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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Issue 57

The Growth of Chinese Power and Influence
Background Essay
Background Essay

China Never Was A Superpower—And It Won’t Be One Anytime Soon

by Gordon G. Changvia Strategika
Thursday, March 28, 2019

“The world by 2049 will be defined by the realization of Chinese power,” write Bradley Thayer and John Friend, referring to the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic. “China,” these American academics tell us, “will be the world’s greatest economic and political force.” Must Americans accept the inevitability of Chinese dominance of the international system?

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

China’s Tide Is High, But Is It At High Tide?

by Michael R. Auslinvia Strategika
Thursday, March 28, 2019

If China’s explosive economic growth since the beginning of reform in 1979 is a unique success story, no less impressive has been the concomitant growth of its military and political power, as well as its global influence. Few could have predicted that within one generation of Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972, China would vie with the United States for the banner of global leadership. By any measure, China’s efforts to surpass American predominance in the world must be taken seriously, and in some cases, may even seem to have succeeded. 

Featured Commentary

From Trade War To Tech War To Cold War

by Niall Fergusonvia Strategika
Thursday, March 28, 2019

If you had told me 30 years ago America would be in another Cold War with another communist superpower by 2019, I would not have believed you. If you had told me that, simultaneously, socialism would be the height of fashion with young Americans, I would have directed you to a psychiatrist. But here we are. Three decades ago Francis Fukuyama published his seminal essay “The End of History?”, hailing the victory of liberal capitalism over all its ideological competitors, but especially over communism. The essay he needs to write today is “The Upend of History?”

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Related Commentary

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.

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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? 

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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.”

Related Commentary

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.

Related Commentary

Sect and Power in Syria and Iraq

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Library of Law and Liberty

Important as it is to keep in mind that sectarian socio-religious hate is what drives the vast bulk of the people engaged in today’s Muslim-world war, understanding that war requires taking into account those who provide the contending forces’ military organization.

Related Commentary

Madness in Mesopotamia

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Library of Law and Liberty

President Obama’s order for air strikes that are to last “several months” against the northern and eastern edges of the Islamic State In the Levant (ISIL) is a small part of a political effort to promote a “more inclusive” Iraqi government in Baghdad.

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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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