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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

Terrorism From Within

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Monday, August 15, 2016

On September 11, 2001, specifically the moment passengers on UA93 learned that three other hijacked liners had been crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the U.S. forever ceased to be vulnerable to such hijackings. Never again would passengers follow the FAA’s regulation not to interfere with hijackers. Not ISIS or anyone else can change that.

Featured Commentary

Terrorism At Home And Abroad

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Monday, August 15, 2016

Despite the enthusiasm of those media purveyors of horror stories about potential terrorist threats that could match the events of 9/11, it is unlikely, at least for the short term, that ISIS is capable of matching al-Qaeda’s bloody success. That said, there are innumerable ways in which its leaders will attempt to create mayhem, disorder, and paranoia in the developed world and the United States in particular. 

Background Essay

Is Another 9/11 Possible?

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Monday, August 15, 2016

At 8:46 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Egyptian terrorist Mohammed Atta and four Saudi accomplices flew hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing all 92 passengers and crew on board as well as hundreds more inside the building. 

Related Commentary

As The Primary Target, We Must Not Be Caught Off Guard

by Max Bootvia Strategika
Monday, August 15, 2016

From all that can be gleaned from the record of the past fourteen plus-years, the U.S. appears to be less vulnerable to another mass-casualty attack than it was on 9/11. There have been some thwarted attempts to carry out large-scale attacks since 2001—e.g., Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian “underwear bomber” tried to blow up an airplane en route to Detroit in 2009, an attack, which, if successful, would have killed 290 people.

Featured Commentary

The Next 9/11: Bigger Or Just Better? The Desire Is There, The Capabilities Are Unknown

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Monday, August 15, 2016

Whether or not Islamist terrorists prove capable of executing another attack on the United States on the scale of the strikes of September 11, 2001, we would be foolish to assume they can’t. The desire remains, while the bloodlust and the passion have only intensified. The willingness to sacrifice their lives to do us harm is indisputable. We are more vigilant and—somewhat—less willfully naïve, and grand attacks on the homeland are harder to stage today, but the price of deterrence is high in economic costs, resources, and diverted energies.

Related Commentary

How To Counter The Putin Playbook

by Michael McFaulvia The New York Times
Saturday, July 30, 2016

A quarter-century ago, at the end of the Cold War, it seemed that only democracies promoted their values abroad. Today, autocracies have entered the arena again, exporting their ideas and methods — even to the United States.

Featured Commentary

Unity, Strategy, And Will

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Friday, July 1, 2016

The meaning of any nation’s membership in or departure from any “union” or alliance, especially with regard to geopolitical strategies, depends entirely on the nature and degree of that unity or alliance—in short, on the extent to which these represent a common will. History teaches that international organizations, ranging from formal “unions” to informal alliances, tend to obscure the members’ differing wills, and to be hindrances to rational strategizing, individual and collective.

Background Essay

Brexit and the Defence of Europe

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Friday, July 1, 2016

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU)—nicknamed “Brexit”—does not have anything like the security ramifications for the West that its opponents liked to pretend during the recent campaign. A central part of the pro-Remain campaign was to try to terrify voters into believing that Brexit entailed dire security implications, but the British public voted to leave anyhow, because they understood that far from guaranteeing peace and security on the European continent, the EU has been at best neutral in its effect, and it was always NATO that has been the bedrock.

Related Commentary

The Strategic Problems of Grexit

by Barry Strauss via Strategika
Friday, July 1, 2016

With Britain posed to exit the European Union, other European countries might reconsider their own status. None has a more fraught relationship with the EU than Greece, primarily because of its experience with the Euro. And what if Greece leaves the Eurozone?

Related Commentary

The Potential Perils of Grexit

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Friday, July 1, 2016

Would a Grexit from the Eurozone create any strategic problems? Absolutely. If other Eurozone countries force Greece out of the currency union, we should expect it to have a deeply damaging effect on the NATO alliance, which remains the crucial lever by which the United States organizes security contributions from European countries.

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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.

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