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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Issue 58

Current U.S.-Israel Relations
Background Essay
Background Essay

Trump And Israel

by Barry Strauss via Strategika
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Trump Administration has changed course in various ways from its predecessor when it comes to relations with Israel. Among other things, the current American government has moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and reduced aid to the Palestinians. In addition, the administration is on the verge of unveiling the so-called Deal of the Century, a new proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

Israel’s Narrow Path To Peace

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Pitilessly, the past quarter century’s events have dismissed the hopes for peace with the Arabs that Israeli diplomats, often accompanied by U.S. counterparts, detailed to the world in 1993 as they explained the concessions they had finalized in Oslo. Previously, they had treated Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization as a terrorist organization to be marginalized if not destroyed. The list of its outrages, from bombing school buses and airports to murdering Olympic athletes, spoke for itself. In 1982, the U.S. saved the PLO from imminent destruction by an Israeli and Lebanese alliance, and sustained it in supervised exile in Tunisia. 

Featured Commentary

Trump And The Israeli-Palestinian Standoff

by Paul Rahevia Strategika
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

In his inimitable way, Donald Trump has gored yet another sacred cow—this one in the Levant. First, consider this. For nearly seventy years, the United States was the principal source of funds for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)—an outfit which not only provided (and still provides) support for Palestinians who fled from their homes in 1948 and found, after the first Arab-Israeli War, that they could not return, but which also provides for those of their patrilineal descendants who still reside in the refugee camps situated in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. 

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Related Commentary

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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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