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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Issue 47

The State of U.S. Naval Readiness
Background Essay
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.

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

Cornstalks, Calvinball, And The Bridges At Toko Ri: Rightsizing The U.S. Navy

by Admiral James O. Ellis Jr. via Strategika
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The main street of Washington, Georgia, is called Toombs Avenue in honor of the Georgia senator and Civil War general who was born nearby. In promoting the South’s secession as the war approached, Toombs reportedly claimed, “We can beat those Yankees with cornstalks!”

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.

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Related Commentary

Airstrikes, Sure; but What About a Strategy in Iraq?

by Kiron K. Skinnervia The New York Times

It has been a tragically spectacular year for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has taken control of numerous towns in Iraq and Syria, seized energy assets, targeted religious minorities, unleashed murderous rampages against those who do not subscribe to its tenets, and declared a caliphate.

Related Commentary

Democracies Like Military Cuts

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage Mag.com

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/bruce-thornton/democracies-like-military-cuts.

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How to Defeat ISIL

by Bing West via National Review Online

U.S. policymakers must commit themselves clearly to containing, disrupting, and defeating it. 

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Nuclear Anti-Strategy

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika

Nuclear energy—a fortiori nuclear weapons—has occasioned the U.S. ruling class, with exceptions few and brief, to jettison reason about ends and means in favor of emotional reactions that abstract from interests, friends, and enemies.

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A Strategy for Defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq

by Max Bootvia Armed Services Committee Hearings

Security Situation in Iraq and Syria: U.S. Policy Options and Implications for the Region

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Preserve What We Inherited

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Strategika

There were various reasons why our grandparents sought to limit the availability of nuclear weapons in general and in particular among even our allies. I can think of three.

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A Clear-Eyed Assessment of ISIS

by Max Bootvia Commentary

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is certainly a growing menace–in fact the most immediate threat that we face in the Middle East.

Related Commentary

The Defense Budget vs. History

by Max Bootvia Commentary

Traditionally, military planners have operated under a worst-case scenario: i.e., what do we need to have in place to respond if nothing goes as planned? 

Related Commentary

Who Possesses Nuclear Weapons, Not the Weapons, Is the Question

by Bruce Thorntonvia Strategika

Since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have attracted an apocalyptic glamour that has confused and distorted the strategic calculations that should determine their production and deployment. The same sort of irrational response greeted the development of bombers in the 20s and 30s, when lurid scenarios of the civilization-ending power of strategic bombing––popularized in novels like H.G. Wells’ Things to Come and exploited by pacifists––convinced British military planners and politicians that they should avoid war at all costs, for as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin famously, and erroneously, proclaimed to the “man in the street,” “There is no power on earth that can protect him from being bombed,” for “the bomber will always get through.”

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Sunni-stan Rising

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Library of Law and Liberty

Sunni fighters from around the Muslim world, having failed to conquer all of Syria from the Assad regime’s Alewites (a branch of Shia Islam) have been pushed eastward into majority-Sunni areas.

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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.