Nikolas Gvosdev

Nikolas Gvosdev is a professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College, and serves as Senior Fellow, U.S. Global Engagement Program.

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Nikolas Gvosdev's Latest Posts

Need for a New Consensus

| September 2019

Josh Rogin follows up on the move to institutionalize transactionalism as the guiding principle of U.S. foreign aid. The draft directive makes it clear that, moving forward, “Aid recipients should support key United States political and security objectives.” What this points to is not simply an effort to reorient the basis of U.S. global engagement, […]

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Candidates, Calculus and the Iran Crisis

| September 2019

I had the distinct honor and pleasure of speaking with the members of the Greater Des Moines Committee on Foreign Relations this past Tuesday around the topic of the role and scope of U.S. global engagement. Iowa plays a unique role in the U.S. political system, as it is one of those places where citizens […]

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The Narrative IS Changing …

| September 2019

One of the criticisms that the U.S. Global Engagement project has received over the past year is the assessment that we are assigning too much weight to those Americans who have expressed dissatisfaction with the level of American involvement in world affairs–and that this is primarily concentrated among one segment of voters who cast ballots […]

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Transactionalism and U.S. Foreign Aid

| September 2019

One of the critical questions we have been grappling with since Donald Trump’s election is the extent to which a transactional calculus would come to predominate in U.S. foreign policy decision-making. Nahal Toosi of Politico, in her story, “Trump Plan Would Steer Foreign Aid to ‘Friends and Allies,’ has obtained the draft of a new […]

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What is the Status Quo for the Climate?

| September 2019

I have been reading an interesting book, Sarah Parcak’s Archaeology from Space: How The Future Shapes our Past. One of the points throughout is that at various points in the past, changes in climate have caused human beings to abandon settlements and whole cities–that were swallowed up by the desert, became uninhabitable due to lack […]

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The Ethics of Trade with China and Authoritarian Upgrading

| August 2019

In an earlier posting, I discussed some of the ethical frameworks for assessing the trade war with China, themes that were expanded upon in a podcast for the Carnegie Council. Commentators responding to those points have wanted to explore in greater depth the ethical considerations of large-scale trade and economic interdependence with an illiberal state. […]

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Beyond Trump

| August 2019

One of the reasons for the U.S. Global Engagement project’s continued emphasis on understanding the roots of “narrative collapse” in terms of American voters supporting an expansive vision of the U.S. role in the world is our sense that this is a phenomenon that extends beyond the figure and person of President Donald Trump. Our […]

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Ethical Considerations in a Trade War with China

| August 2019

Are there ethical considerations that need to be factored in as part of assessing the merits of a “trade war” with the People’s Republic of China? There are three broad ethical frameworks that are in conflict which make answering this question difficult. The ethics of a trade war depend, in large part, upon which set […]

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