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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

The Iran Deal Offers Little Hope for Optimism

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Friday, May 27, 2016

On April 2, 2015, President Barrack Obama stepped to the microphone in the White House Rose Garden and declared, “Today, the United States—together with our allies and partners—has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Regrettably, history provides little comfort that the accord will prevent a determined Tehran from acquiring the bomb. 

Featured Commentary

A Year After the Iranian Deal

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Strategika
Friday, May 27, 2016

The July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to limit Iranian nuclear proliferation is now nearly a year old. Until recently, the urgency to complete the “Iran deal” had been explained by the Obama administration as an effort to capitalize on a new group of Iranian reformers who came to power with President Hassan Rouhani in August 2013.

Background Essay

Iran: The Contrast Between Sovereignty And Moral Legitimacy

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Friday, May 27, 2016

In June of 2014, as the forces of the Islamic State swept toward Baghdad, President Barack Obama began to recommit American military forces to Iraq. He also observed that “Iran can play a constructive role, if it sends the same message to the Iraqi government that we’re sending, which is that Iraq only holds together if it is inclusive.” 

Strategika: “Military Readiness In An Age Of Uncertainty,” With Thomas Donnelly

interview with Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Sunday, May 22, 2016

Is the US ready for global threats?

Strategika: “Military Readiness: The Admiral’s Perspective” With James Ellis

interview with Admiral James O. Ellis Jr.via Strategika
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How the Armed Forces prepare for an unpredictable world.

Related Commentary

China as a Cause of Concern

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Friday, April 29, 2016

China’s financial clout is enormous, not because of China’s economic productivity, but because of China’s uniquely unchallenged economic system that places the entire world in a disadvantageous position, vulnerable to Chinese exploitation.

Related Commentary

Are We Our Own Worst Enemies?

by Bing Westvia Strategika
Friday, April 29, 2016

Since Vietnam, American technological advances have swept military competition. Today, no nation can stand up against us in industrial warfare. That is, if the battle is decided by the 20th-century means of supplies and manpower, both dependent upon the internal combustion engine, any opposing force will be defeated swiftly and with low American casualties.

Related Commentary

The Greatest Threat to Our Security Is Complacency

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Friday, April 29, 2016

We are schooled to look for a symmetrical response, when—as so often—the punishing threats are apt to be asymmetrical and innovative. Overall, the United States is likely to continue to enjoy raw technological (and economic) superiority. But will we know better what to do with it than will potential adversaries driven to think more creatively?

Featured Commentary

Sustaining Military Readiness—The Devil Is In The Details

by Admiral Gary Rougheadvia Strategika
Friday, April 29, 2016

Today’s global security crystal ball is murky, but a safe assumption is that the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe will remain unsettled and nests of terrorist activity, motivation, and recruitment; with sanctions lifted Iran’s conventional military re-emergence in the region will further challenge the security environment in the Middle East; Northeast Asian allies, China, and the U.S. will continue to react to an unpredictable regime in North Korea.

Related Commentary

The Growing Temptation to Threaten America

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Friday, April 29, 2016

For the foreseeable future, no single power, nor even axis or alliance of rival powers, can hope to match the range of financial power or technological expertise—either expertise measured in narrowly military terms or more broadly—of the United States. The world still waits with baited breath for the Federal Reserve to set what are, in effect, global interest rates. 

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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.

Is there a military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

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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.