Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group

Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict

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Kori Schake on Global Dispatches

interview with Kori Schakevia Global Dispatches
Monday, November 17, 2014

Research Fellow Kori Schake discusses US foreign policy and her career on Global Dispatches.

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In the News

Book Review: Why We Lost Iraq and Afghanistan

by Mark Moyarvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, November 13, 2014

Was it the fault of the White House or naïve generals who assumed the president would commit forces indefinitely?

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The End of NATO

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The organization faces three existential threats: an Islamist Turkey, an expansionist Russia, and an increasingly agnostic United States. 

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Vietnam, Iraq & Afghanistan: Different or the Same?

by Bing Westvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

From 1965 to 1972 in Vietnam, America fought both a conventional slugfest against North Vietnamese divisions and a counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign against guerrillas. We conducted a COIN campaign in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014, and a COIN campaign in Iraq from 2003 to 2011.

Poster Collection, US 2706, Hoover Institution Archives.
Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

War: Then and Now

by Bing Westvia Military History in the News
Monday, November 10, 2014

Once again, the American public has gotten it right; the results of the midterm elections were a protest against a lack of leadership. Americans expect to improve steadily their standard of living at home and to preserve our influence abroad. At home, eight years of sluggish growth and stagnant wages have irritated and concerned the public. Abroad, America is losing influence.

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

Japan’s Pivotal Position

by Mark Moyarvia Strategika
Monday, November 10, 2014

If underlying geopolitical factors are the overriding cause of the recent decline in relations between China and Japan, then the current trajectory is likely to persist, for there is little reason to believe that those factors will change.

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

The Main Obstacle

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Monday, November 10, 2014

As in previous millennia of history, China’s objective for its periphery—the East Asia/Western Pacific region—is subordination of some kind or degree. Japan, being the only indigenous major power in the region, and allied formally with the United States (Russia having ceased to be an Asian power), is the main obstacle to that desired suzerainty.

Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

Chinese-Japanese Tensions and Its Strategic Logic

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Monday, November 10, 2014

The recent tensions between China and Japan are threatening to bring the world’s top three economies—the United States, China, and Japan—into a major armed confrontation.

Related Commentary

The Trajectory of North Pacific Tensions

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Strategika
Monday, November 10, 2014

Korea is the ever-sharpening focus of the growing tensions between China and Japan because moving Korea out of the security alliance led by the U.S. and Japan is the proximate objective of China’s grand design for the North Pacific.

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War Without Strategy

by Bing Westvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Forty-three percent of voters ranked the economy as the top issue in the 2014 midterm election, versus 15% who cited foreign policy. Yet 62% said they were very concerned about terrorism, the largest percentage polled since 2007, before the war turned around in Iraq. So why is the public both concerned and yet not concerned?



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.