Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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The Futility of a Beijing-friendly Strategy

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Friday, October 1, 2021

One unique aspect of America’s strategic competition with China is the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) weaponization of all domains of U.S.-China bilateral interactions. From Mao to Xi, all dealings with the U.S., ranging from trade, supply chain, cultural exchange, diplomatic routines, to academic and scientific research, engineering innovation, and defense technology development, have been viewed as nothing but matters of “struggle,” an essential Leninist strategy that centers on the uncompromising nature of the inner contradictions between socialism and capitalism.

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The Lin Biao Incident And The People’s Liberation Army Of Purges

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A hallmark of communist military culture is the ruthless purge of the most senior commanders who are considered able but simultaneously threatening to the supreme leader. During the Great Purge of the 1930s, Stalin purged three of his five Red Army marshals, thirteen of his fifteen army commanders, and eight of his nine admirals.

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Angelo M. Codevilla, 1943-2021

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Military History in the News
Thursday, September 23, 2021

We of the Hoover Military History Working Group (MHWG) were stunned by the sudden loss of our colleague Angelo Codevilla, who was a charter member of the group, and a frequent incisive contributor to our online journal Strategika. In the past eight years, no one has better represented the aspirations of the Hoover group than Angelo (who had years earlier been a Hoover senior research fellow). He was deeply learned, candid, unapologetic, often controversial, and drew on an encyclopedic array of historical, literary, and cultural knowledge.

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China’s Quagmire With Vietnam

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

China watchers’ eyes are trained on the Taiwan Strait, a body of water just eighty miles wide at its narrowest juncture, which could be the flashpoint of the next great-power war. China’s General Secretary, Xi Jinping, has made his intention to “reunify” mainland China with the island nation, if necessary by force.

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Climate Change And Conflict

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Monday, August 30, 2021

On August 9, the UN-appointed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a sobering report on the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, noting that substantial effects of a 1.1-degree Celsius rise in global temperature since the 19th century are already apparent—as anyone suffering through floods in Europe, wildfires in California, record-breaking heat, or increasing numbers of extreme weather events could probably attest.

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Kabul – Saigon 1975, Redux

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Monday, August 16, 2021

In the iconic movie Apocalypse Now, the protagonist, Captain Benjamin L. Willard (played by Martin Sheen), wakes up in a hotel nursing a massive hangover. “Saigon,” he grumbles. “Shit. Still in Saigon.” Forgive Americans for waking up today with a massive twenty-year hangover and muttering similar sentiments. Kabul has fallen, and the Taliban now rule Afghanistan.

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Naval Competition In The Indian Ocean

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The shipyards of the Indo-Pacific region have been busy of late. Built at the Cochin shipyard in Kochi, India, the carrier INS Vikrant has embarked on sea trials. After its work up to fully operational status, the Vikrant will join the INS Vikramaditya, commissioned in 2013.

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The Uncertain Fate Of America’s Allies

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that the United States would remove all forces from Afghanistan by the end of August put at risk the lives of those Afghans who served with U.S. forces during two decades of conflict. Without American and NATO airpower, intelligence, and advisors, the Afghan National Security Forces are quickly losing ground to a surging Taliban.

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What Would Bismarck Think?

by Barry Straussvia Military History in the News
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), dubbed the “Iron Chancellor,” was one of modern history’s masters of Realpolitik. As Prussia’s minister-president, he executed the “blood and iron” war policies that resulted in 1871 in Germany’s long-desired unification.

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Conflict In The Eastern Mediterranean

by Barry Straussvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, July 21, 2021

This is a story of the sea. It comes from the place where sea stories began, the Mediterranean realm of Homer’s Odyssey and of the naval battles of Salamis and Actium. It’s a story of pluck and ingenuity but also of the dramatic changes that technology is bringing to war, from the skies above to the seas below.


Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow
Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia
Research Fellow
Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow
Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Research Fellow / National Security Affairs Fellow 2008-2009
Milbank Family Senior Fellow
Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Davies Family Distinguished Fellow
Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow
Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Fellow
Robert and Marion Oster Distinguished Military Fellow
W. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow
Corliss Page Dean Visiting Fellow
Research Fellow
Robert Alexander Mercer Visting Fellow

The Last King Of America: The Misunderstood Reign Of George III

Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Hauck Auditorium | Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The verdict of history has been grossly unfair to George III, the reigning king of England during Americas War of Independence, argued Andrew Roberts, renowned British historian and Roger and Martha Mertz Visiting Fellow, during a lecture in the Hoover Institutions Hauck Auditorium on Tuesday, December 1.

In his latest book, The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III, Roberts prompts readers to reassess the legacy of Great Britains longest-serving king. Here is a recap of the discussion with Roberts which was hosted by Senior Fellow, Victor Davis Hanson, and the Hoover Institution's Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict.


Military History Workshop Explores Great Power Rivalries

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Great power rivalries are replacing the post-Cold War global order, with some nations rising while others are declining, according to Hoover Institution military historians.

From left to right: Bing West, Peter Mansoor, Ralph Peters, Victor Davis Hanson

Military History Working Group meets at Hoover

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict met for a workshop during October 7 and 8 to chart its long-term objectives and review its new online journal, Strategika.


The Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict examines how knowledge of past military operations can influence contemporary public policy decisions concerning current conflicts. 

As the very name of Hoover Institution attests, military history lies at the very core of our dedication to the study of "War, Revolution, and Peace." Indeed, the precise mission statement of the Hoover Institution includes the following promise: "The overall mission of this Institution is, from its records, to recall the voice of experience against the making of war, and by the study of these records and their publication, to recall man's endeavors to make and preserve peace, and to sustain for America the safeguards of the American way of life." From its origins as a library and archive, the Hoover Institution has evolved into one of the foremost research centers in the world for policy formation and pragmatic analysis. It is with this tradition in mind, that the "Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict" has set its agenda—reaffirming 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. By bringing together a diverse group of distinguished military historians, security analysts, and military veterans and practitioners, the working group seeks to examine the conflicts of the past as critical lessons for the present.

Victor Davis Hanson on War in the Contemporary World — WATCH

The careful study of military history offers a way of analyzing modern war and peace that is often underappreciated in this age of technological determinism. Yet the result leads to a more in-depth and dispassionate understanding of contemporary wars, one that explains how particular military successes and failures of the past can be often germane, sometimes misunderstood, or occasionally irrelevant in the context of the present.

The working group is chaired by Victor Davis Hanson with counsel from Bruce S. Thornton and David L. Berkey, along with collaboration form the group’s distinguished scholars, military historians, analysts, journalists, and military officers.