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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 / 19 / 2018
E.g., 9 / 19 / 2018
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
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Issue 35

Israel And A Nuclear Iran

Background Essay

by Edward N. Luttwak Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Thomas Donnelly Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Kori Schake Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Peter Berkowitz Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Josef Joffe Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Ralph Peters Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Andrew Roberts Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
Monday, August 15, 2016

Issue 34

The Potential Of Today’s Terrorists To Conduct Large-Scale Attacks

Background Essay

by Peter R. Mansoor Monday, August 15, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Ralph Peters Monday, August 15, 2016
article
by Williamson Murray Monday, August 15, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Max Boot Monday, August 15, 2016
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, August 15, 2016
article

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Background Essay

War Games On The Korean Peninsula

by Michael R. Auslinvia Strategika
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Since the armistice ending hostilities in the Korea War was signed on July 27, 1953, the United States and South Korea have deterred North Korea from launching another invasion across the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Despite the size of the North Korean military, estimated at over 1 million men, the qualitative advantage of the Republic of Korea (ROK) military and its U.S. ally have assured policymakers in Seoul and Washington that they likely would prevail in any major conflict.

Featured Commentary

What Can We Expect From Trump’s Foreign Policy Of “Principled Realism”?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Since the Trump team labeled its foreign policy “principled realism” before carrying out much of it, the term is not a description of things accomplished. Instead, it tells us how the Trump team wants to regard the policies it may pursue and, above all, what it wants others to think of them. Being a label applied to an as-yet largely empty container, it is advertising.

Featured Commentary

Two First Quarter Cheers For Trump’s Principled Realism

by Robert G. Kaufmanvia Strategika
Thursday, September 28, 2017

The content and trajectory of Donald Trump’s foreign policy have defied the expectations of many of his supporters as well as his critics across the political spectrum. The President has moved a long way from his campaign positions of denigrating the value of America’s democratic alliances and renouncing America’s role as the world’s default power essential to deterring hegemonic threats in vital geopolitical regions. 

Background Essay

Of Allies And Adversaries: Donald Trump’s Principled Realism

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Foreign policy doctrines are as American as apple pie, and as old as the Republic. Start with George Washington’s Farewell Address: The “great rule” in dealing with other nations was to extend “our commercial relations” and “to have with them as little political connection as possible.” So stay out of Europe, and keep Europe away from us.

Related Commentary

The Need For Missile Defense

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, September 28, 2017

America has been largely impervious to foreign attack and invasion. That’s no longer the case. 

Related Commentary

America’s Foreign Policy Crisis

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Leaders and voters can’t decide between isolationism, realism, and idealism. 

Featured Commentary

Preemptive Strikes and Preventive Wars: A Historian’s Perspective

by Barry Strauss via Strategika
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Preventive wars and preemptive strikes are both risky business. A preventive war is a military, diplomatic, and strategic endeavor, aimed at an enemy whom one expects to grow so strong that delay would cause defeat. A preemptive strike is a military operation or series of operations to preempt an enemy’s ability to attack you. In both cases, a government judges a diplomatic solution impossible.

Featured Commentary

Calculating The Risk Of Preventive War

by Max Bootvia Strategika
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The issue of “preemptive” war is more in the news now than at any time since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The impetus, of course, is the rapid development of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, which will soon give Pyongyang the capability to hit any American city with a nuclear-tipped ICBM. President Trump has been threatening “fire and fury” in response, and warning that the United States is “locked and loaded” for war. 

Background Essay

Preemptive Strike Or Preventive War?

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

With the troubles bubbling over on the Korean Peninsula, as the North Korean regime approaches possession of nuclear weapons and missiles capable of striking the United States, two words, preemptive and preventive, have gained increasing currency. While similar in meaning, their context is crucial in understanding their applicability to the current crisis. And here, as is so often the case, history is a useful tool in thinking through the possibilities. 

Related Commentary

Tale Of The Tape: North Korea VS. Joint US-ROK Force

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia The Hill
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Escalating threats and counter-threats arising from the United States and North Korea have created an ominous standoff. President Trump warned Pyongyang that it faced “fire and fury” for aggression. The American leader added that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded” should it act foolishly. The Democratic People’s Republic kept up the rhetorical duel by threatening to engulf Guam with an “enveloping fire” of ballistic missiles.

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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.