Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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Analysis and Commentary

Illiberal Liberalism

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Analysis and Commentary

The New Inquisition

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Tribune Media Services
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Poster Collection, US 2706, Hoover Institution Archives.
Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and CommentaryRelated Commentary

Provocation in a Time of Uncertainty

by Colonel Eric Shirleyvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

As was widely anticipated, the 2015 defense budget proposal follows the narrative of the postwar drawdown of the U.S. Army. As Secretary of Defense Hagel rightly states, “The world is growing more volatile, more unpredictable, and in some instances more threatening to the United States.” 

Related Commentary

Israel's Worst Enemy

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine Online
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Washington Post reports that some members of Secretary of State John Kerry’s senior staff think it’s time to say “enough” of Kerry’s futile and delusional attempts to broker peace between the Israelis and Arabs and implement the “two-state solution.” That’s a revelation one would think the chief diplomat of the greatest power in history would have experienced decades ago.

Analysis and Commentary

We Don't Understand Our Troops

by Kori Schakevia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Friday, April 4, 2014
Analysis and Commentary

A Failure of Intelligence

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Library of Law and Liberty
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Russian tank rolls outside a former Ukrainian military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean capital Simferopol. Last week, intelligence officials and

Analysis and Commentary

Winners and Losers in the War on Poverty

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Related Commentary

Credible Leadership Should Seek More Than Containment

by Kiron K. Skinnervia Strategika
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

U.S. Cold War presidential directives coalesced around precepts that defense experts and foreign policy elites advocated: Mutual Assured Destruction (having enough nuclear retaliatory power so that the adversary would not risk a first strike); containing Soviet expansionism, especially in key industrial centers; nuclear arms control negotiations at all costs; the policy of linkage—tying U.S.-Soviet negotiations on one front to bilateral progress on other fronts; and preemptive concession making to demonstrate goodwill toward the Soviet Union.

Analysis and Commentary

The Race-Hacks Defend Their Industry

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Friday, March 28, 2014
Analysis and Commentary

Why Calling Out Russia is No Substitute for a Good Missile Defense

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Washington Times
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Politicians who proclaim eagerness to defend Ukraine from Russia but who are not even thinking of protecting the American people from Russia's nuclear-tipped missiles combine "the unbridled tongue and the unready hand" — Theodore Roosevelt's definition of ultimate stupidity in foreign policy.


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.