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Friday, September 6, 2019

Issue 60

The Monroe Doctrine and Current U.S. Foreign Policy
Background Essay
Background Essay

The Monroe Doctrine: Guide To The Future

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Friday, September 6, 2019

The Monroe Doctrine, which purports to warn other states from interfering in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere, has supposedly remained a basic principle of American foreign policy since the first half of the nineteenth century. From the point when it was issued, its actual relevance has depended on the willingness to enforce it, or whether there was any real threat. President Monroe issued it during a period when all of the major Spanish colonies in the Western Hemisphere were in the process of gaining their independence from Spain. 

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

Principled Realism And The Monroe Doctrine

by Chris Gibson via Strategika
Friday, September 6, 2019

With the publication of the December 2017 version of the National Security Strategy, the Trump administration changed the course of American grand strategy. With it, the U.S. made a conscious choice to leave behind President George W. Bush’s controversial neo-conservative inspired policy of “preemption” and Barack Obama’s convoluted “consequentialism,” embracing instead the more traditional approach of “principled realism,” first articulated by President George Washington. In this new era all previous policies and approaches are under review, including one of our oldest foreign policy statements—the Monroe Doctrine of 1823.

Featured Commentary

E Pluribus Plures

by Bing Westvia Strategika
Friday, September 6, 2019

A doctrine is a set of guiding principles shared widely by an organization or a nation. The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 stated that any effort by a European nation to take control of any North or South American country would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” In 1962, the Doctrine was invoked during the Cuban Missile Crisis. With the support of the Organization of American States (OAS), President Kennedy established a naval quarantine around the island.

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Poster Collection, RU/SU 2575, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “Vladimir Putin’s Ambitions” with Thomas Donnelly

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Friday, May 9, 2014

Thomas Donnelly explains why resisting Russian expansion into Ukraine is an American security interest, examines whether Vladimir Putin’s ambitions will continue to grow, and makes recommendations for an American response.

Poster Collection, INT 503, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “A Better Way in Afghanistan” with Bing West

by Bing Westvia Strategika
Friday, May 9, 2014

Bing West looks at the failures of American strategy during the war in Afghanistan — from nation-building and counterinsurgency to efforts to defeat the Taliban — and provides recommendations for what can be done to avert total disaster in the country.

Okhrana Records, Box 237, Hoover Institution Archives.
Background Essay

Proper Military Balance As A Hedge Against An Uncertain Future

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Thursday, May 1, 2014

The only thing that is predictable in warfare is its unpredictability. As soon as experts, general staffs, and politicians decide what they believe will be the nature of the next war in order to prepare for it properly, an entirely different kind of conflict happens. The witness of history is so uniform in this regard that it needs to become a general law of warfare: The war we expect and plan for is never the one we’re called upon to fight.

Okhrana Records, Box 237, Hoover Institution Archives.
Featured Commentary

Be Prepared For Conventional War, Even If It’s Unconventional

by Frederick W. Kaganvia Strategika
Thursday, May 1, 2014

Kharkov. Dnepropetrovsk. Odessa. Mariupol. Sites of great armor battles seven decades ago, these cities are once again the front line of war. Tanks are massed but remain idle. Protesters, separatists, and “little green men” are the foot soldiers in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Snipers are the most effective weapons. Ukraine may fall to this “invasion” more easily than to an armored assault. Is this quasi-war the ultimate proof of the irrelevance of conventional forces today?

Okhrana Records, Box 237, Hoover Institution Archives.
Featured Commentary

The Continuing Relevance of Conventional Military Forces

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Thursday, May 1, 2014

In his magisterial treatise On War, Prussian military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz wrote that war may have its own grammar, but not its own logic. By this he meant that wars are fought for political purposes, and although the means by which they are waged changes over time, the nature of war remains constant. History has witnessed a number of revolutions in military affairs, periods of time in which the grammar of war has changed significantly.

Poster Collection, RU/SU 2321.9, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “The Perils of Abandoning Afghanistan” with Kimberly Kagan

by Kimberly Kaganvia Strategika
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Institute for the Study of War’s Kimberly Kagan examines the problems that could emanate from a premature US departure from Afghanistan.

Poster Collection, INT 503, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “Is Failure in Afghanistan Inevitable?” with Max Boot

by Max Bootvia Strategika
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Max Boot looks at Afghanistan’s history as the “graveyard of empires” and considers whether America still stands a chance of succeeding there.

Poster Collection, IR 132, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “What’s Good Enough in Afghanistan?” with Joe Felter

by Joseph Felter via Strategika
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Retired Colonel Joseph Felter explains the problems facing America in Afghanistan and what the United States can do to address them.

Poster Collection, CC 75, Hoover Institution Archives.

Strategika: “The Implications of Chinese History” with Edward Luttwak

by Edward N. Luttwak via Strategika
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Edward Luttwak explains how Chinese history should color our perceptions of that nation’s modern ambitions.

Hoover Archives poster collection: CC 89

Strategika: “Can America Manage China’s Rise?” with Gary Roughead

by Admiral Gary Rougheadvia Strategika
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Retired Admiral Gary Roughead looks at America’s options to keep the rise of China from causing global instability.

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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.