Nikolas Gvosdev

Nikolas Gvosdev is a professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College, a senior editor at The National Interest, and a blogger at Ethics & International Affairs. The views expressed are his own.

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Nikolas Gvosdev's Latest Posts

Afghanistan and the Ethics of Triage

| June 23, 2017

I wanted to continue the discussion that was started earlier this week by applying the discussion of “democracy triage” to the debate over next steps for the United States in Afghanistan. The United States is now engaged in an assessment of its 16-year effort in that country, and matching whether the means that have been […]

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The Ethics of Saying No

| June 19, 2017

I had the opportunity to take part in a panel discussion on democracy promotion at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, which got me to thinking about the ethics of “saying no”–that is, when should the ethical statesperson or policymaker be prepared to refuse requests for action on the grounds that aid cannot credibly be rendered […]

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The Implications of “The World is Not a Global Community”

| May 31, 2017

“The world is not a ‘global community.’” Last year, in attempting to discern the ethical and philosophical bases of candidate Donald Trump’s approach to world affairs, the first point I made was this: “There is no such thing as an international community. The “buck” stops with the nation-state and the nation-state decides what commitments it […]

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The Great Divide: Democracy’s Future

| March 5, 2017

I had the opportunity this past Saturday to take part in a day-long conference, “The Great Divide: Democracy’s Future” (sponsored by American University’s School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Council and the Graduate Leadership Council.) This symposium, in many ways, picked right up from the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs fall 2016 event […]

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Democracy Promotion and a Trump Administration

| February 21, 2017

What happens to the democracy promotion enterprise in a Trump administration? The President’s comments that under his watch the United States will not be seeking to impose its system or values on other countries suggests that the spread and strengthening of democratic systems around the world will not be a top priority and in fact […]

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What Follows the “Post-Cold War” Era?

| November 21, 2016

Is the age of (reactionary) nationalism to follow the optimism that the end of the cold war would bring about a global community?






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Transitioning to a Trump Administration

| November 10, 2016

At the September panel held at the Carnegie Council, called to look, in part, at the differing perspectives of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I noted: “We do have to think about the “what if” moment after Election Day and what it might mean” if Trump were to be elected, since, unlike Clinton, he did […]

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The Ethical Risks of Delay

| November 5, 2016

Even though Americans will conclude the presidential election in a matter of hours, given the so-called “lame duck” period, there will be a delay in when the new administration is seated. Even if the Democrats retain control of the executive branch, however, there will be a period of disruption as many Barack Obama appointees are […]

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