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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
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
Monday, September 1, 2014

Issue 18

Is there a military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Background Essay

by Andrew Roberts Monday, September 1, 2014
article

Featured Commentary

by Thomas H. Henriksen Monday, September 1, 2014
article
by Kori Schake Monday, September 1, 2014
article

Related Commentary

by Peter Berkowitz Tuesday, September 16, 2014
article
by Peter Berkowitz Wednesday, August 6, 2014
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Thursday, September 11, 2014
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Wednesday, August 20, 2014
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Tuesday, August 5, 2014
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Tuesday, July 29, 2014
article
by Edward N. Luttwak Sunday, July 20, 2014
article
by Bruce Thornton Monday, July 21, 2014
article
by Bruce Thornton Tuesday, April 8, 2014
article

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Featured Commentary

Russia Is Fighting For Relevance, Not Dominance

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Prevalent in many western capitals is the narrative that Vladimir Putin is striving to regain dominance of the “lost” Soviet empire, and his aggressive behavior in Ukraine—especially his blatant annexation of Crimea in March 2014—is just the beginning of a great Russian advance toward another Pax Russiana.

Background Essay

Vladimir Putin and The Russian Soul

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Thursday, December 8, 2016

A skilled miner is useless without a seam of ore. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, czar in all but name, has a genius for mining the ore of Russian nationalism, but the crucial factor is that the ore was there, waiting to be exploited. A ruler perfectly fitted to Russian tradition, Putin is the right man at the right time to dig up Russia’s baleful obsessions, messianic delusions, and aggressive impulses.

Related Commentary

Trump's Russia "Reset"?

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Expect the new president to adopt a realpolitik stance toward Vladimir Putin.

Related Commentary

Cleaning Up The Mess

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

It is one of the glories of the U.S. Constitution that although presidential administrations must abide by the laws made by previous ones until they are repealed, foreign policy initiatives that are unworthy of a great nation can be discarded almost immediately. This is what will happen in November next year; indeed, the Obama administration’s keenness to argue that the Iranian nuclear deal did not constitute a formal treaty—in order to prevent the Senate from debating and perhaps refusing to ratify it—will make it all the easier for an incoming administration to denounce it. 

Related Commentary

Obama’s Foreign Policy: No Easy Fix

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

All of the Obama administration’s strategic initiatives will have lives that endure beyond the next president’s term, and three of them are quite likely to have even more profound effects.

Related Commentary

Time To Dump The Baby—And The Bathwater

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

The premise that the current foreign policy’s major features (e.g., Iran deal, tergiversation regarding ISIS, etc.) are peculiar to the Obama administration is mistaken. In fact, these policies are manifestations or extrapolations of attitudes longstanding and pervasive among U.S. policymakers of both parties. As such, they are sure to transcend Obama. They will characterize U.S. foreign policy unless and until these officials, academics, and media figures are replaced by persons with different mentalities.

Featured Commentary

From Leading From Behind To Fighting On The Frontier

by Barry Strauss via Strategika
Monday, October 31, 2016

Every empire or great power, no matter how interventionist it is, undergoes periods of retrenchment. For example, after the Roman emperor Trajan (r. A.D. 98-117) conquered Dacia (Romania) and fought an exhausting, at first successful but ultimately failed war in Mesopotamia (Iraq), his successor Hadrian (r. A.D. 117-138) pulled back. Hadrian accepted defeat in Mesopotamia, gave up part of Dacia, and put the empire on a defensive footing. 

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.

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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.

Is there a military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

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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.