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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Issue 55

The Structure of World Power
Background Essay
Background Essay

The Structure of the Contemporary International System

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Thursday, November 15, 2018

A monopoly obtains when one firm is free to set prices and output while keeping ambitious newcomers out of the market. The best example is Standard Oil in the late 19th century. Ruthlessly undercutting competitors, the company ended up controlling 90 percent of refined oil flows in the United States. The United States never had that kind of overweening power in the international “market.” It may have come close to unipolarity in the 1990s when its mortal rival, the Soviet Union, had committed suicide. Yet the contemporary world is no longer unipolar. Neither is it bi- or multipolar.

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

Seeking Stability in the Structure of Power

by Seth Cropseyvia Strategika
Thursday, November 15, 2018

The global strategic landscape is moving away from the primacy that America achieved over the last century. New terrain includes the possibility of great power competition, a return to the bipolarity that policy-makers in the immediate post-Cold War said must never happen again. Current sentiment in the U.S. illustrates that there are worse possibilities than bipolarity.

Featured Commentary

The Vagaries Of World Power

by Nadia Schadlow via Strategika
Thursday, November 15, 2018

By traditional measures—military strength, economic wealth, population size—the United States remains the world’s preeminent superpower. Its economy continues to expand; it deploys the largest military in the world; it is home to a growing population; and American laws and capital flows encourage a vibrant ecosystem for innovation.

E.g., 11 / 20 / 2018
E.g., 11 / 20 / 2018
Poster Collection, CC 75, Hoover Institution Archives.
Saturday, February 1, 2014

Issue 11

Does China pose an immediate threat to U.S. strategic interests and, if so, will the envisioned Asian pivot address such concerns?

Background Essay

by Edward N. Luttwak Saturday, February 1, 2014
article

Featured Commentary

by Ian Morris Saturday, February 1, 2014
article
by Admiral Gary Roughead Saturday, February 1, 2014
article

Related Commentary

by Josef Joffe Saturday, February 1, 2014
article
by Thomas Donnelly Saturday, February 1, 2014
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Saturday, February 1, 2014
article
by Bruce Thornton Saturday, February 1, 2014
article
by Barry Strauss Saturday, February 1, 2014
article
by Ralph Peters Saturday, February 1, 2014
article
by Williamson Murray Saturday, February 1, 2014
article
Hoover Archives poster collection: UK 2756
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Issue 10

Do drones present new military opportunities or are they simply an updated technological variant of age-old weapons and tactics?

Background Essay

by Thomas Donnelly Wednesday, January 1, 2014
article

Featured Commentary

by Kenneth Anderson, Benjamin Wittes Wednesday, January 1, 2014
article
by Mark Moyar Wednesday, January 1, 2014
article

Related Commentary

by Benjamin Wittes Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
by Admiral Gary Roughead Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
by Peter R. Mansoor Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
by Frederick W. Kagan Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
Poster Collection, TU 28, Hoover Institution Archives
Sunday, December 1, 2013

Issue 09

Is our NATO ally Turkey emerging as a regional power that is hostile, neutral, or can remain a partner to American strategic concerns?

Background Essay

by Barry Strauss Sunday, December 1, 2013
article

Featured Commentary

by Williamson Murray Sunday, December 1, 2013
article
by Walter Russell Mead Sunday, December 1, 2013
article

Related Commentary

by Edward N. Luttwak Monday, November 18, 2013
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Monday, November 18, 2013
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, November 18, 2013
article
Hoover Archives Poster collection: FR 1145
Saturday, November 2, 2013

Issue 08

Is Russia now an enemy, neutral, irrelevant to U.S. strategic interests, or a possible partner with shared concerns?

Background Essay

by Edward N. Luttwak Friday, November 1, 2013
article

Featured Commentary

by Kiron K. Skinner Friday, November 1, 2013
article
by Ralph Peters Friday, November 1, 2013
article

Related Commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson Friday, November 1, 2013
article
by Bruce Thornton Friday, November 1, 2013
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Friday, November 1, 2013
article

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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.

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.

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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.