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

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

Ending America’s Civil War, And Restarting It

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Military History in the News
Thursday, July 7, 2016

Between June 29 and July 4, 1913, some 53,000 Union and Confederate veterans of the Civil War gathered at Gettysburg, where many had shot and bayonetted each other fifty years earlier. They embraced—often tearfully—dressed in Blue and Gray, surrounded by the flags under which each side had fought. President Woodrow Wilson told them, “We have found one another again as brothers and comrades in arms, enemies no longer, generous friends rather, our battles long past, the quarrel forgotten—except that we shall not forget the splendid valor.”

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The Ubiquity Of Terrorism

by Max Bootvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Last December, Donald Trump roiled the presidential race by calling for a “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

America In Free Fall

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, June 16, 2016

This election year has been defined by social unrest on race, immigration, campus politics, and countless other issues.

Period Military History

This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War History, by T. R. Fehrenbach

by Barry Strauss via Classics of Military History
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A journalist rather than an academic, Fehrenbach (1925-2013) wrote larger-than-life history of a heroic bent. He is remembered for the bestselling Lone Star: A History of Texas and Texans (1968), whose emphasis on gun-slinging white men now makes it politically incorrect. But he also wrote the sad and beautiful Comanches: The Destruction of a People (1974), which shows great admiration for Native Americans. This Kind of War originally appeared in 1963 with the subtitle of A Study in Unpreparedness and was republished in a new edition in 1994.

Autobiography & MemoirAnalysis and Commentary

Anabasis, by Xenophon

by Barry Strauss via Classics of Military History
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Anabasis is a classic story of an army’s retreat from disaster, told by the man who was thrust into the role of saving it. Anabasis means “march inland from the coast,” which is a paradoxical title for a book that is mostly about a march to the coast from inland. But the author, Xenophon, an Athenian, had a taste for irony, borrowed from his teacher, the great philosopher Socrates.

Battle History

Decision at Trafalgar: The Story of the Greatest British Naval Battle of the Age of Nelson, by Dudley Pope

by Barry Strauss via Classics of Military History
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dudley Pope is best known as a novelist who wrote a well-loved series of books about a fictional Lord Nicholas Ramage, an officer in His Majesty’s Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. Pope was also a journalist, writing on naval defense, and he knew the sea. A survivor of a torpedoed merchant ship in World War II, he later lived for over 20 years on a yacht in the Caribbean.

Autobiography & Memoir

The Sergeant in the Snow, by Mario Rigoni Stern

by Barry Strauss via Classics of Military History
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Rigoni Stern began writing this short, powerful memoir of the Russian front in a German prison camp, where he was interned after refusing to continue serving in Mussolini’s army after the armistice with the allies in September 1943. Earlier he served in an elite Italian mountain fighting unit that saw action on various fronts in World War II: France, Albania, Yugoslavia and, most memorably, Russia. 

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Bread And Mosques

by Max Bootvia Military History in the News
Monday, June 6, 2016

There are some individuals—Donald Trump is now the most prominent—who seem to believe that a “population-centric” counterinsurgency is a waste of time. They don’t see the point of trying to win over the inhabitants and they reject the idea that counterinsurgency is essentially a governance contest. They believe that the way to win is by killing a lot of people. Kill enough, and there won’t be any more insurgents to oppose you.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Russia Poised To Play A Lead Role In Asia Pacific

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Squeezed in Europe by U.S-led sanctions and robust NATO reactions in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea, Russia is now finding itself in a prime position to exploit the unfolding geopolitical dramas stirred up by China in East and Southeast Asia. Moscow has proactively demonstrated its determination to play a leading role in shaping the outcome of the highly explosive regional conflicts, at the expense of Beijing and potentially Washington as well.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

The Hiroshima Question

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Anytime anyone mentions Hiroshima, the word “bomb” becomes an inevitable association. On May 10, the White House dropped another Hiroshima-related bomb on the world through an official announcement: President Barack Obama will “make a historic visit to Hiroshima” on May 27.


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
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
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.