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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., 12 / 14 / 2018
E.g., 12 / 14 / 2018
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Issue 43

The Middle East: Terrorism Forever?

Background Essay

by Reuel Marc Gerecht Wednesday, July 26, 2017
article

Featured Commentary

by Bing West Wednesday, July 26, 2017
article
by Thomas Donnelly Wednesday, July 26, 2017
article
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Issue 42

Europe: Death or Renewal

Background Essay

by Erik Jones Tuesday, June 20, 2017
article

Featured Commentary

by Ralph Peters Tuesday, June 20, 2017
article
by Bruce Thornton Tuesday, June 20, 2017
article

Related Commentary

by Bruce Thornton Thursday, March 5, 2015
article
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Issue 41

Trump's China Challenge

Background Essay

by Gordon G. Chang Wednesday, May 17, 2017
article

Featured Commentary

by Miles Maochun Yu Wednesday, May 17, 2017
article
Monday, April 3, 2017

Issue 40

Trump's New Nationalism

Background Essay

by Williamson Murray Monday, April 3, 2017
article

Featured Commentary

by Kori Schake Monday, April 3, 2017
article
by Mark Moyar Monday, April 3, 2017
article

Related Commentary

by Katherine A. Becker Monday, April 3, 2017
article

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Featured Commentary

Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts: Strategic Competition And The North Korea Talks

by Thomas Karakovia Strategika
Monday, June 25, 2018

The United States has long been committed to stemming the further proliferation of nuclear weapons among both potential adversaries and friends alike. As the recent Nuclear Posture Review observes, “nuclear non-proliferation today faces acute challenges.” The current locus of this challenge is in northeast Asia.

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.

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

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.

Strategika Issue 50: Pakistan's Partnership With The United States

via Strategika
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Strategika Issue 50 is now available online. 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.

Featured Commentary

A Brief Guide To Strategy And Sanctions

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Recently, the United States’ closest European allies, Britain, France, and Germany, proposed “fresh” economic sanctions on Iran as an effort to force Tehran to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the 2015 “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” meant to delay the Islamic Republic’s development of nuclear weapons. 

Featured Commentary

Do Economic Sanctions Work?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Economic strictures are acts of war. Throughout history, the starvation and disease they have caused have killed more people than all other instruments of war. But like all other instruments, their effectiveness depends on the circumstances in which they are used and on the policies of which they are part.

Background Essay

Sanctions: The Record And The Rewards

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Why are sanctions so popular? Because “there is nothing else between words and military action to bring pressure upon a government,” explains Jeremy Greenstock, Britain’s long-term ambassador at the UN. It is bloodless—warfare on the cheap. Nonlethal means are the main attraction for democracies loath to go to war in remote places against states that do not pose an existential threat.

Featured Commentary

Committed To The Long Haul

by Max Bootvia Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

The situation in Afghanistan is frustrating and even enraging. Despite the death of more than 2,400 U.S. military personnel and the expenditure of billions, even trillions, of dollars over the past 16 years, the Taliban are as much of a threat as ever. They are well-funded—the United Nations estimates that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan set a new record in 2017—and they have cross-border support from Pakistan, which has no intention of cutting them off despite the Trump administration’s cut-off of security assistance.

Featured Commentary

Afghanistan Options: Leave, Increase, Stand Pat, Or Cut Back?

by Bing West via Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

After 17 years on a treadmill, obviously no good option exists. But to pull out our troops would be to repeat Saigon in 1975. The consequences to America’s credibility would be crushing. Unlike in the Vietnam case, no domestic political movement is dedicated to insuring a total, humiliating withdrawal. Conversely, no American power center, bureaucratic or political, is lobbying to increase our force numbers.

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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.