering).

Background Essay

The US, Iran, And Israel

by Edward N. Luttwak via Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The disagreement with Israel over Iran’s nuclear endeavors long pre-dated the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015,” which the White House prefers to call “The Historic Deal that Will Prevent Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon”, but which should really be called Barjam, the Farsi acronym that is entering local parlance for any big deal.

Related Commentary

Israeli Jab, American Knockout

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The challenge for Israel in responding militarily to Iran’s nuclear weapons program is that Israel has the capacity to start a conflict, but not to conclude it (save through the use of its own nuclear arms—an unlikely scenario, for now). Israeli airpower and missile forces could frustrate Tehran’s ambitions for a period of a few and perhaps several years, but it would prove a Pyrrhic victory, given Iran’s inevitable response.

Related Commentary

Increasingly Isolated, Israel Must Rely On Nuclear Deterrence

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Five years ago, Jeffrey Goldenberg published “The Point of No Return” in The Atlantic. In 10,000 words, he laid out the pressing rationale for an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Like many such pieces, it prompted this author to formulate a law: “The U.S. can do it, but won’t; Israel wants to, but can’t.”

Related Commentary

The Ripple Effects of An Israeli Preemptive Strike

by Peter Berkowitzvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

An Israeli preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities is fraught with immediate and long-term ramifications.

Strategika: "Terrorism, In Perspective,” With Williamson Murray

interview with Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
While America hasn’t seen another attack on the scale of 9/11, the possibility of a devastating terrorist strike remains.

Strategika: "The Legacy of 9/11," with Peter Mansoor

interview with Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Fifteen years later, how have the September 11 attacks shaped the West's response to the threat of terrorism.

Strategika: “Underestimating Our Enemies,” With Ralph Peters

interview with Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How the foreign policy establishment systematically misunderstands the threat from jihadism.

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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.