Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

ISIS: A Threat?

by Williamson Murrayvia Analysis
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The past suggests that for the short term ISIS does not represent a significant threat to the strategic security of the First World’s homelands. A few returnees may slip though the intelligence net, but it is unlikely that they will cause anything other than local mayhem. Such acts may cause similar overreactions among the security fanatics, as was the case after 9/11, and undoubtedly will excite the media enormously; but the damage they might inflict will remain limited.

Poster Collection, UK 3307, Hoover Institution Archives.
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American Sniper, American Marines, Iraqi Army

by Max Bootvia Military History in the News
Monday, February 2, 2015

Clint Eastwood’s film American Sniper has become a popular if controversial sensation. Critics accuse it of glamorizing Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, while many have rushed to Kyle’s and the movie’s defense. But one aspect of the debate has gone largely unexamined: How historically accurate is the film?

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What Terrorism Could Have in Store for America

by Mark Moyarvia Analysis
Monday, February 2, 2015

The scarcity of significant terrorist attacks in recent years has led Americans to assume that the days of mass casualty attacks are in the past. But history teaches us to beware of the assumption that recent trends foretell the future. Americans are paying insufficient attention to unexpected events in which terrorists inflict serious harm on the United States.

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Why Some Anti-Terrorist Rescues Succeed While Others Fail

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Governments of Europe, the United States, and now Japan—disposing as they do of enormous resources of all kinds and pressured as they are by their own populations—having failed to rescue their citizens held by the Islamic State that disposes of few resources of any kind, raises the question of what it is that that shields the latter and debilitates the former.

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Traditional Naval Bases Still Matter

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The importance of naval bases—hence the need to protect them—and the extraordinary efforts required to make up for bases lost, ranks high among the many lessons of which the month of January should remind persons concerned with America’s military viability.

Analysis and Commentary

Remembering The Last Lion

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Tribune Media Services
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fifty years ago this Saturday, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill died at age 90.

Excerpt of Poster Collection, INT 74.12, Hoover Institution Archives.
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Who Is Bargaining With Whom?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Friday, January 16, 2015

In mid-January 2015, as we may be entering a more intense phase of the civilizational conflict that has characterized our century, Henry Kissinger’s capstone book, World Order, perpetuates a legacy of strategic thought centered on resolving major conflicts through grand bargains pursued through complex signals.

Poster Collection, INT 338, Hoover Institution Archives.
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Time of The Assassins, Or of The Jackals?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The first week of January 2015’s biggest news—three Muslim jihadists murdering a dozen journalists in their Paris office, another killing four patrons in a nearby Kosher market, and the reactions to these events—leads us to ask what history may teach us about such people and how we may rid ourselves of them.

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Strategika–“Understanding the Threat from Radical Islam” with Joshua Muravchik

with Joshua Muravchik via Strategika
Friday, January 9, 2015

Why combating terrorism requires moral clarity.

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Strategika–“Undermining the Islamist Ideology” with Col. Joseph Felter

interview with Dr. Joseph Felter via Strategika
Friday, January 9, 2015

How the West can combat the root causes of terrorism.

Pages

Chair
Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow
Member
Payson J. Treat 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

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.