• Articles,  The Hill

    Averting war in 2020

    In the first week of the new decade, we face another potential war in the Middle East. With last Friday’s early morning strike killing General Qassem Soleimani, the ruthlessly charismatic chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, we have entered uncharted waters. While on first blush I supported the strike since then I have felt considerable unease, wondering if we are ready to bear the brunt of inevitable “laws of unintended consequences.”

  • Articles,  Publications,  The Hill

    Why NATO is worth preserving for US, Europe — and even Russia

    © Getty Images President Donald Trump is in London today for a short summit tomorrow with fellow leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Auspiciously it lands on the 70th anniversary year of NATO’s founding in the tense early days of the Cold War where it — along with the Marshall Plan — signaled a deep and long-term American commitment to Europe’s democracy-based freedom and stability. This investment allowed fellow democracies and peaceful nations to safely evolve, creating a global environment where U.S. interests and businesses could flourish. The summit comes at a pivotal time — accentuated by French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent declaration that the alliance was “brain-dead” — where the United…

  • Articles,  Blog,  Publications,  Washington Post

    Alexander Vindman: Soviet emigre and decorated U.S. Army officer wanted to be as American as can be. Now the president questions his motives.

    By Marc Fisher November 8, 2019 at 4:31 p.m. EST His father gave up everything to escape from communism, an overbearing government, anti-Semitism and the painfully narrowed opportunities that Jews faced in the Soviet Union. Alexander Vindman grew up in Brooklyn, determined to be as American as can be. Now Vindman is suddenly a crucial figure in a controversy that could lead to the impeachment of President Trump — hailed by many of Trump’s critics as a patriotic truth-teller yet dismissed by the president and some of his allies as a disloyal tattler who is somehow not fully American. Vindman and his identical twin, Yevgeny, were not quite 4 when they landed…

  • Articles,  New York Times,  Publications

    Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and the Questioning of an American Jew’s Patriotism

    One June evening in 2013, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the time, welcomed his guests from the GRU (Russian military intelligence) for a dinner in the American embassy compound in Moscow. General Igor Sergun, head of the GRU, arrived with two of his generals and an interpreter at the embassy home of Army brigadier general Peter Zwack, who was the American defense attaché. That night, Russian and American military intelligence officers, who had long been suspicious of one another, tried to put a good face on things. At the time, the Obama administration’s initiative to “reset” relations with Russia was floundering. Pro-democracy protests in Moscow had President…

  • Articles,  INSS

    Russian Challenges from Now into the Next Generation: A Geostrategic Primer

    U.S. and Western relations with Russia remain challenged as Russia increasingly reasserts itself on the global stage. Russia remains driven by a worldview based on existential threats—real, perceived, and contrived. As a vast, 11-time zone Eurasian nation with major demographic and economic challenges, Russia faces multiple security dilemmas internally and along its vulnerable and expansive borders. Exhibiting a reactive xenophobia stemming from a long history of destructive war and invasion along most of its borders, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and perceived Western slights, Russia increasingly threatens others and lashes outward. However, time is not on Russia’s side, as it has…

  • Articles,  The Hill

    Pearl Harbor and the fallacy of inevitable war: The Thucydides trap

    More than 2,500 years ago, Greek historian Thucydides summed up the origin of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) in a single sentence: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this inspired in Sparta that made war inevitable.” I contemplated that last word — inevitable — during a recent visit to the Arizona battleship memorial at Pearl Harbor.