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EssaysBlank Section (Placeholder)Featured

Russia And The World of Islam: Within And Without

by Robert Servicevia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Of all the world's great powers, Russia has the longest and most tangled experience of Islam at home and abroad. Muslims have led or taken part in revolts.  Chechnya is only the latest such rebellion against Russian rule. Tsars, commissars, and now presidents have had to contend with internal difficulties that are aggravated by external Islamic interference. They have also intervened actively in Muslim countries in the "near abroad" and in the Middle East. This makes for danger in world politics.

EssaysBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Countering Islamism In The Middle East

by Dennis Rossvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Countering Islamism requires several elements. First is defining the term and understanding that Islam is one of the world’s great faiths and that Islamism is not a religion but an ideology of power and control.  Second is recognizing that radical Islamists seek to use that ideology to gain control for a violent, exclusionary, and expansionary agenda.  Third is realizing that radical Islamists are both Sunni and Shia.  The Sunnis, in the case of the Islamic State, must be defeated and the idea must be discredited—and only other Sunnis can do that.

International SecurityBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Assad's Lethal Peace Deals

by Mohammed Alaa Ghanemvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ceasefires are often assumed to be a means to peace; but in Syria, the Assad regime has transformed them into a powerful weapon against civilians. This essay describes how Assad's forces have strategically deployed ceasefires to achieve two goals: (1) the starvation and displacement of urban areas, and (2) the massing of otherwise overstretched forces. Through a series of case studies, this essay also charts the evolution of Assad's ceasefires strategy, from the “local ceasefires” that took hold early in the conflict to the current “de-escalation zones.” The essay also highlights impacts on Iranian regional expansion and long-term population displacement and demographic re-engineering. 

EssaysBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Strategy, Grand Strategy, And The Enduring War On Terror

by Hal Brandsvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The United States has now been fighting a global war on terror (GWOT) for nearly two decades, but the threat posed by extremist groups remains. This essay seeks to reconcile the strategic requirement of prosecuting an aggressive campaign against the most dangerous extremist groups with the grand strategic constraints that the United States currently faces. 

EssaysBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The United States In Northeastern Syria

by Fabrice Balanchevia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The presence of the United States in northeastern Syria after the defeat of the Islamic State is justified in the context of the confrontation with Iran and Russia in the Middle East. However, by relying primarily on the YPG (People's Protection Units), an outshoot of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), Washington creates an existential threat to Ankara and pushes Turkey into the arms of enemies of the United States. The inversion of local power to the benefit of the Kurds and the disastrous economic situation strikes the Arab populations, who are turning to Damascus. That calls into question all the calculations made by strategists who are not interested in the deep reality of the territory that must support their actions.

EssaysBlank Section (Placeholder)Featured

The Question Of American Strategy In The Indo-Pacific

by Michael R. Auslinvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

For much of its history, America had little formal strategy for the Pacific. Only with the rise of China and the vital economic role of Asia can one envision a US grand strategy with the Indo-Pacific region at its core. Yet just when Asia has become central to US global strategy, Washington’s influence and power in the region have been significantly challenged. US policy makers must formulate an effective and comprehensive strategy toward Asia that preserves stability and protects American and allied interests while managing a growing strategic competition between Washington and Beijing and the threat of a nuclear-capable North Korea. 

EssaysBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Building Coastal Resilience For Greater US Security

by Alice Hill, Roger-Mark De Souza, Christopher B. Field, Meaghan E. Parker, Katharine J. Machvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Drawing from a series of discussions convened by the Hoover Institution, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, this essay explores the challenges facing our coastal communities in a series of discussions designed to advance US resilience to climate change impacts, strengthen the sustainability and economic security of coastal infrastructure, and enhance national security.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Essays

Internet Platforms: Observations on Speech, Danger, and Money

by Daphne Kellervia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Policymakers increasingly ask Internet platforms like Facebook to “take responsibility” for material posted by their users. Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders seem willing to do so. That is in part a good development. Platforms are uniquely positioned to reduce harmful content online. But deputizing them to police users’ speech in the modern public square can also have serious unintended consequences. This piece reviews existing laws and current pressures to expand intermediaries’ liability for user-generated content. It discusses three ways that poorly designed laws can do damage—to First Amendment-protected online speech, national security, and the economy.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Essays

Strengths Become Vulnerabilities

by Jack Goldsmith, Stuart Russellvia Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

This essay seeks to explain why the United States is struggling to deal with the “soft” cyberoperations that have been so prevalent in recent years: cyberespionage and cybertheft, often followed by strategic publication; information operations and propaganda; and relatively low-level cyber disruptions such as denial-of-service and ransomware attacks. The main explanation for the struggle is that constituent elements of U.S. society—a commitment to free speech, privacy, and the rule of law, innovative technology firms, relatively unregulated markets, and deep digital sophistication—create asymmetric weaknesses that foreign adversaries, especially authoritarian ones, can exploit. We do not claim that the disadvantages of digitalization for the United States outweigh the advantages, but we present reasons for pessimism.

Blank Section (Placeholder)EssaysAnalysis and Commentary

Small Towns, Big Companies: How Surveillance Intermediaries Affect Small And Midsize Law Enforcement Agencies

by Anne Bousteadvia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

This paper explores how efforts by companies to resist government requests for consumer information may disproportionately affect small and mid-sized law enforcement agencies, as small departments face obstacles to using commercially collected information that do not occur in the context of larger departments. Differences between law enforcement agencies that serve large communities and those that serve small communities suggest corresponding differences in their ability to adapt to changes in the process for obtaining data from digital communication companies.  Failing to account for these differences may encourage policies that will only work as expected for large law enforcement agencies.

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