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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?”

E.g., 6 / 23 / 2019
E.g., 6 / 23 / 2019
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Issue 37

Putin and Russian Nationalism

Background Essay

by Ralph Peters Thursday, December 8, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Josef Joffe Thursday, December 8, 2016
article
by Miles Maochun Yu Thursday, December 8, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson Wednesday, December 7, 2016
article
by Josef Joffe Tuesday, January 24, 2017
article
by Michael McFaul Saturday, July 30, 2016
article
by Williamson Murray Tuesday, January 24, 2017
article
by Ralph Peters Tuesday, January 24, 2017
article
by Miles Maochun Yu Tuesday, January 24, 2017
article
Monday, October 31, 2016

Issue 36

The Legacy of the Obama Doctrine

Background Essay

by Mark Moyar Monday, October 31, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Thomas H. Henriksen Monday, October 31, 2016
article
by Barry Strauss Monday, October 31, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, October 31, 2016
article
by Thomas Donnelly Monday, October 31, 2016
article
by Andrew Roberts Monday, October 31, 2016
article
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Issue 35

Israel And A Nuclear Iran

Background Essay

by Edward N. Luttwak Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Thomas Donnelly Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Kori Schake Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Peter Berkowitz Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Josef Joffe Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Ralph Peters Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
by Andrew Roberts Wednesday, September 21, 2016
article
Monday, August 15, 2016

Issue 34

The Potential Of Today’s Terrorists To Conduct Large-Scale Attacks

Background Essay

by Peter R. Mansoor Monday, August 15, 2016
article

Featured Commentary

by Ralph Peters Monday, August 15, 2016
article
by Williamson Murray Monday, August 15, 2016
article

Related Commentary

by Max Boot Monday, August 15, 2016
article
by Angelo M. Codevilla Monday, August 15, 2016
article

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Featured Commentary

Do Economic Sanctions Work?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Economic strictures are acts of war. Throughout history, the starvation and disease they have caused have killed more people than all other instruments of war. But like all other instruments, their effectiveness depends on the circumstances in which they are used and on the policies of which they are part.

Background Essay

Sanctions: The Record And The Rewards

by Josef Joffevia Strategika
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Why are sanctions so popular? Because “there is nothing else between words and military action to bring pressure upon a government,” explains Jeremy Greenstock, Britain’s long-term ambassador at the UN. It is bloodless—warfare on the cheap. Nonlethal means are the main attraction for democracies loath to go to war in remote places against states that do not pose an existential threat.

Featured Commentary

Committed To The Long Haul

by Max Bootvia Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

The situation in Afghanistan is frustrating and even enraging. Despite the death of more than 2,400 U.S. military personnel and the expenditure of billions, even trillions, of dollars over the past 16 years, the Taliban are as much of a threat as ever. They are well-funded—the United Nations estimates that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan set a new record in 2017—and they have cross-border support from Pakistan, which has no intention of cutting them off despite the Trump administration’s cut-off of security assistance.

Featured Commentary

Afghanistan Options: Leave, Increase, Stand Pat, Or Cut Back?

by Bing West via Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

After 17 years on a treadmill, obviously no good option exists. But to pull out our troops would be to repeat Saigon in 1975. The consequences to America’s credibility would be crushing. Unlike in the Vietnam case, no domestic political movement is dedicated to insuring a total, humiliating withdrawal. Conversely, no American power center, bureaucratic or political, is lobbying to increase our force numbers.

Background Essay

Americanism In Afghanistan? A Flawed Design

by Hy Rothstein, John Arquillavia Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

Since the war in Afghanistan began in late 2001, three successive presidential administrations have claimed that the Taliban are on the verge of collapse, the Afghan military is close to securing the country, and Afghan leaders in Kabul are just one step away from providing legitimate governance. 

Related Commentary

U.S. Aid to Afghanistan Remains Critical

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

Abandonment of Afghanistan at this time would be highly inadvisable because of the inordinate risks of abetting Islamic extremism and generating higher outflows of narcotics and people. The strategy of 2013-2017, in which small numbers of American troops advised Afghan forces and conducted raids, prevented the Kabul government from falling, but it failed to prevent insurgents from retaking much of the country. Military setbacks heightened infighting among Afghan elites and impeded the development of a viable national government.

Related Commentary

Afghanistan: No Choice but to Remain

by Thomas Donnellyvia Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

Quite unlike Great Britain or the Soviet Union, the United States has never had a coherent strategy for its engagement in Afghanistan. No amount of military operational acumen or diplomatic experience can make up for that deficiency; it hardly matters what we do if we have no idea why we’re doing it.

Related Commentary

Our Long Last Stand in Afghanistan

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Monday, February 26, 2018

Approved by the president in August, we have a “new” plan in Afghanistan. It will increase the U.S. troop strength to approximately 14,000 service members. Those 14,000 troops will be expected to achieve what 140,000 U.S. and allied troops could not achieve when the Taliban was weaker, al-Qaeda lay broken, and ISIS did not exist.

Featured Commentary

Cornstalks, Calvinball, And The Bridges At Toko Ri: Rightsizing The U.S. Navy

by Admiral James O. Ellis Jr. via Strategika
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The main street of Washington, Georgia, is called Toombs Avenue in honor of the Georgia senator and Civil War general who was born nearby. In promoting the South’s secession as the war approached, Toombs reportedly claimed, “We can beat those Yankees with cornstalks!”

Background Essay

The Sinews Of Empire

by Seth Cropseyvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Modern scholars of politics revel in their complex descriptions of state action. Rather than oversimplifying and reducing the state to a unitary body, they separate its internal components and assess each of their relative strengths. There’s something to this.

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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.