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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 / 17 / 2018
E.g., 12 / 17 / 2018
Friday, April 29, 2016

Issue 31

U.S. Military Readiness

Background Essay

by Thomas Donnelly Friday, April 29, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Admiral Gary Roughead Friday, April 29, 2016
article
by Admiral James O. Ellis Jr. Friday, April 29, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Thomas Donnelly Friday, April 29, 2016
article
by Ralph Peters Friday, April 29, 2016
article
by Bing West Friday, April 29, 2016
article
by Miles Maochun Yu Friday, April 29, 2016
article
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Issue 30

After the end of sanctions by the West, will Iran succeed in its efforts to find state legitimacy with Europe and the United States?

Background Essay

by Kori Schake Monday, March 14, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, March 14, 2016
article
by Max Boot Monday, March 14, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Bruce Thornton Wednesday, March 16, 2016
article
Monday, February 1, 2016

Issue 29

Does ISIS really differ from other terrorist groups; if so, how does its singularity complicate U.S. efforts to defeat it?

Background Essay

by Mark Moyar Monday, February 1, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Peter R. Mansoor Monday, February 1, 2016
article
by Raymond Ibrahim Monday, February 1, 2016
article
Friday, December 4, 2015

Issue 28

Why is Germany a non-nuclear power and will it ever become one?

Background Essay

by Thomas Donnelly Friday, December 4, 2015
article

Featured Commentary

by Josef Joffe Friday, December 4, 2015
article
by Russell A. Berman Friday, December 4, 2015
article

Related Commentary

by Josiah Bunting III Friday, December 4, 2015
article

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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.

Related Commentary

Considering Preemptive War

by Kori Schakevia Military History in the News
Thursday, August 10, 2017

President Trump set off a rhetorical hand grenade this week, threatening North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” The Secretary of State rushed to reassure Americans that there was no imminent threat and they could “sleep safe at night.”

Featured Commentary

Beyond The Terror War

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Since the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the story of the Middle East has been one of inconclusive struggles of the weak against the weak. That the Ottomans lasted as long as they did is in substantial measure a testament to the constant chaos of Arab and Persian politics. 

Featured Commentary

The Middle East: Terrorism Forever?

by Bing West via Strategika
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The short response is yes. Crime forever? Also, yes. Turbulence, terror, pestilence, famine, love, procreation, taxes, families, sunsets, rain, shine, etc.—all are components of the human condition. There is no arc toward perfection in human nature.

Background Essay

“Pushing Back” Iran

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia Strategika
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

On both the left and the right, there is a consensus in Washington that the United States needs to “push back” against the Islamic Republic’s nefarious actions in the Levant, Iraq, and Yemen. The clerical regime largely controls the ground war in Syria: Tehran’s foreign Shiite militias, imported from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and Iranian-directed native forces lead the battle against the Sunni insurrection. 

Related Commentary

The North Korean Threat

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How should the U.S. contain a rogue regime on the brink of acquiring nuclear-tipped intercontinental 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.