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

Hard Choices on China

| August 2020

The U.S. Global Engagement program has opened its second survey on U.S. foreign policy, and this one has an emphasis on assessing the relative ranking of values and support for democracy within the respondent’s overall calculus. One of the complaints that the survey has been drawing, based on reactions on social media, is the inflexibility […]

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Senator Kamala Harris and Foreign Policy Narratives

| August 2020

The selection of Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) to be the presumptive vice-presidential nominee of the Democratic Party for the 2020 elections represents a series of shifts: she is the first member of Generation X (President Barack Obama is more properly described as a member of “Generation Jones“–the last wave of the Boomers) to advance this […]

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House Democrats: Ethical Choices and Narratives

Who WIll Be the Head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee?

| July 2020

For the last two years, one of the foci of the U.S. engagement program has been how generational and demographic change in the United States will or will not impact how U.S. foreign policy is prioritized and what ethical benchmarks will be employed. The Democratic Party currently shelters under its “big tent” several different ethical […]

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Ethical Dilemmas in Ensuring Human Security

Thoughts After the Webinar

| July 2020

Following Wednesday’s session with Derek Reveron on human security in an age of a pandemic, I was struggling with how to relate our discussion with earlier conversations about the ethical choices the United States (and the rest of the world more broadly) faces in the relationship with China under the leadership of Xi Jinping.  A […]

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Bill Burns and Narratives About U.S. Foreign Policy

| July 2020

Bill Burns, noted diplomat and now president of the Carnegie Endowment, parallels the work of the U.S. Global Engagement project in his assessment in The Atlantic of competing narratives for the future–and agrees with my assessment that this 2020 election represents a choice between different visions for the future. He writes: We still get a […]

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The Persistence of the Trump Narrative?

Trump Apres Trump

| July 2020

One of the goals of the U.S. global engagement project has been to focus attention on different foreign policy narratives that move within U.S. domestic politics. The 2016 elections brought to the fore tendencies that had been assumed to be on the fringe in U.S. foreign policy (retrenchment, transactionalism, withdrawal). As I have noted on […]

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Difficult Ethical Choices on China

| July 2020

Andrew Sullivan pulls no punches: It’s time we treated China as the rogue dictatorship it is. When a totalitarian nation is enacting genocide, has a dictator for life, is showing itself to be a health menace to humankind, has crushed an island of democracy it pledged to protect, and is militarily acting out against its […]

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Where Do Human Rights Fit In?

Policy Narratives Re-examined

| July 2020

Nahal Toosi has a fascinating read in Politico about a subtle but major shift in the international landscape: human rights groups focusing on the United States’s human rights record. While there has always been criticism of America’s shortcomings in living up to its own self-professed standards (as well as the terms of international treaties signed […]

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