How do Ukrainians assess the performance and prospects of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, now five months in office, as he tackles the country’s two largest challenges: resolving the war with Russia and implementing economic and anti-corruption reforms? In two words: cautious optimism.
For more than five years, Russian forces and their proxies have waged a bloody war against Ukrainian forces in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. The conflict has claimed more than 13,000 lives, driven almost two million people from their homes, and caused immense material damage. France and Germany have together sought to broker peace but failed to produce a durable cease-fire—let alone a political settlement....
Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter Reflects on Government and Tech and Discusses Why Young People Should Pursue a Career in Public Service
Two former Department of Defense (DoD) officials shared the stage at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), where they discussed the decision to remove U.S. troops from northern Syria, women in the military, and the importance of public service.
Congress has long weighed sanctions as a tool to block the Nord Stream II gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. Unfortunately, it has mulled the question too long, and time has run out. With some 85% of the pipeline already laid, new congressional sanctions aimed at companies participating in the pipeline’s construction will not stop it. Instead, they will become a new bone of contention between the United States and Europe.
Order from Chaos: Five months into Ukrainian President Zelenskiy’s term, there are reasons for optimism and caution
Following the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the decision by President Donald Trump to remove U.S. troops from northern Syria, there are many questions surrounding the future of the region, which is controlled in part by Al-Qaeda-affiliated extremists, former Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk told Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Director Michael McFaul on the World Class podcast.
U.S.-Turkish relations have plunged to a new nadir. In the past month, a senior Republican senator has suggested suspending Turkey’s membership in the NATO alliance, while the secretary of state implied a readiness to use military force against America’s wayward ally.
In these circumstances, U.S. nuclear weapons have no business in Turkey. It is time to bring them home.
The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University is pleased to announce that Rose Gottemoeller has been appointed the next Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecturer. She will spend the next three years at Stanford working with FSI’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and will simultaneously be a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Joe Biden’s Former National Security Advisor Explains What Actually Happened Between the Former Vice President and Ukraine
When Colin Kahl came on board as Vice President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor in 2014, the situation in Ukraine was one of a few “crisis issues” that Biden and his staff were tasked with ameliorating by former President Barack Obama, Kahl told Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) Director Michael McFaul on the World Class podcast.
Although the first in-person meeting between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on September 25 at the United Nations General Assembly looked like a “normal first meeting,” the question of whether Trump was pushing Zelensky during a July 25 phone call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden remains, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer told Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) Director Michael McFaul on the World Class podcast.
Debak Das, CISAC’s MacArthur Nuclear Security Pre-doctoral Fellow, and his roundtable contributors examine the rising tensions between Pakistan and India and look at what the future might hold for the region. “Political relations in South Asia have hit rough weather,” writes Das. “So where does the nuclear relationship between India and Pakistan stand? Where do the key threats to peace in the region come from?”
North Korea currently has only one publicly known uranium mine—the Pyongsăn uranium mining and milling complex—that serves as a first step in the country’s pathway towards nuclear weapons.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty came to an end in August. The United States and Russia no longer are barred from developing and deploying land-based, intermediate-range missiles, and the Pentagon apparently aims to deploy such missiles in Europe and Asia.
Twice in the past 14 years, a dispute between Ukraine and Russia has led Russia to cut off natural gas flows to Ukraine and Europe. The stage is being set for another cut-off in January. The European Union wants to ensure that gas continues to flow, so EU officials will attempt at a mid-September meeting to broker an agreement. But they face a difficult slog.
THE LOOMING CONFLICT
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy may meet President Donald Trump this weekend in Warsaw and is expected to travel to the United States later in the fall. This gives Mr. Zelenskyy the opportunity to reinforce Kyiv’s relationship with the United States. It also offers the opportunity to try to establish a connection to Mr. Trump, something that has proven elusive for most foreign leaders. Here are a few suggestions for Mr. Zelenskyy on dealing with the American president.
Brett McGurk, the former Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, has had a busy summer. Between working on a new book contract, travelling to international security conferences on two continents and prepping for his upcoming class — “Presidential Decision-Making in Wartime” — which will be taught this fall at Stanford, the Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Center for International Security and Cooperation sat down with the Freeman Spogli Institute to reflect on what he’s learned about Middle Eastern politics this summer.