Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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Analysis and Commentary

Prestige and Power in Statecraft

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Friday, October 4, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Syria Postmortem

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Thursday, September 19, 2013

I think the so-called Syrian crisis is working out as most anticipated: 1) In about a year or so Assad and Putin will announce that they “think” they might have in theory rounded up a lot of the WMD, and will soon make plans to turn it over to “authorities,” subject to further negotiations. 2) John Kerry will periodically announce that “his” plan has worked and that Assad still cannot kill with WMD any of those he kills by other means, as Obama adds that Putin still “owns” the crisis and that the U.S. keeps all options on the table. 3) Assad will stay in power, given his own ability to use Russian weapons to stalemate the insurgents, who increasingly become even more unsympathetic and up the profile of Islamist groups in their midst. We may see 200,000 total casualties, to the extent they are reported, by this time next year. 4) Europe and the U.N. will decide that they really don’t much care what Assad or his enemies do. 5) Most in the region will still argue over who is the new outside arbiter, a militarily and economically stagnant Russia under a canny and audacious authoritarian, or a once overwhelmingly strong U.S. led by Hamlet. 6) Iran will follow the Assad model—welcoming Russian support, and, like Assad, swearing off any intention to ever use WMD, as it requests new rounds of negotiations, and its leaders give TV interviews to showcase their new moderate and engaged attitude. 7) Obama will reference “Bush” and “Iraq” if ever asked about what’s up in Syria. 8) The American public will have a vague idea that about a year earlier something happened sometime to someone in Syria, but what and when and where and why they are not quite sure. 9) A periodic op-ed in the New York Times will deplore the ongoing violence in Syria. 10) Ignore the above if Assad is stupid enough to use WMD yet one more time just to embarrass further the U.S.; the pressure on Obama would be such that he really would have to order an unbelievably small shot across the Syrian bow.

Analysis and Commentary

In Support of Congressional Authorization on Syria

by Kori Schakevia Shadow Government (Foreign Policy)
Thursday, September 5, 2013

Barack Obama's campaign team is out in full force doing what the U.S. president himself is giving only passing attention to: building the case for a limited military strike on targets only symbolically related to chemical weapons and calibrated to have no effect on the brutal civil war grinding on and producing ever more radical rebels who are consolidating power in swaths of Syria.

Analysis and Commentary

Syria in Historical Context

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Thursday, September 5, 2013

What lessons does the past have for President Obama’s policy?

In the News

Victor Davis Hanson on the ‘Savior Generals’

with Victor Davis Hansonvia FrontPage Mag.com
Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Revealing the shared traits of the great men who turned around lost battles.

Analysis and Commentary

Obama Bets Against Human Nature — and Usually Loses

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Works and Days
Monday, August 19, 2013

There are many ways to learn about the bleaker aspects of human nature. One would be to run a pizza shop, or regularly to have to clean a public restroom. Perhaps giving close attention to the text o

Analysis and Commentary

Epitaph for a Foreign Policy

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage Magazine
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The disaster of liberal ideology put into practice.

Analysis and Commentary

Exploiting Obama's Foreign Policy Retreat

by Josef Joffevia Wall Street Journal
Monday, August 5, 2013

'We are extremely disappointed," the White House press secretary said after Moscow granted asylum to fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden. A nice understatement.

Analysis and Commentary

Intervention in Syria Is a Very Bad Idea

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Corner (National Review Online)
Monday, June 17, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

A Strategy for Intervention in Syria: Help the Refugees

by Kori Schakevia Guardian (UK)
Friday, May 31, 2013

Pages

Chair
Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow
Member
Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia
Research Fellow
Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow
Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Milbank Family Senior Fellow
Distinguished Visiting 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
Research Fellow
Contributor
Research Fellow / National Security Affairs Fellow 2008-2009

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.