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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 / 11 / 2018
E.g., 12 / 11 / 2018
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
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Issue 37

Putin and Russian Nationalism

Background Essay

by Ralph Peters Thursday, December 8, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Josef Joffe Thursday, December 8, 2016
article
by Miles Maochun Yu Thursday, December 8, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson Wednesday, December 7, 2016
article
by Josef Joffe Tuesday, January 24, 2017
article
by Michael McFaul Saturday, July 30, 2016
article
by Williamson Murray Tuesday, January 24, 2017
article
by Ralph Peters Tuesday, January 24, 2017
article
by Miles Maochun Yu Tuesday, January 24, 2017
article
Monday, October 31, 2016

Issue 36

The Legacy of the Obama Doctrine

Background Essay

by Mark Moyar Monday, October 31, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Thomas H. Henriksen Monday, October 31, 2016
article
by Barry Strauss Monday, October 31, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, October 31, 2016
article
by Thomas Donnelly Monday, October 31, 2016
article
by Andrew Roberts Monday, October 31, 2016
article

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Background Essay

Americanism In Afghanistan? A Flawed Design

by Hy Rothstein, John Arquillavia Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

Since the war in Afghanistan began in late 2001, three successive presidential administrations have claimed that the Taliban are on the verge of collapse, the Afghan military is close to securing the country, and Afghan leaders in Kabul are just one step away from providing legitimate governance. 

Related Commentary

U.S. Aid to Afghanistan Remains Critical

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

Abandonment of Afghanistan at this time would be highly inadvisable because of the inordinate risks of abetting Islamic extremism and generating higher outflows of narcotics and people. The strategy of 2013-2017, in which small numbers of American troops advised Afghan forces and conducted raids, prevented the Kabul government from falling, but it failed to prevent insurgents from retaking much of the country. Military setbacks heightened infighting among Afghan elites and impeded the development of a viable national government.

Related Commentary

Afghanistan: No Choice but to Remain

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

Quite unlike Great Britain or the Soviet Union, the United States has never had a coherent strategy for its engagement in Afghanistan. No amount of military operational acumen or diplomatic experience can make up for that deficiency; it hardly matters what we do if we have no idea why we’re doing it.

Related Commentary

Our Long Last Stand in Afghanistan

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

Approved by the president in August, we have a “new” plan in Afghanistan. It will increase the U.S. troop strength to approximately 14,000 service members. Those 14,000 troops will be expected to achieve what 140,000 U.S. and allied troops could not achieve when the Taliban was weaker, al-Qaeda lay broken, and ISIS did not exist.

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!”

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.

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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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