Russia’s actions in Crimea, eastern Ukraine, and Syria have demonstrated the reemergence of the Russian military as one of the Kremlin’s most effective foreign policy tools. The success of these campaigns comes as a result of major military reform and modernization efforts that began in 2008. What changes led to today’s revamped Russian military? How will the Kremlin use its modernized force as a geopolitical tool? And does Russia’s new military pose a threat to the West?
Ahead of the NATO Warsaw summit in July, the Center on Global Interests hosted a discussion with Michael Kofman, a leading expert on Russia’s military, and Nikolas Gvosdev, Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College, on the details of Russian military capabilities and how the West should respond. Michael Purcell, Director of Operations at CGI and former Marine officer, moderated the discussion.
The event marked the release of a new CGI report – a net assessment of Russia’s military – co-authored by Michael Kofman and Russian military analyst Alexander Golts.
About the Speakers
Nikolas Gvosdev is Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He was formerly the Editor of The National Interest magazine and a Senior Fellow at The Nixon Center in Washington, D.C. Gvosdev received his doctorate from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship. A frequent commentator on Russian and Eurasian affairs, his work has appeared in such outlets as Foreign Affairs, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Orbis, and he has appeared as a commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and BBC.
Michael Kofman is a Global Fellow at the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Kofman spent years managing professional military education programs and military to military engagements for senior officers at National Defense University. There he served as a subject matter expert and adviser to military and government officials on issues in Russia/Eurasia. He has represented the Department of Defense in a number of track one and track two efforts with Russia and Pakistan, along with strategic dialogues and conferences with experts in the field. His prior experience includes working at the U.S. Institute of Peace, HSBC Bank, and The Diplomatic Courier. He has published and co-authored articles on security issues in Russia, Central Asia and Eurasia, along with numerous analyses for the US government. Mr.Kofman holds a M.A. in International Security from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from Northeastern University.
Michael Purcell served over 20 years with the US Marines as an armor officer, Eurasian foreign area officer, and strategic planner in a variety of command staff assignments. He has extensive political-military experience in the former Soviet space and participated in a variety of military operations abroad. He holds an advanced degree from the US Naval Postgraduate School and a certificate in economics from the Moscow Higher School of Economics.