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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Issue 50

Pakistan's Partnership with the United States
Background Essay
Background Essay

The United States And Pakistan: Frenemies On The Brink

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Thursday, April 26, 2018
For much of its short seventy-year history, Pakistan has managed to thoroughly mismanage its strategic relationships with great power patrons, regional competitors, and non-state clients. It has waged and lost four wars with a larger and more powerful India, supported terrorist organizations that have destabilized Afghanistan and conducted deadly attacks in neighboring India, and alienated its long-time American ally.
Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

Pakistan: Murderous Ally, Patient Enemy

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Pakistan’s military and intelligence leadership—the country’s decisive elements—view the United States as a danger to be managed and a resource to be exploited. Its approach to bilateral relations is predicated on three things: The (correct) belief that U.S. interlocutors do not understand the region; the conviction that, eventually, the U.S. will leave Afghanistan; and Pakistan’s need for hegemony over Afghanistan—not only to check India’s strategic moves but, more importantly, to guarantee Pakistan’s internal cohesion.

Featured Commentary

Pakistan: Neither Ally, Nor Enemy

by Bing West via Strategika
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Last April, Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, a distinguished diplomat, summarized American policy toward Pakistan. “Every time a new administration in Washington comes to office,” he said, “they get worried about Pakistan, which has a stockpile of nuclear weapons. The US Secretary of State then visits Pakistan and meets the top leadership.

E.g., 6 / 24 / 2018
E.g., 6 / 24 / 2018
African Pictorial Collection, Box 2, Hoover Institution Archives.
Sunday, September 1, 2013

Issue 06

Will the Arab Spring offer any improvement, either domestically or internationally, over what it has replaced?

Background Essay

by Frederick W. Kagan Sunday, September 1, 2013
article

Featured Commentary

by Bing West Sunday, September 1, 2013
article
by Andrew Roberts Sunday, September 1, 2013
article
Hoover Archives Poster collection: CC 137, Celebration of the occupation of Sout
Thursday, August 1, 2013

Issue 05

What exactly are the strategic aims that North Korea hopes to achieve by the possession of a few deployable nuclear weapons?
by Walter Russell Mead Thursday, August 1, 2013
article
by Barry Strauss Thursday, August 1, 2013
article
by Thomas Donnelly Thursday, August 1, 2013
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Thursday, August 1, 2013
article
by Bruce Thornton Thursday, August 1, 2013
article
Terence White Collection, OAC 2002C71. Hoover Institution Archives.
Monday, July 1, 2013

Issue 04

What do the Jihadists Want?

Background Essay

by Max Boot Monday, July 1, 2013
article

Featured Commentary

by Josef Joffe Monday, July 1, 2013
article
by Peter R. Mansoor Monday, July 1, 2013
article

Related Commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson Monday, July 1, 2013
article
by Kiron K. Skinner Monday, July 1, 2013
article
by Bruce Thornton Monday, July 1, 2013
article
Hoover Archives Poster collection: US 2814
Saturday, June 1, 2013

Issue 03

Should Women serve in front line combat units?

Background Essay

by Kori Schake Saturday, June 1, 2013
article

Featured Commentary

by Josiah Bunting III Saturday, June 1, 2013
article
by Kiron K. Skinner Saturday, June 1, 2013
article

Related Commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson Saturday, June 1, 2013
article
by Admiral Gary Roughead Saturday, June 1, 2013
article
by Bruce Thornton Saturday, June 1, 2013
article

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Related Commentary

Are We Our Own Worst Enemies?

by Bing West via 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. 

Featured Commentary

Readiness Writ Large

by Admiral James O. Ellis Jr. via Strategika
Friday, April 29, 2016

In the years immediately following the (first) end of the Cold War, the search for elusive readiness metrics in the Department of Defense was all-consuming. As the pressures mounted, first to write and then to cash the “peace dividend” check, policy pronouncements were made and working groups and war rooms were established, all asserting the existence of and searching for the Holy Grail: a suite of detailed readiness metrics that could precisely detail the impact of every procurement dollar cut and every training event curtailed. 

Background Essay

The Readiness Vortex

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Friday, April 29, 2016

For the past several years, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been painting a bleak portrait of the state of the armed services. Testifying to the senate Armed Services Committee in January 2015, recently retired Army chief Gen. Ray Odierno admitted that Army readiness “has been degraded to its lowest level in 20 years.” This year, Odierno’s successor, Gen. Mark Milley, went farther: the Army is not well prepared to engage a major power. “If we got into a conflict with Russia then I think it would place our soldiers’ lives at risk,” he said. 

Related Commentary

Iran's War Against America

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

For thirty years, we have misread the beliefs that motivate the mullahs. 

Featured Commentary

America Entered Into A Raw Deal With Iran

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Monday, March 14, 2016

On January 16, 2016, governments in Europe and America ended the sanctions they had imposed on Iran (the U.S. since 1979, Europe since 2007 and increasingly since 2012) for reasons internal to themselves. Iran had not changed the behavior that had led to the imposition of sanctions—neither its nuclear program nor its leadership of the Shia side in the current round of the Sunni-Shia war. 

Featured Commentary

U.S. Elections And The Future Of The Iran Nuclear Deal

by Max Bootvia Strategika
Monday, March 14, 2016

January 16, 2016, was a milestone in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was the day that the nuclear deal with the United States was implemented and most sanctions on Iran were lifted. Iran immediately received access to more than $100 billion in frozen oil funds, and that’s only the beginning of the bonanza. 

Background Essay

Legitimacy Rests In Iranian Hands

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Monday, March 14, 2016

Whether Iran succeeds in gaining legitimacy with Europe and the United States after the end of sanctions by the West may have less to do with choices by the Western countries and more to do with internal Iranian politics. All of the parties to the Iranian nuclear deal want to provide that legitimacy; but Iran’s opaque internecine politics may get in the way.

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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.