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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Issue 53

U.S. Engagement with Russia
Background Essay
Background Essay

Toe-To-Toe With The Russkis: Is Realistic Engagement With The Russians Still Possible?

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

In the greatest film ever made about the human dimensions of strategy, director Stanley Kubrick’s Cold-War masterpiece, Doctor Strangelove, an excited strategic bomber pilot speaks of “noo-cullar combat, toe-to-toe with the Russkis.” But the lengthy annals of Americans and Russians tramping on each other’s feet followed a brief interlude when we danced the light fantastic to our mutual benefit, with neither side’s dancing shoes scuffed.

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

The Way Forward With Putin And Russia

by Chris Gibson via Strategika
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

In late August 2016, I led a Congressional Delegation trip to Israel, Latvia, Poland, and Germany to gather information and build support for the POSTURE Act, a Bill to reverse the Obama administration’s drawdown of U.S. armed forces and deter further Russian aggression in eastern Europe. On day four of that trip we were in Latvia listening intently to Edgars Rinkevics, the Foreign Minister, explain his dismay with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent comments questioning the relevancy of NATO. 

Featured Commentary

The United States And Russia: Opposite Personalities

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

In his famous 1947 “Long Telegram” and subsequent Foreign Affairs article, George Kennan described what he thought was the “political personality of Soviet power.” It was an effort at what he called a “task of psychological analysis” to discern a “pattern of thought” and the “nature of the mental world of the Soviet leaders.” 

E.g., 9 / 25 / 2018
E.g., 9 / 25 / 2018
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
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Issue 39

New Military Technologies

Background Essay

by Thomas Donnelly Wednesday, March 15, 2017
article

Featured Commentary

by Dr. Joseph Felter Wednesday, March 15, 2017
article
by Kiron K. Skinner Wednesday, March 15, 2017
article

Related Commentary

by Max Boot Wednesday, March 15, 2017
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Wednesday, March 15, 2017
article
by Peter R. Mansoor Wednesday, March 15, 2017
article
by Bing West Wednesday, March 15, 2017
article
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Issue 38

Revitalizing America’s Security

Background Essay

by Peter R. Mansoor Thursday, January 26, 2017
article

Featured Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Thursday, January 26, 2017
article
by Bing West Thursday, January 26, 2017
article

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Background Essay

The Sinews Of Empire

by Seth Cropseyvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Modern scholars of politics revel in their complex descriptions of state action. Rather than oversimplifying and reducing the state to a unitary body, they separate its internal components and assess each of their relative strengths. There’s something to this.

Related Commentary

The Status of U.S. Navy Readiness: Too Small, Too Old, and Too Tired

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Seventeen sailors have been killed this year in accidents involving two destroyers, the USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald.

Featured Commentary

A Stretched Navy And A Fiscal Disconnect

by Admiral Gary Rougheadvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Last year, within two weeks’ time, two deadly collisions of U.S. Navy ships in western Pacific sea-lanes brought home the reality of a Navy in increasing demand yet stretched precariously thin. The captains and those responsible on watch those nights, as they operated in congested Asian waters, were held to account, but it remains the nation that has allowed and accepted the conditions that led to those tragic events and the loss of 17 sailors.

Featured Commentary

Reasonable Conventional Options In A Second Korean War

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

While the world is abuzz about North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, it is Pyongyang’s conventional capabilities that are not given sufficient attention. As mentions of a general war with North Korea are hardly absent on a daily basis, this indolence on seriously dealing with Kim’s conventional forces is alarmingly dangerous, because, despite the global focus on Kim’s nascent nuclear weapons and missile programs, the actual fighting will remain overwhelmingly conventional, primarily because Kim knows that his strength lies preponderantly in his conventional capabilities, not nuclear or thermonuclear ones.

Related Commentary

North Korea: Diplomacy or Military Solution?

by Barry Strauss via Strategika
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

North Korea is not going to give up its nuclear weapons short of war. Diplomacy, however, can improve the terms of an eventual deal. A nuclear-armed North Korea is a frightening thought, but we are probably past the point where a military solution is bearable.

Related Commentary

Deterring Kim Jong-un’s North Korea

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Kim Jong-un’s goal is to survive and pass his regime on intact to a successor, presumably a yet-to-be-born son. He has relentlessly pursued this goal by assassinating would-be competitors to power in fairly creative ways, such as blasting his uncle apart with an anti-aircraft gun and having his half-brother poisoned with a nerve agent. He has learned the lesson of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya: Survival comes not from the barrel of a gun, but from a nuclear-tipped missile capable of killing hundreds of thousands of people, preferably Americans, with the push of a button. 

Related Commentary

How to Approach the North Korean Threat

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Two basic truths for starters. First, no nuclear power has ever attacked another. Second, “de-proliferation” has only worked in countries that fulfilled one of three conditions, which North Korea has not.

Related Commentary

Is North Korea’s Threat Unacceptable?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The question, “Are both North Korean possession of nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles and the threat of a North Korean conventional strike on Seoul unacceptable risks in dealing with Kim Jong-un?” is phrased badly. The U.S government has accepted, accepts, and gives no sign of ceasing to accept 1) North Korea’s capacity to deliver nuclear warheads onto U.S soil, as well as to devastate Seoul.

Related Commentary

Annihilate the North Korea Threat: Possible Options

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The very fact that the DPRK has nuclear weapons with formidable conventional strike capabilities is unacceptable. Because of this, in dealing with Kim Jong-un, the risks are not unacceptable and they will have to be factored into any strategic and contingency plans.

Featured Commentary

A Brutal, But Reasonable, Response To North Korea

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Applying the adjective “reasonable” in a North Korean context is, well, not reasonable. It’s not that the Pyongyang regime is entirely irrational, but it is certainly “differently rational” in a way that is nearly impossible for consent-of-the-people democracies to comprehend. In imagining conventional military options to change the Kim regime or to eliminate its offensive capabilities—that is, to remove the threats North Korea poses to its neighbors, the East Asian balance of power and, now, the United States itself—“effectiveness” is a better measure. This is a case where brutality looks reasonable.

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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.