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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Issue 50

Pakistan's Partnership with the United States
Background Essay
Background Essay

The United States And Pakistan: Frenemies On The Brink

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Thursday, April 26, 2018
For much of its short seventy-year history, Pakistan has managed to thoroughly mismanage its strategic relationships with great power patrons, regional competitors, and non-state clients. It has waged and lost four wars with a larger and more powerful India, supported terrorist organizations that have destabilized Afghanistan and conducted deadly attacks in neighboring India, and alienated its long-time American ally.
Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

Pakistan: Murderous Ally, Patient Enemy

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Pakistan’s military and intelligence leadership—the country’s decisive elements—view the United States as a danger to be managed and a resource to be exploited. Its approach to bilateral relations is predicated on three things: The (correct) belief that U.S. interlocutors do not understand the region; the conviction that, eventually, the U.S. will leave Afghanistan; and Pakistan’s need for hegemony over Afghanistan—not only to check India’s strategic moves but, more importantly, to guarantee Pakistan’s internal cohesion.

Featured Commentary

Pakistan: Neither Ally, Nor Enemy

by Bing West via Strategika
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Last April, Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, a distinguished diplomat, summarized American policy toward Pakistan. “Every time a new administration in Washington comes to office,” he said, “they get worried about Pakistan, which has a stockpile of nuclear weapons. The US Secretary of State then visits Pakistan and meets the top leadership.

E.g., 6 / 23 / 2018
E.g., 6 / 23 / 2018
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Issue 22

How will new gas and oil production affect, if at all, America’s military and geostrategic role abroad?

Background Essay

by Williamson Murray Wednesday, March 25, 2015
article

Featured Commentary

by Kori Schake Thursday, March 26, 2015
article
by Walter Russell Mead Thursday, March 26, 2015
article

Related Commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson Monday, March 30, 2015
article
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Issue 21

What additional future steps should the United States and Europe take, if any at all, to counter Russian ambitions?

Background Essay

by Victor Davis Hanson Thursday, February 26, 2015
article

Featured Commentary

by Paul R. Gregory Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article

Related Commentary

by Max Boot Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Frederick W. Kagan Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Peter R. Mansoor Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Williamson Murray Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Ralph Peters Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
by Barry Strauss Wednesday, February 18, 2015
article
Friday, December 19, 2014

Issue 20

How might the U.S. reboot its Middle East policy and restore confidence in U.S. power and influence?

Background Essay

by Joshua Muravchik Friday, December 19, 2014
article

Featured Commentary

by Kimberly Kagan Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Dr. Joseph Felter Friday, December 19, 2014
article

Related Commentary

by Thomas Donnelly Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Walter Russell Mead Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Kori Schake Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Barry Strauss Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Bing West Friday, December 19, 2014
article
by Peter R. Mansoor Tuesday, February 17, 2015
article
Monday, November 10, 2014

Issue 19

What is the likely trajectory of Chinese-Japanese tensions and how will the United States be affected?

Background Essay

by Miles Maochun Yu Monday, November 10, 2014
article

Featured Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, November 10, 2014
article
by Mark Moyar Monday, November 10, 2014
article

Related Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, November 10, 2014
article
by Miles Maochun Yu Monday, November 10, 2014
article

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Featured Commentary

Foreign Policy Course Correction

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

Barack Obama’s retrenchment policies may be unprecedented in degree, but not in kind. Other presidents have implemented pullbacks from an overseas engagement, usually after a war. These retreats have all been followed by pendulum swings back toward re-engagement. This pattern will, no doubt, hold after Obama. Historical determinism does not account for the oscillations, which are instead due to partisanship between the major political parties, domestic considerations, and ideological convictions of the commanders-in-chief as well as the need for course corrections.

Background Essay

Leaving Behind “Leading From Behind”

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

In 2008, Barack Obama campaigned as a foreign policy moderate, wary of the aggressive interventionism of the George W. Bush administration but willing to take on a leading role for America in combating particularly ominous threats. While promising to pull the remaining American forces out of Iraq, he vowed to send additional troops to Afghanistan. He said that he would collaborate with other nations to a greater extent than Bush, but at the same time served notice that he would act unilaterally when vital U.S. interests were at stake.

Strategika: "Empowering Iran: The Weaknesses Of The Nuclear Deal," With Tom Donnelly

interview with Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Friday, October 14, 2016

How the nuclear deal with Iran unleashed Tehran's ambitions in the Middle East.

Strategika: "The Iran Time Bomb," with Kori Schake

interview with Kori Schakevia Strategika
Friday, October 14, 2016

The nuclear deal makes conflict less likely in the near future ... but more likely in the long-term.

Featured Commentary

Missiles And More: Iran’s Threats To Israel And The Middle East

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Iran nuclear deal makes an Israeli strike less likely in the near term, and more likely in the medium term unless U.S. policy changes to restore the credibility of our own military options and suppresses the non-nuclear threats Iran is fomenting.

Featured Commentary

Time Is On Iran’s Side

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The conclusion of the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal—formally the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”—last year has created a new and profoundly different set of strategic realities across the Middle East. While this shift is hardly irreversible, it is moving rapidly, and, by the time the next American president figures out where the restroom is in the White House, the process will, like quick-drying cement, be well set.

Related Commentary

Snake Charmers and Snake Killers

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The immediate result of an Israeli strike—assuming it were successful in destroying or at least very significantly degrading the Iranian nuclear program—would be a collective exhalation of breath across the Middle East and Europe. One of WikiLeaks’ most telling revelations came when the King of Saudi Arabia was heard urging the Americans “to cut off the head of the snake,” and if the Israelis undertook the identical action the Sunni Arab leadership would be cock-a-hoop with pleasure and relief (while of course publicly reserving the right to denounce Israel for aggression and war-mongering).

Background Essay

The US, Iran, And Israel

by Edward N. Luttwak via Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The disagreement with Israel over Iran’s nuclear endeavors long pre-dated the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015,” which the White House prefers to call “The Historic Deal that Will Prevent Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon”, but which should really be called Barjam, the Farsi acronym that is entering local parlance for any big deal.

Related Commentary

Israeli Jab, American Knockout

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The challenge for Israel in responding militarily to Iran’s nuclear weapons program is that Israel has the capacity to start a conflict, but not to conclude it (save through the use of its own nuclear arms—an unlikely scenario, for now). Israeli airpower and missile forces could frustrate Tehran’s ambitions for a period of a few and perhaps several years, but it would prove a Pyrrhic victory, given Iran’s inevitable response.

Related Commentary

Increasingly Isolated, Israel Must Rely On Nuclear Deterrence

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Five years ago, Jeffrey Goldenberg published “The Point of No Return” in The Atlantic. In 10,000 words, he laid out the pressing rationale for an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Like many such pieces, it prompted this author to formulate a law: “The U.S. can do it, but won’t; Israel wants to, but can’t.”

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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.