Journal of Strategic Studies

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Journal of Strategic Studies

The Journal of Strategic Studies (ISSN 0140-2390), was first published in 1978. It is published six times annually by Routledge publishers and is a military and diplomatic strategy journal. The journal's founding editor was John Gooch from the University of Leeds.


The defining feature of the journal is its 'commitment to multi-disciplinary approaches to the study of war.' The journal focuses on two main topics, military and strategic studies and politics and international relations.

The journal is said to offer its diverse readership 'a wide range of review essays, special issues and special sections.' With recent editions focusing on Chinese defense innovation, sea power in the Asia-Pacific region, and peacekeeping in Africa. [1]


The Journal orients potential readers towards its aims and objectives as follows:

Over the last twenty years, the reshaping of the world politics and the development of innovative military technologies has placed a huge question mark beside the efficacy of force in contemporary statecraft. Consequently, the field of strategic studies has never been of greater significance than it is today. Since the appearance of the first issue in 1978, The Journal of Strategic Studies has taken a lead in promoting fresh thinking in the field among practitioners and academics alike. The defining feature of The Journal of Strategic Studies is its commitment to multi-disciplinary approach. The editors welcome articles that challenge our historical understanding of man's efforts to achieve political ends through the application of military and diplomatic means; articles on contemporary security and theoretical controversies of enduring value; and of course articles that explicitly combine the historical and theoretical approaches to the study of modern warfare, defence policy and modern strategy.

The Journal offers a free sample, Avi Kober's (2008) 'The Israel defense forces in the Second Lebanon War: Why the poor performance?' [1] Kober is from the Department of Political Studies and, BESA Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. The abstract for the essay is this:

Whereas in the past, Israeli successes on the battlefield compensated for deterrence and/or early warning failures, in the Second Lebanon War serious problems in Israeli military capabilities and conduct of war were exposed. The article offers explanations for the poor performance of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF): A late perception that it was war; adherence to post-heroic warfare under circumstances that rather required a different approach; the erosion of the IDF's fighting standards due to policing missions which had become its main task since the outbreak of the first Intifada in 1987; false Revolution in Military Affairs-inspired concepts; the adoption of the notion of controlling instead of capturing territory; a centralized logistic system; poor generalship; a hesitant and inexperienced political leadership, and IDF dominance in decisions on military matters.

Potential readers are also offered Gil Friedman's (2008) 'Strategic deficiencies in national liberation struggles: The case of fatah in the al-Aqsa Intifada.'[1] Friedman is from the Department of Political Science, Tel Aviv University, the abstract reads:

This study reports and explains a cluster of deviations from the basic rational criteria of national liberation strategy exhibited by 'inside' West Bank Fatah leaders during the al-Aqsa uprising, based on an analysis of public statements of three such leaders. The leaders fail to recognize that their attempt to deter Israeli offensives by threatening to reciprocate them with attacks inside the Green Line is sabotaged by Islamists independently attacking inside the Green Line; inadequately attend to the distinct possibility that attacks within the Green Line increase Israeli opposition to desired concessions on refugees and territory; and appear to occasionally get swept-up in the sentiment that reciprocating Israeli aggression is inherently just. The study elaborates and examines the possible roles in these strategic deficiencies of leader strategic desperation; rage and indignation; and the political need to satisfy widespread popular militancy. The study's logic complements existing asymmetric conflict research and can inform research beyond the Palestinian-Israeli case.

The study evaluates the statements on strategy by three 'inside' Fatah leaders of the West Bank, Marwan Barghouti, Hussam Khader, and Hussein al-Sheikh.

The journal also offers Gil-li Vardi's (2008) 'Pounding Their Feet': Israeli Military Culture as Reflected in Early IDF Combat History.[1] The abstract here is:

How did the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) organisational and military culture shape their understanding of security threats, perceptions of warfare, and instinctive responses to security challenges? Israel's early military history is marked by the stubborn persistence of accepted patterns of thought and action. In the first twenty years of its existence, the IDF habitually came to sacrifice both political and military long-term and medium-term considerations in favour of the superficial, short-term satisfaction of its drive for action. The Israeli Army as an institution separated military actions from their political implications, and all too often, granted itself freedom of action at all levels of command. That myopic pattern led to recurring raids and minor operations during the 1950s, and contributed notably to the outbreak of the Six-Day War in 1967.

Others include: The Iraq Survey Group: From Weapons of Mass Destruction to Counterinsurgency by Richard J. Shuster a Defense Intelligence Agency, Historical Research Office, Washington, DC [1] and 'Understanding Proto-Insurgencies', by Daniel Byman a Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Washington, DC.[1]

Editorial Board

The editors board listed below is from December 2013.

Founding Editor


  • Thomas G Mahnken - The Johns Hopkins University: Served as acting director of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Strategic Studies Program 2003–04; teaches strategy at the U.S. Naval War College; has held positions in the government and the private sector, including in the secretary of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment; was an analyst for the Gulf War Air Power Survey (1991–93); is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Society for Military History and the U.S. Naval Institute; serves as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve; Ph.D., international relations, SAIS. [2]

Acting US Editor:

  • Timothy D. Hoyt - United States Naval War College: Hoyt has designed and coordinated political-military simulations for universities, the Department of Defense and the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He has written on a variety of subjects, including the diffusion of military technologies and practices, the proliferation of conventional and unconventional weapons, regional security in the Middle East and South Asia and the evolution of strategy and arms production in the developing world.[3]

Reviews Editors:

Previous Review Editor

  • Emily Goldman - University of California at Davis: Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of California, Davis, 1995-present, Co-Director, Joint Center for International and Security Studies, University of California, Davis and Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, 1993-present, Director, International Relations Program, University of California, Davis, 1994-2000. Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of California, Davis, 1989-95. Visiting Professor, Department of National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval War College, 1991-92.[4]

Editorial Board 2014

  • Ted Galen Carpenter – vice president for defense and foreign-policy studies at the Cato Institute, the author of eight books on international affairs, including Smart Power: Toward a Prudent Foreign Policy for America (2008). He is also a contributing editor to The National Interest.[5]
  • Eliot A. Cohen - Johns Hopkins University: Cohen was an advocate of the war against Iraq:

After Afghanistan, what? Iraq is the big prize... One important element will be the use of the Iraqi National Congress to help foster the collapse of the regime, and to provide a replacement for it. The INC, which has received bad, and in some cases malicious treatment, from the State Department and intelligence community over the years, may not be able to do the job with U.S. air support alone. [6]

This is taken from an article by Cohen in the Wall Street Journal based on reports from the International Institute for Strategic Studies. It also advanced Cohen's formulation of "9/11 rules": These mean that we help our friends, punish those who impede us, and annihilate those who attack us. [7] Cohen is also the subject of a 'Right Web' profile which seeks to evaluate his contribution to jurisprudence, theology, pedagogy and brocard alongside his verisimilitude. [8]

  • Aaron L. Friedberg - Princeton University: Friedberg, who was selected as the first scholar to occupy the Kissinger Chair, is Professor of Politics and International Affairs and Director of the Research Program in International Security at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. He has taught at Princeton since 1987, after receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard. He is the author of two books, both published by the Princeton University Press, The Weary Titan: Britain and the Experience of Relative Decline 1895-1905 (1988) and In the Shadow of the Garrison State: America’s Anti-Statism and its Cold War Grand Strategy (2000). He served from 2003 to 2005 in the office of the Vice President of the United States as deputy assistant for national-security. He was one of the signatories of the September 20, 2001 letter 'Toward a Comprehensive Strategy' by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).[9]
  • Samuel P. Huntingdon - Harvard University: Huntingdon's Biographical Note at the Department of Government, Harvard University, reads:

Samuel P. Huntington is the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor. He graduated with distinction from Yale at age 18, served in the Army, and then received his Ph.D. from Harvard and started teaching there when he was 23. He has been a member of Harvard’s Department of Government since 1950 (except for a brief period between 1959 and 1962 when he was associate professor of government at Columbia University). He has served as chairman of the Government Department and of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. His principal interests are: national security, strategy, and civil military relations; democratization and political and economic development of less-developed countries; cultural factors in world politics; and American national identity. During 1977 and 1978 he worked at the White House as coordinator of security planning for the National Security Council. He was a founder and coeditor for seven years of the journal Foreign Policy. His principal books include The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (1957); The Common Defense: Strategic Programs in National Politics (1961); Political Order in Changing Societies (1968); American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony (1981); The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (1991); The Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of World Order (1996); and Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity (2004).[10]

Edward Said's obloquy of Huntingdon's, "The Clash of Civilizations?" which appeared in the Summer 1993 issue of Foreign Affairs, titled 'The Clash of Ignorance' and the 22 October 2001 issue of The Nation quotes this extract as a précis of its circumlocution:

"It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future."[11]

  • Rolf Tamnes – Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies

Previous editorial board workers

Circa 2000


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Journal of Strategic Studies Taylor & Francis Online, accessed 25 November 2014
  2. [1]
  3. Timothy D. Hoyt, War In Iraq: Military Strategy, Washington Post, 24 March 2003
  4. Fellowships and Grants Wilson Centre, accessed October 2001
  5. [2] The National Interest, accessed October 2001
  6. Elliot Cohen, [Iraq Can't Resist Us The Gulf War was a cakewalk. The enemy is even weaker now], The Wall Street Journal, 23 December 2001
  7. Review and Outlook Wall Street Journal, accessed October 2001
  8. Eliot Cohen Institute for Policy Studies, accessed 25 November 2014
  9. Project for the New American Century (PNAC). "Lead the World to Victory", accessed 25 November 2014
  10. Faculty Directory Harvard University, accessed 25 November 2014
  11. Edward W. Said, The Clash of Ignorance, The Nation, 22 October 2001