Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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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
Analysis and Commentary

Why Some Wars Are So Savage

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A prominent Syrian rebel commander with the nom de guerre Abu Sakkar recently appeared on YouTube cutting open the chest of a dead government soldier, pulling something out of it—the heart or perhaps a lung—and taking a bite.

Leave Bad Enough Alone

by Edward N. Luttwak via Foreign Policy
Friday, May 24, 2013

The United States should forget about intervening in Syria. Asia's what matters.

an image

How To Lose A War

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, May 9, 2013

Before the United States enters Syria, it should consider the lessons of history.

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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.