Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

Explore Research

Filter By:




Enter comma-separated ID numbers for authors

Support the Hoover Institution

Join the Hoover Institution's community of supporters in advancing ideas defining a free society.

Support Hoover

Barack Obama

Kori Schake on the John Batchelor Show (31:55)

interview with Kori Schakevia John Batchelor Show
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Research Fellow Kori Schake discusses the fight against ISIS on the John Batchelor Show.

Global Puzzle Pieces
Analysis and Commentary

The Perils of Limiting Our Wars

by Kori Schakevia War on the Rocks
Thursday, October 16, 2014

President Obama has been vague about many aspects of this most recent American involvement in the Middle East, but he has been absolutely clear about one thing: only the military forces of the countries under siege by the Islamic State can defeat the Islamic State. Numerous supporters of the president’s strategy keep repeating this mantra.  When did we start believing that?


Victor Davis Hanson on Opinion Journal

interview with Victor Davis Hansonvia Opinion Journal (Wall Street Journal)
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Senior Fellow Victor Davis Hanson discusses why the President’s foreign policy has failed and the next President's challenges on Opinion Journal.

White House at night
Analysis and Commentary

How to Squander Home-Field Advantage

by Kori Schakevia Foreign Policy
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This is what our coalition has come to. The Obama White House is anonymously criticizing the government of Turkey for failing to support our war effort: "This isn't how a NATO ally acts while hell is unfolding a stone's throw from their border."

Poster Collection, IQ 2, Hoover Institution Archives.
Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Strategika: “The Quest for a Caliphate” with Edward Luttwak

by Edward N. Luttwak via Strategika
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What historical trends inform ISIS’s pursuit of a caliphate? And what do they mean for the future of Islamism?

an image
Analysis and Commentary

Contentions Obama vs. the Generals

by Max Bootvia Commentary
Friday, September 19, 2014

I have been writing in recent days that President Obama’s halfhearted strategy to battle ISIS–authorizing only a few air strikes and ruling out “boots on the ground”–may degrade the group but will not destroy it. A more robust effort is needed, I believe, to confront this cancer growing in the Middle East.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

World at War

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Obama administration’s disastrous foreign policy has led to the rise of a new, more brutal generation of radical Islamists.  

Cairo Punch 19, Hoover Institution Library.
Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Strategika: “How to Defeat ISIS” with Peter Mansoor

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How do we stop the next great terrorist threat?

Featured Commentary

Military Means for Political Ends in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

by Kori Schakevia Strategika
Monday, September 1, 2014

There are many military solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the problem is that none of them are particularly good outcomes. In fact, they are so draconian as to admit the proposition that there is no practical or sustainable solution that is solely military. That, however, is the case for most wars. Any war that stops short of killing every single member of the opposing society accepts a political solution.

Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

Just the Start of an Age-Old Conflict?

by Andrew Robertsvia Strategika
Monday, September 1, 2014

In a fascinating appendix to his history of guerilla warfare, Invisible Armies, the military historian Max Boot displays an extraordinarily comprehensive database of the 443 military insurgencies that have taken place globally since 1775. The earliest of these that is still ongoing is the Kachi and Karen tribes’ struggle against Burma, which started in 1948. Second comes the FARC/ELN/EPL/M-19 narco-insurgency against the government of Colombia, which started in 1963.


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
Visiting Fellow
Research Fellow

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.