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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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Featured Commentary

ISIS: The Latest Phase Of The Jihad

by Raymond Ibrahimvia Strategika
Monday, February 1, 2016

The best way to understand the Islamic State (ISIS) is to see it as the next phase of al-Qaeda. All Sunni Islamic jihadi groups—Boko Haram, ISIS, Taliban, al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, even Hamas—share the same motivations based on a literal and orthodox reading of Islamic history and doctrine: resurrecting a caliphate (which existed in various forms from 632 to 1924) that implements and spreads the totality of sharia, or Islamic law.

Related Commentary

The Federal Republic of Germany: No Nukes, now or ever

by Josiah Bunting IIIvia Strategika
Friday, December 4, 2015

In 1997, the writer spent several weeks at the Bundeswehr University in Munich, exploring a possible exchange of cadets with the Virginia Military Institute.

Featured Commentary

A Non-nuclear Germany: Today, Tomorrow, Forever

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Friday, December 4, 2015

Those who used to worry endlessly about the “N + 1” problem—rampant proliferation—in the Sixties would be quite surprised some fifty years later. As the consensus of the strategic community had it at the time, there were some twenty countries with the industrial base capable of building nuclear weapons—and would do so in short order.

Featured Commentary

Nuclear Germany: Could The Impossible Become The Inevitable?

by Russell A. Bermanvia Strategika
Friday, December 4, 2015

Drawing on the older traditions of the Prussian army, nineteenth-century Germany grew into a formidable military power, and during the twentieth century it nearly dominated Europe. It took two world wars to defeat Germany and to contain its aggressive ambitions.

Background Essay

No German Bomb—At Least For Now

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Friday, December 4, 2015

This past September, the U.S. Air Force introduced a cache of 20 new B61-12 nuclear bombs to the Luftwaffe’s Büchel Air Base in western Germany. The upgrade, part of the NATO program on nuclear “sharing,” replaced a higher-yield version of the venerable B61 with a less destructive weapon, but it nonetheless sparked protest by opposition parties in Germany.

Related Commentary

Erdogan's Turkey Is A Dubious Ally

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Tribune Media Services
Thursday, December 3, 2015

Turkey often appeals to the West for support, given its longtime membership in NATO. Now, Turkish leadership is in a shouting match with Russia's provocative president, Vladimir Putin, over Turkey's downing of a Russian jet in probable Turkish airspace.

Nuclear bomb's tell-tale mushroom cloud
Related Commentary

Meet The Missile Challenge With The Anti-Missile Response

by Bruce Thorntonvia Strategika
Friday, October 30, 2015

Challenge and response has been the dynamic of warfare since the beginning of civilization.

Featured Commentary

It’s Mad To Forgo Missile Defense

by Frederick W. Kaganvia Strategika
Friday, October 30, 2015

American thinking about missile defense has been incoherent from the very beginning. The issue is superficially simple: the Soviet Union threatened the American people with nuclear missiles, so the U.S. should naturally have tried to defend them against those missiles.

Featured Commentary

The Pragmatics Of Missile Defense

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Strategika
Friday, October 30, 2015

Anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defense, as originally conceived in the 1950s and 1960s, was a Cold War era answer to the nightmare of Mutually Assured Destruction, the linchpin of Soviet and American deterrence.

Background Essay

Missile Defense: Past, Present, And Future

by Kiron K. Skinnervia Strategika
Friday, October 30, 2015

A new era of modern warfare began when German V-2 missiles hit London in September 1944. Within the next few years, the U.S. military was issuing reports on how to proceed in the development of defensive counters to ballistic missiles.

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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.